Afterbuying the largest natural gas utility business in the country, is diving furtherinto the gas industry with plans to acquire a 50% stake in 's 7,600-mileSouthern Natural Gas Co.LLC pipeline system for $1.47 billion. The pipeline connects gassupply regions in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Gulf of Mexicoto consuming markets across the Southeast.
TheNuclear Energy Institute has warned the U.S. Department of Energy about thedangers of America's growing dependence on natural gas for electric generationand the shortsightedness of prematurely shutting down nuclear power plants. Incomments submitted to the DOE ahead of that agency's pending Quadrennial EnergyReview update, the NEI urged that electricity market reforms be implemented toprevent any further nuclear plant shutdowns.
Havingsurvived a takeoverattempt it legally has to pretend it still wants, WilliamsCos. Inc. can go back to tending its big pile of knitting as longas somebody else does not target it for M&A again, analysts said."Williams can breathe a sigh of relief that it's over, and they can goback to business as usual," Jake Dollarhide of Longbow Asset Management —based in Williams' Tulsa, Okla., home — said in an interview. " is still pumping gas into New York City, and Williams has achance to continue."
TheTexas Commission on Environmental Quality approved the expansion and renewal ofa wastewater permit for Dos Republicas Coal Partnership's Eagle Pass coal mine.The commission voted unanimously to grant the permit for the partnership'sEagle Pass mine in Maverick County, Texas, on July 6, but some members of thepublic vowed to fight the decision, chanting and calling out their protest tothe administrative law judges.
* Acoalition of environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and Earthjustice,is challengingFERC's approval of new PJMInterconnection LLC rules, saying rules are "tailored tosuit" fossil fuel resources and will increase electric bills for more than61 million customers in 13 mid-Atlantic and Midwestern states. "PJM'srules would significantly increase costs to customers and punish the same cleanenergy and demand response resources that helped keep the lights on during theextreme weather events of the last couple of years," said Casey Roberts,staff attorney at the Sierra Club.
*The odds are long that VivintSolar Inc. will be allowed to pursue a lawsuit against while the bankruptrenewable energy developer is reorganizing in federal court, according to BruceMarkell, a professor at Northwestern University's Pritzker School of Law and aformer judge for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada.
* The state of Delaware has filed a formal "GoodNeighbor" petition to the U.S. EPA over NOx emissions from 's coal-firedplant in York County, Pa. In its petition, the state urged the EPA to step inand control outsized pollution source that is interfering with its ability tocomply with the ozone safeguards in the Clean Air Act, according to a SierraClub release.
*Canada's NationalEnergy Board announcedthat it has suspended its review of a request to the sunset clause for theEnbridge Inc.'sNorthern Gateway project. In a statement, the NEB said it also will suspend itsreview of any filings from Northern Gateway regarding compliance with the 209conditions attached to the project.
*California regulators proposed underground gas storage regulations that wouldhave operators do daily leak inspections permanently and conduct more frequenttesting. The regulations would replace emergency rules the department'sDivision of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources enacted in response to themulti-month leak atSouthern California GasCo.'s Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility.
*PG&E Corp.subsidiary Pacific Gas andElectric Co. has shut down its McDonald Island natural gas storagefacility in San Joaquin County, Calif., after finding "small methaneleaks" from some of its wells in June, Reutersreports.
*Resolute Energy Corp.is sellingcertain Permian Basin midstream assets in Texas to an undisclosed buyer for upto $110 million in a bid to reduce its debt and fund development activity inits properties in the Delaware Basin in west Texas, according to a companyrelease.
*U.S. coal production isprojected to decline by 230 million tons, or about 26%, between 2015 and 2040assuming the implementation of the U.S. EPA's Clean Power Plan, the U.S. EnergyInformation Administration said in its "Annual EnergyOutlook 2016." In a scenario that assumes the plan is neverimplemented, the country's coal production is expected to remain close to 2015levels through 2040, the agency said.
*The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit affirmed a lower court'sruling that the U.S.Army Corps of Engineers was correct in its decision to not include the connectionbetween surface coal mining and public health in an environmental review.
*Without disclosing the amount, Murray Energy Corp. CEO Bob Murray said his company isworking on a plan to make two major debt payments to its creditors to"fend off bankruptcy" and navigate the prolonged downturn in the coalindustry, TheAssociated Press reports.
*Despite the decline inproduction of crude oil and the slowdown in natural gas output growth, suppliesof natural gas plant liquids are likely to continue rising through 2040. The increasinglyabundant supply will create further stimulus for the U.S. economy.In a portion of the U.S. Energy Information Administration's "AnnualEnergy Outlook," authors Warren Wilczewski and William Brown discuss thedevelopment of hydrocarbon gas liquids and their impact on industrialdevelopment.
*After a finish up 2.4 cents at $2.801/MMBtu ahead of the weekend, Augustnatural gas futures are extendinggains in overnight trading leading up to the Monday, July 11, open,as storage and weather expectations feed anticipation of a steady erosion ofinventory overhangs that would imply a realignment of the supply/demandbalance. The contract was last seen 5.0 cents higher at $2.851/MMBtu.
*Power prices at the daily markets could be biased higher coming off the weekend Monday, July 11, asexpectations for predominantly rising demand as the fresh workweek unfoldscombine with ongoing gains at the natural gas futures complex. Gaining 2.4cents ahead of the weekend, front-month August natural gas futures wereextending higher overnight ahead of the market open Monday, trading at$2.855/MMBtu, up 5.4 cents on short-covering against the backdrop of ashrinking natural gas storage overhang.
*New Jersey solar renewable energy credit markets . New Jerseyenergy year 2016 solar RECs notched an index at $272.75/MWh, down about $4 onthe week, while energy year 2017 SRECs saw an average at $267.50/MWh, stumbling$2.50 from the week prior.
New from RRA
*According to RegulatoryResearch Associates, an offering of S&P Global Market Intelligence, theColorado regulatory climate continues to be somewhat constructive from an investor perspective.
* OnJuly 7, the Florida Public Service Commission 's June 17request to postpone recovery of $22.1 million of nuclear expansion costs from2017 to 2018.
"Ifour thesis is right, ERCOT gets into a much tighter region quicker than theyanticipate, which introduces the power price volatility, scarcity events andeverything else," Guggenheim analyst Shahriar Pourreza , projecting the effects on theERCOT market of likely power plant retirements that will come with EnergyFuture Holdings Corp.'s emergence from bankruptcy.
The day ahead
*Kinder Morgan's management will hold a conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET today todiscuss its strategic joint venture with Southern Co.