Proceedings Volume Cover
REMARKS BY GEORGE A. LAMB, DIRECTOR OF COAL RESEARCH, BEFORE THE ANNUAL  
MEETING OF THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF MINING, METALLURGICAL, AND PETROLEUM  
ENGINEERS, DALLAS, TEXAS, FEBRUARY 26, 1963.  
THE OFFICE OF COAL RESEARCH AND ITS ACTIVITIES  
,
The Office of Coal Research was established by Public Law 86-599,  
approved July 7, 1960. It was organized upon an operational basis in  
the spring of 1961, and awarded its first contract in August of that  
year. It is charged with the development through research of new and  
more efficient methods of mining, preparing and utilizing coal. This  
is done through contracts with agencies of Government and with private  
organizations; OCR does no in-house research.  
Private research in the coal industry has been limited to activities  
by coal associations and by a comparatively few companies. This industry  
is composed mainly of small business units that are unable to finance  
laboratory and pilot plant operations. A good deal of coal research has  
been governmental. Total research, however, has been inadequate and  
coal resources have not been effectively utilized as  
a consequence.  
The necessity for an expanded and more balanced coal research program  
becomes particularly apparent once consideration is given to future re•  
quirements for energy.  
1. Future Energy Reguirements  
Fuel forecasters in estimating long-term energy requirements  
and supplies have predicted a bright outlook for coal. Some predictions  
have annual coal output reaching 800 million tons by 1980, almost twice  
the average of the last five years. The projections reflect advanced  
statistical techniques in evaluating the prospective growth of the  
economy and its resulting energy needs. Supplies for the future energy  
load are distributed between the fuels and hydro. While coal production  
amounts to new records in the distant years ahead, its share in total  
energy supply is expected to be near what it is presently.  
These projections assume that ultimate consumer energy products  
will be supplied adequately not only in volume but also by kind and  
type. The consumer energy schedule shifts continually as it reflects  
the changing demands for numerous uses. Its appearance, expressed gen•  
erally in proportions of solids, liquids, gases and electricity, is quite  
different today from what it was in 1940. It may change even more by  
1980. Thus, the shares that coal and the other energy sources will have  
in total supply will depend upon how well each source can be processed  
into products that will be accepted by consumers. Product advancement  
by all of the energy producers will be highly important. Failure in this  
regard may mean that the economy will be handicapped and its growth re•  
tarded, as energy requirements fall below the levels that have been  
projected.  
For illustration, petroleum or coal with no change from their  
current product offerings likely would lose position in the future  
energy market.  
A
deficiency product-wise by either might bring about  
limitation in resource utilization. On the other  
a
poor balance and  
a
hand, an accelerated product development by an energy source may have  
the reverse effect.  
Coal's share in energy supply has been shrinking for a number  
of years, because the energy products it had to offer have had  
diminishing market acceptance. Limited to offerings,  
greater market disadvantage in each succeeding year,  
making unrealistic goal of 800 million tons by 1980. In 1960,  
a
it will be at  
a
a
69 percent of the end-product energy consumption consisted of oil  
and natural gas products. Another 19 percent was represented by  
electric power generated by hydro and fuels, including coal, oil and  
gas. This left only 12 percent for coal solids and other coal deriva•  
tives. The latter proportion had dropped from 31 percent to 1950.  
This trend indicates that coal will need products that can supplement  
supplies in the oil and gas markets, as well as improved fuel for  
power generation, if it is to stop its decline in energy supply and  
establish  
products to this extent will bea formidable undertaking, one that  
will depend for success upon vigorous and balanced research and  
development program. primary responsibility of the Office of Coal  
Research is to promote the advancement of such  
a firmer position in the energy complex. To advance coal  
a
A
a
program.  
What must coal do? In delivering more attractive products  
to the consumer it will need improvements in all phases of production  
and distribution: mLnLng, processing, transporting and whatever else  
may be involved. The term "product improvement" is all inclusive in  
its application.  
2. Coal Processed Into Oil and Gas  
Research to develop synthetic oils and gases from coal has  
been considerable in the United States as well as in other countries.  
The U.S. Bureau of Mines did a large amount of work in the late forties  
and early fifties; the American Gas Association has done research in  
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