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PM Edition: Analysts see oil, gas M&A uptick; Congress may notch climate wins


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PM Edition: Analysts see oil, gas M&A uptick; Congress may notch climate wins

Top News

Data Dispatch: Citigroup, Jefferies dominated billion-dollar midstream M&A in 2019

In 2019, Citigroup Inc. advised on six out of 16 announced transactions that are in S&P Global Market Intelligence's North American coverage universe and included adviser information. Jefferies LLC advised five parties, while Evercore Group L.L.C., Credit Suisse (USA) Inc., Barclays Capital Inc. and Bank of America Corp. company BofA Securities Inc. each advised four parties.

US Congress: Climate, clean energy tax bills to be 'front and center' in 2020

Members of the U.S. Congress could score victories on more modest, bipartisan measures to curb global warming, including bills to fund research and development of low-carbon technologies and expand tax incentives for clean energy sources. Chances also are good for signing a broad surface transportation bill into law that contains climate- and energy-focused provisions, industry sources say.

Analysts predict increased M&A in oil and gas sector despite recent history

Industry observers, including Enervus, believe the Permian Basin is in severe need of consolidation. The firm sees merger and acquisition opportunities increasing in 2020, as some firms look to cut their losses while others want to take advantage of depressed values. In 2019, smaller producers were willing to accept lower buyout values as their funding options dwindled — another trend that could continue into the new year and stir up more M&A opportunities.

US railroads post 9.2% drop in 2019 coal carloads YOY amid weak market

American railroads shed about a tenth of their coal shipment carloads in 2019 over 2018, according to a domestic railroad association. BNSF Railway Co., which shipped the most coal in the U.S. last year, saw the smallest year-over-year percentage decline with a 5.8% reduction in coal carloads to about 1.8 million, while Union Pacific Corp., a railroad that largely serves western coal producers, saw a 15.6% decline, the highest among the top-four publicly traded U.S. railroads by coal volume.

Other energy headlines

* Occidental Petroleum Corp. plans to continue its operational relationship with subsidiary Western Midstream Partners LP but will cut its interest in the unit to below 50% this year, enabling it to operate as an independent midstream company.

* First Solar Inc. on Jan. 6 said it agreed to pay $350 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that accused the solar panel maker of securities fraud for allegedly covering up equipment defects that led to millions of dollars in warranty claims against the company.

* Amid declining activity in the domestic onshore wind sector, the German government has introduced a controversial proposal to provide direct financial compensation to people living near potential wind farm sites. Meanwhile, in Taiwan, the offshore wind project co-owned by Ørsted A/S, JERA Co. Inc., Macquarie and Swancor Renewable Energy Co. Ltd. known as Formosa 1 has started commercial operations.


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After reportedly pushing back a plan to off-load an interest in Western Midstream until 2020 because of the partnership's declining stock price, Occidental announced Jan. 6 that it will cut its interest in the company to below 50% during the year and expand the rights of Western Midstream investors to remove and replace Occidental as the general partner.

Research and data

* Data Dispatch: After $92B decline, market value of oil majors recovers only $2.36B in Q4'19

* Financial Focus: Vanishing winter premiums to batter US coal production and revenues

* RRA Regulatory Focus: Northwest Natural Gas files Oregon rate case, seeking $71.4 million hike

* RRA Regulatory Focus: Ameren Illinois' electric rate reduction reflects below-average ROE

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