BEATEN-DOWN US coal company stocks may receive a lift in coming weeks if deteriorating relations between Russia and the West push President Vladimir Putin to shut off Europe’s natural gas supply.
The crisis in eastern Ukraine has emboldened Europe and the United States to impose broad sanctions on Russia.
But Europe finds itself in a precarious position, with almost a third of the natural gas the continent consumed in 2013 flowing from Russia, according to the US Energy Information Administration.
Europe’s heightened concerns about energy security could provide an opportunity for US coal companies, which have been hurt by declining domestic consumption, to step in and fill the gap as winter approaches. More than half of US coal exports already reach Europe.