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APS, Puget Sound launch participation in EIM; US promoting worldwide use of gas

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APS, Puget Sound launch participation in EIM; US promoting worldwide use of gas

Top News

APS, Puget Sound Energy launch participation in CAISO energy imbalancemarket

and began fullparticipation in the western Energy Imbalance Market on Oct. 1 in a significantexpansion of the load and resource balancing system, the California ISO announced.This wholesale power market enables participating utilities to buy low-cost energyacross eight western states. The EIM automatically dispatches least-cost energyin real time.

US using gas to promote markets, environmental goals overseas, diplomatsays

The U.S.Department of State is working to spread the use of natural gas around the world,calling the fuel "critical to economic growth" and democracy.The department is working with national governments to put "the right investmentclimate in place," Robin Dunnigan, deputy assistant secretary of state forenergy diplomacy, told a largely gas industry crowd in Washington, D.C. on Oct.3.

CNX Coal buys bigger stake in Pennsylvania mines from CONSOL

has increasedits stake in the Pennsylvania Mining Complex, buying an additional 5% interest inthe complex for $88.8 million from CONSOLEnergy Inc. CNX now owns 25% of the Pennsylvania Mining Complex, whichconsists of the Bailey, Enlow Fork and Harvey underground mines, located in thePittsburgh seam.

Power

* S&PGlobal Market Intelligence sat downwith Nancy Pfund founder and managing partner of DBL Partners, to discuss financialtrends in the solar industry, the fallout of SunEdison Inc.'s bankruptcy and some pointers on how smallerdevelopers can stand out in an increasingly crowded sector.

* made changes to its executivemanagement team in anticipation of its acquisition of Engie's U.S. portfolio of generating assets. Among the changesis the promotion of Martin Daley to the newly created role of executive vice presidentand COO, according to a company release.

* launched a cash tenderoffer to purchase up to $200 million of its 7.625% senior notes due 2018. The companyalso gave the required notice under the indenture governing its 7.875% senior notesdue 2021 to redeem for cash $192.5 million of its 2021 notes on Nov. 3. The tenderoffer and the redemption will be financed with cash on hand, NRG said in a .

* 's for its facility in Kemper County includes an additional $33 million increase in the costestimate, subject to the project cost cap. The August report also noted that theSouthern Co. subsidiaryexpects to bring online the controversial project by Nov. 30.

* Therecent decline in utility stocks prompted Williams Capital Group LP to raise itsinvestment opinion on PNM ResourcesInc. to "buy" from "hold." Analyst Christopher Ellinghaussaid the decline offers significant opportunity for PNM shares.

* Despite reportedly withdrawing its bidfor TerraForm Power Inc.,Brookfield Renewable Partners LPmay not be giving up muchin the way of growth, as it looks to unload certain assets and recycle that capitalinto development stage projects worldwide.

* The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals removed District JudgeHenry Wingate from presiding over a long-running federal lawsuit against for failing to ruleon pending motions, TheClarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., reports. Mississippi Attorney GeneralJim Hood had sued Entergy in 2008 for allegedly "illegally" manipulatingthe purchase and sale of electricity to maximize profits.

* Sempra Energy'sMexican unit Infraestructura EnergeticaNova SAB de CV plans to sell $1.27 billion worth of shares to financeits recent acquisitions of a largewind farm and a 50% stakein a pipeline joint venture, according to BloombergNews.

* SunEdison Inc.has confirmed that itis in the middle of settlement discussions with yieldcos TerraForm Power Inc. and TerraForm Global Inc. The bankrupt renewable developer saidit will actively pursue the dismissal or settlement of proofs of claims made bythe yieldcos.

Natural gas/midstream

* Canada'sfederal government plans to imposea nationwide minimum carbon levy aimed at reaching the country's emissionstargets and bringing unwilling provinces in line with national standards. In response,Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said the province "in principle" supportsthe call for the planned national carbon tax, but an endorsement will not be madeunless the federal government delivers on a new pipeline, according to the CalgaryHerald.

* has its $6.7 billion of Piedmontwill retain its name and will operate as a business unit of Duke Energy.

* OklahomaCity-based Mammoth Energy Services Inc. is launching an initialpublic offering of 7.5 million shares at an anticipated IPO price of between$15 apiece to $18 apiece. Certain selling stockholders are offering an additional250,000 shares in the IPO. Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC will act as book-runningmanager for the proposed IPO and Barclays Capital Inc. and Piper Jaffray & Co.will act as joint book-running managers.

* DoubleEagle Lone Star LLC and Veritas Energy Partners Holdings LLC agreed to mergeand create a pure-play E&P company that will focus on the Permian's midlandbasin, funds managed by Apollo GlobalManagement LLC and PostOak Energy Capital LP said. The combined entity, dubbed Double EagleEnergy Permian LLC, will have more than 63,000 Midland Basin net acres.

* has agreed todivest certain non-operated conventional asset in West Texas and New Mexico for$235 million. The assets averaged about 4,000 barrels of oil equivalent per dayin the first half of 2016, according to a company statement.

* Canada'stop aboriginal leader has come out in support of oil pipeline projects, saying thesplit for oil pipeline support among the country's indigenous is risking wealththat could help communities prosper, according to BloombergNews. Perry Bellegarde, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, saidCanada has C$650 billion worth of natural resource projects that if developed couldbenefit the indigenous population.

* completedthe acquisition of anadditional 20% equity interests in Mars Oil Pipeline Co. and a 49% equity interestin Odyssey Pipeline LLCfrom Royal Dutch Shell plcfor $350 million, according to a Form 8-K filing.

* is seeking approvalfrom Utah regulators to increase its natural gas rates by $2 million, effectiveNov. 1, The SaltLake Tribune reports.

* has acquireda crude oil and condensate marine terminal project and its related assets in Texasfrom Pelorus Terminal: Point Comfort LLC for an undisclosed sum. The terminal, backedby long-term, fee-based contracts, is expected to enter commercial operation inApril 2017, according to a news release.

Coal

* ArchCoal Inc. plans to emergefrom bankruptcy on Oct. 5 and is optimistic there is plenty of opportunity in futurecoal markets. In an Oct. 3 filing, Arch said its amendedand restated restructuring support agreement was further amended to extend the deadlinefor substantial consummation of its restructuring plan to coincide with the plannedbankruptcy emergence date.

* 's recorded a 5.2%year-over-year drop in coal production to 35.24 million metric tons in Septemberdue to weak demand in the power sector, BloombergNews reports.

Commodities

* Short covering by "smart money"traders in natural gas resumed in the week ended Sept. 27 and helped to push themanaged money net long to the highest level in 2.5 years, according to from the CFTC. Short coveringwas evident by oil traders too, although the trend was not nearly as strong.

* Afteradvancing by 1.7 cents to a settle at $2.923/MMBtu in the week's opening session,November natural gas futures recoiledovernight ahead of the Tuesday, Oct. 4, open amid a lack of significantfundamental support, as the anticipation of weather-related demand weakness in thenear term through the midrange combined with ongoing prospects for record-high end-of-seasonstorage. The contract last traded 4.3 cents lower at $2.880/MMBtu.

* Prompt-monthpower packages for October delivery remained on the defensive during the week ended Sept. 30 with the retreatdriven by a reduction in fueling costs implied by losses in natural gas futuresalongside moderating demand suggested by weather outlooks.

* Day-aheadpower prices could varyTuesday, Oct. 4, on the back of mixed demand outlooks for midweek and recent variedaction in the natural gas futures arena. Gaining 1.7 cents in the Oct. 3 session,front-month November natural gas futures were easing at last look Tuesday, lastpegged at $2.883/MMBtu, down 4.0 cents ahead of the opening bell on profit taking.

New from RRA

* On Sept. 30, the Massachusetts Departmentof Public Utilities authorizedMassachusetts Electric Co.and Nantucket Electric a $169.7 million electric rate increase in the companies'joint pending electric distribution rate proceeding. Therate increase is premised upon a 9.9% return on equity (50.7% of capital) and a7.58% return on a year-end rate base valued at $1.78 billion for a test year endedJune 30, 2015, adjusted for known-and-measurable changes.

* On Sept. 30, NorthWestern Corp. filedwith the Montana Public Service Commission for a $10.9 million natural gas rateincrease. The requested increase is premisedupon a 10.35% return on equity (46.79% of capital) and a 7.33% return on an averagerate base valued at $432.1 million for a test year ended Dec. 31, 2015.

Quoted

"Itis kind of a cliché to say 'stick to your knitting.' You don't have to stick toyour knitting exclusively, but you do not have to go all over the world either,"said solar investor NancyPfund.

The day ahead

* Earlymorning futures indicators pointed to a higher 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.