According to Business Wire, Peabody Energy and ConocoPhillips recently announced they have entered into an agreement to explore development of a commercial scale coal-to-substitute natural gas (SNG) facility using proprietary ConocoPhillips E-GAS™ technology. The project would be developed as a mine-mouth facility at a location where Peabody has access to large reserves and existing infrastructure. It would be designed to annually produce 50 billion to 70 billion cubic feet of pipeline quality SNG from more than 3.5 million tons of Midwest sourced coal. In addition, presuming there is a supportive regulatory framework in place, the project scope will provide for carbon capture and storage. Peabody and ConocoPhillips would participate in project ownership along with other potential equity partners. The preliminary design and economic assessment is expected to be complete in early 2008.