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USMCA deal keeps oil, gas trade tariff-free; EIA's coal export outlook falls


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USMCA deal keeps oil, gas trade tariff-free; EIA's coal export outlook falls

Top News

US regulated utilities want energy storage tax credit proposal to go further

As the U.S. Congress mulls a proposal to expand a federal investment tax credit for energy storage projects, several regulated utilities and power companies with regulated divisions want lawmakers to let them recover those incentives more quickly.

USMCA deal to keep tariffs off North American oil, gas trade

Oil and natural gas industry representatives welcomed a deal between the Trump administration and House Democrats to advance a revised version of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement that would protect the flow of oil and gas among the countries and avoid a more extensive permitting process for gas export projects.

Slowing economic growth could limit price impact of marine fuel sulfur standards

Three weeks before tighter marine fuel sulfur standards go into effect, a panel of experts told U.S. senators that slower-than-expected global economic growth could moderate the rule's impact on crude oil and petroleum markets.

US EIA's 2019 coal export outlook falls 9.3% from January to December

Over the course of 2019, the U.S. Energy Information Administration's coal production and export predictions have fallen significantly amid weakening market conditions and a slew of bankruptcy filings in the sector.


"We are one of the lowest-cost competitors ... and we don't need to rush for the last cent in the tenders," said Antonio Cammisecra, CEO of Enel SpA's renewables business Enel Green Power, who added that the company's large retail customer base enables it to sell power in a much more complex, but "much more lucrative" way, unlike many of its peers. Enel is targeting even greater returns for its green power business, driven by the sheer size of its pipeline and surging demand for renewable energy from corporate consumers.


* The Trump administration, as part of its efforts to protect U.S. manufacturers from subsidized imports, announced that it is imposing preliminary duties on imports of wind towers from Canada, Indonesia and Vietnam.

* Eversource Energy announced a goal to achieve carbon neutrality in all corporate operations, including fleet, facilities and infrastructure, by 2030.

* PG&E Corp. entered new backstop commitment letters to help fund its Chapter 11 plan of reorganization. The additional backstop parties and the November backstop parties severally committed to fund up to an aggregate of $12.0 billion of proceeds to finance the transactions contemplated by the Chapter 11 plan through the purchase of PG&E common stock.

* Nearly 7,000 of the companies that supply such things as meat, produce and raw materials to some of the world's largest companies have reported they face a combined total of $906 billion in climate change-related risks, according to a new report by CDP, formerly the Climate Disclosure Project.

* Competitive Power Ventures Inc. and its partner Osaka Gas USA Corp. have achieved commercial operations at the 1,050-MW CPV Fairview combined-cycle, natural gas-fired plant in Jackson Township, Pa.

* Electric utility companies have used billions of dollars in charitable giving to influence politics and boost corporate profits, watchdog group Energy and Policy Institute said in a report.

* A poll, conducted by UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies for the Los Angeles Times, found that 37% of likely California voters support government-run models for Pacific Gas and Electric Co., or PG&E, and 35% of the voters endorsing PG&E as an investor-owned utility.

* Calpine Corp. priced an upsized private offering of $1.25 billion of its 4.5% senior secured notes due 2028 to help fund its tender offers for 6% and 5.875% senior secured notes and redeem any of the notes not tendered.

Natural gas

* In its December short-term energy outlook, the U.S. Energy Information Administration slightly raised its forecast for the amount of U.S. utility-scale electricity generation that will be sourced from natural gas-fired power plants but generally maintained its prior predictions.

* Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. shareholders approved the company's pending C$4.35 billion acquisition by Pembina Pipeline Corp. Separately, the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta approved the transaction, which now awaits the completion of Kinder Morgan Canada Inc.'s sale of its U.S.-regulated Cochin pipeline system to Pembina.

* Washington, D.C., regulators rejected Washington Gas Light Co.'s request to extend a pilot project to encourage natural gas use in residential buildings, saying the incentive program might conflict with the district's climate goals.

* Puget Sound Clean Air Agency authorized Puget Sound Energy Inc. to build a new liquefied natural gas facility in the Tacoma Tide Flats, Wash.

* A judge with the New York State Supreme Court has ruled that the state's attorney general failed to prove Exxon Mobil Corp. misled investors about its use of an assumed price on carbon dioxide emissions in making investment decisions to account for long-term climate change risks.

* Energy-focused private investment firm Starwood Energy Group Global LLC completed its acquisition of Third Coast Midstream LLC's gas gathering infrastructure in Lavaca County, Texas, for undisclosed financial terms.


* Chevron Corp. expects to take a noncash, after-tax impairment charge of $10 billion to $11 billion in the fourth quarter, with more than half of that figure related to Appalachia shale assets.

* Talos Energy Inc. signed agreements to acquire certain producing assets, exploration prospects and acreage in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico from affiliates of ILX Holdings, Castex Energy, Inc. and Venari Resources LLC for $640 million.

* Saudi Arabian Oil Co.'s shares jumped 10% to 35.20 riyals each on its Dec. 11 stock market debut, giving the oil giant a valuation of about $1.88 trillion, below the $2 trillion valuation sought by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

* Separately, the Financial Times reports that state investment funds were being pressed to buy Saudi Arabian Oil's shares to increase prices following the start of trading on the Saudi stock exchange Tadawul in Riyadh, in order to reach the $2 trillion valuation.

* The U.S. Energy Information Administration slightly increased its crude oil price outlook through 2020, citing favorable economic data and a decision by OPEC and its partners to cut crude oil production by 500,000 barrels per day.

* Enbridge Inc. touted the findings of a revised environmental impact statement from Minnesota's commerce department as concluding that the stalled Line 3 oil pipeline replacement project would not introduce risk to Lake Superior, because protections would keep oil out of the lake and other water bodies in the unlikely event of a pipeline leak.


* The board of Foresight Energy GP LLC terminated Foresight Energy LP's long-term incentive plan. The unvested awards of the CEO of the partnership under the plan were cancelled without payment.

* Tucson Electric Power Co. will exercise its option to purchase an additional interest in the Springerville coal-fired power plant in Apache County, Ariz.

* Engie SA will close its newest coal-fired power plant in Chile after just five years of operations as part of the country's efforts to become carbon neutral.


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Installations of solar power plants in the EU grew at the highest rate since 2010 this year, with a revived Spanish market and higher renewables targets across the EU set to drive record activity over the coming years.

New from RRA

* The top 10 pipeline entities by spending invested a total of $3.73 billion in the first three quarters of 2019. This quantity was notably 42% below the previous year's outlay of $6.47 billion in the same period.

* Maryland Public Service Commission review will be required for a proposal under which Chesapeake Utilities Corp. would purchase Elkton Gas Co. from South Jersey Industries Inc. for $15 million.

The day ahead

* The U.S. Energy Information Administration petroleum status report is due out today.

* Early morning futures indicators pointed to a mixed 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.

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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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