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In This List

Coronavirus bill lacks renewables provisions; oil, gas companies cut 2020 capex


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Coronavirus bill lacks renewables provisions; oil, gas companies cut 2020 capex

Top News

Senate coronavirus bill lacks renewable energy, airline emissions provisions

Although the U.S. Senate has not yet released to the public the latest version of its coronavirus response package, the bill reportedly does not contain clean energy tax credit extensions or other relief provisions hoped for by some in the industry.

Oil, gas companies slash 2020 capex by more than $37B

Oil and gas companies have cut more than $37 billion from their 2020 spending plans as they grapple with the fallout of an international price war and falling demand due to the coronavirus.

Coronavirus recession may cut into industrial gas use more than financial crisis

Gas utilities and marketers are on the cusp of a brief but potentially painful drop in industrial gas demand following a plunge in U.S. manufacturing activity and forecasts of continued constraints on factory floors.

Feds increasing collateral required for coal companies to self-insure black lung

In February, several coal companies were apparently told to drastically increase the collateral provided to self-insure their obligations to employees diagnosed with black lung disease.

READ MORE: Sign up for our weekly coronavirus newsletter here, and read our latest coverage on the crisis here.


"On the one hand, it's clear that relative to our book value, share price is significantly off. On the other hand, the short lesson from the last financial crisis was every nickel of liquidity matters," said Michael Falcone, CEO of MMA Capital Holdings Inc., a major investor in renewable energy projects, when asked about a potential share buyback as the financial downturn ripples across the renewable energy sector.


* The cost commitments transmission developers propose to strengthen their competitive bids for projects in the PJM Interconnection footprint must remain voluntary and the grid operator must assess the quality and effectiveness of those binding commitments in its review of project proposals, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said in an order granting PJM's request to clarify this process.

* The Trump administration is pushing forward with plans to roll back major environmental regulations over the next month, including lesser controls on toxic ash from coal plants and a limitation on scientific research that may hamper pandemic controls, The New York Times reported, citing a person familiar with the plans.

* Germany's E.ON SE expects its new focus on energy grids, the result of a complex asset swap with rival RWE AG to allow it to weather the storm of economic downturn and disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, executives said.

* Wildfires victims are voicing concerns that the market turmoil due to the coronavirus crisis could endanger their $13.5 billion settlement with PG&E Corp., as stock payments make up half of the payout, according to Bloomberg News.

* The growth of Europe's electricity storage market slowed in 2019 after years of rising installations, with 1 GWh of new storage added in the year compared to 1.47 GWh in 2018, according to a new report.

* Amid the ongoing coronavirus uncertainty, SunPower Corp. decided to withdraw its previously provided fiscal 2020 financial guidance, in addition to slashing executive salaries, cutting capital expenditures and other efforts to save up to $50 million during the year.

* Lower compensation rates for electricity generation from residential solar photovoltaic systems in certain states could reduce overall adoption, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

* Duke Energy Carolinas LLC reached a partial settlement with the Public Staff of the North Carolina Utilities Commission in connection with its pending general rate case.

* Washington state utility regulators approved a partial multiparty settlement in Avista Corp.'s electric and natural gas general rate cases, authorizing annual increases of $28.5 million, or 5.4%, in electric revenues and $8.0 million, or 5.2%, on gas revenues, effective April 1.

Natural gas

* Sempra Energy delayed a final investment decision on an LNG export project in Mexico and also may push back its target for advancing a proposed liquefaction terminal in Texas amid global market uncertainty over demand for new supply.

* A study by CE Delft and SEA-LNG shows that liquefied bio methane and liquefied synthetic methane can be used to help the shipping industry reach its net zero-carbon emissions targets.

* President, CEO and director of Williams Cos. Inc., Alan Armstrong, said the natural gas pipeline company does not intend to follow its peers in cutting investor payouts to ride out a collapse in crude oil prices.

* Woodfibre LNG Ltd. is delaying the construction of a planned LNG export terminal and related facilities in Squamish, British Columbia, to 2021 in light of the coronavirus pandemic, The Canadian Press reported.

* Southern Energy Corp. said it secured fixed price hedges on production of 6,000 Mcf/d of natural gas at an average price of $2.55/Mcf and 75 barrels of oil per day at an average price of $55.65/bbl through Dec. 31.


* The U.S. Senate's $2 trillion deal to respond to the coronavirus outbreak does not include $3 billion to fill up the nation's oil reserve, according to a letter from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to his colleagues.

* The Trump government is pressuring Saudi Arabia to "rise to the occasion" and cooperate to stabilize oil prices and global energy markets, the Financial Times reported.

* The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that changes in U.S. crude oil and petroleum stockpiles were mixed in the week to March 20, as government data showed crude oil stockpiles climbed for the ninth consecutive week.

* The Trump administration did not appeal a court ruling that would limit the use of waivers exempting small oil refineries from biofuels regulations, Reuters reported.

* The oilfield service industry is likely to cut more than one million jobs in 2020 due to lower project volumes caused by the coronavirus epidemic and the oil price war, with the shale services sector bearing the brunt of the reductions, according to an impact analysis by Rystad Energy.

* Vedanta Resources Ltd. founder Anil Agarwal said his company will move ahead a $4.5 billion investment plan to double oil production to 450,000 bbl/d in two years, the Financial Times reported.


* Global methane emissions from coal mines could more than double previous estimates despite a decline in coal production, RenewEconomy reported, citing a paper published in the Journal of Cleaner Production.


SNL Image

With a 34% drop in average spot natural gas prices in January, gas accounted for 39.1% of U.S. power generation in the month, up from a third of total U.S. power supply in January 2019.

New from RRA

* While the pace of rate case activity remains brisk with 44 electric and 36 gas rate cases pending in 31 jurisdictions including the District of Columbia as of March 18, uncertainty is expected due to the coronavirus pandemic.

* The North Carolina Utilities Commission issued an order suspending the procedural schedule in Duke Energy Progress LLC's electric rate case, adding to the growing number of rate case delays due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The day ahead

* The U.S. EIA natural gas storage report is due out today.

* Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. equity markets. To view more SNL equity market indexes, click here. To view more SNL Energy commodities prices, click here.

SNL Image

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

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