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Wind industry set for growth; Permian drillers find willing oil line builders

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Wind industry set for growth; Permian drillers find willing oil line builders

Top News

Wind industry set for growth as markets face policy shifts

New wind power installations are projected to increase by at least 5% globally in 2019 and then remain steady for a number of years, mirroring an expected plateau in Chinese development as the world's biggest wind market moves away from subsidies and the government works to reduce electricity curtailment, S&P Global Platts said in a March 17 outlook.

Permian drillers find willing oil line builders, lagging interest in gas pipes

Demand for oil is driving a surge in Texas oil pipeline construction, and infrastructure builders are hoping gas exports will soon provide an incentive to add more gas pipelines.

Miners that dodged met coal-fueled bankruptcy now haunted by reliance on thermal

Major U.S. coal producers that bit the bullet early and filed for bankruptcy a few years ago are now enjoying the benefits of improved coal markets and clean balance sheets, but the companies that avoided that first wave of reorganizations now find themselves particularly stressed by declining domestic demand.

S&P sees cost cutting, efficiencies continuing to boost cash flow for oil majors

Lower break-even prices after a period of cost cutting and efficiency measures should continue to drive cash flow for many of the largest U.S. integrated oil and natural gas companies this year, S&P Global Ratings said in a March 19 report.

Quoted

"It's not about whether something needs to be done. It's now a matter of what can be done in an economically feasible way," Kenneth Medlock, fellow in energy and resource economics at Rice University's Baker Institute and senior director of the institute's Center for Energy Studies, said on the oil and gas industry coming to grips with issues of environmental sustainability and climate change.

Power

* A proposal to relax requirements for securing market-based rate authority faced significant pushback from community-owned and rural utilities as well as consumer advocates. But it was lauded by others in the power sector, and some even urged regulators to expand the proposal's reach.

* The Missouri Public Service Commission has approved the planned 780-mile high-voltage, direct-current Grain Belt Express Clean Line, after twice rejecting it. The line is designed to provide a conduit for wind-generated power to be delivered into the PJM Interconnection market.

* Amid the push for a Green New Deal, lawmakers in the U.S. Senate are re-evaluating a potential national clean energy standard after similar proposals stalled in Congress years ago.

* Dominion Energy Inc.'s $870 million energy efficiency spending plan in Virginia has drawn flak because it could result to a 40% cut in actual spending on energy efficiency programs, according to The Associated Press.

* Labor unions have voiced their support for a bill that would keep NorthWestern Energy customers pay for the purchase of a 30% ownership of Colstrip unit 4 even if the plant closes early, The Billings (Mont.) Gazette reported.

* Vectren Energy Delivery of Indiana – South received approval from Indiana regulators to build a 50-MW solar array in eastern Spencer County.

* Franklin County, Maine, commissioners have revoked support for Central Maine Power Co.'s New England Clean Energy Connect project, the Portland Press Herald reported.

Natural gas

* Venture Global LNG's Calcasieu Pass LNG export terminal received federal authorization to start full site preparation for the Louisiana facility.

* EQT Corp. alleged that former employees stole corporate secrets to help dissident shareholders Toby Rice and Derek Rice in proxy battle, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. The Rice brothers sold their company Rice Energy to EQT in 2017.

* The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission launched an investigation into Stagecoach Pipeline and Storage Co. LLC to determine if the natural gas company is over-recovering its cost of service and collecting unreasonable gas transportation rates.

* All Adams County, Colo., commissioners voted for a moratorium on new applications for oil and gas drilling permits, The Denver Post reported. The commissioners fear a rush of applications due to a proposed bill in state to overhaul regulation of the oil and gas industry.

Oil

* The U.S. Bureau of Land Management will not be able to issue a permit to drill on about 300,000 acres of land it leased to oil and gas companies in Wyoming, a federal judge ruled March 19.

* Murphy Oil Corp. has agreed to sell its Malaysian portfolio to a subsidiary of PTT Exploration and Production Public Co. Ltd. for $2.13 billion in cash. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the second quarter and will mark Murphy's exit from Malaysia.

* A group of 17 U.S. senators are demanding more information on the U.S. Interior Department's offshore drilling plan ahead of the confirmation hearing for acting Secretary David Bernhardt.

* Residents of Canada's biggest oil- and natural gas-producing province will head to the polls in less than six weeks to decide the fate of its four-year-old socialist government amid turmoil in the energy industry.

* The Canadian government claims that British Columbia is using "Trojan Horse" legislation to block the Tans Mountain pipeline expansion, The Canadian Press reported.

* President and COO Thomas Scargle and chief commercial officer John Sadlowski have left the financially struggling company Philadelphia Energy Solutions LLC, Reuters reported, citing three sources familiar with the matter.

* South Korean companies Hyundai Oilbank Co. Ltd. and S-Oil Corp. pleaded guilty to price fixing on oil supplied to U.S. forces in Korea, the Financial Times reported. S-Oil is majority-owned by Saudi Arabian Oil Co.

* Nigeria wants to lower its interests in joint oil ventures with multinational companies to 40% in 2019 in a bid to boost its coffers, Reuters reported.

* PetroChina Co. Ltd. plans to increase its 2019 capital expenditure by 17% to 300 billion yuan, or $45 billion, according to Reuters.

Coal

* Coal exports from Ridley Terminals Inc. in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, totaled a two-year low of 313,756 tonnes in February, down 60.6% from 797,171 tonnes in January and the lowest since 277,250 tonnes in January 2017, according to data from the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

* A drastic cut in the federal black lung trust fund could result to taxpayers covering the shortfalls, according to the AP.

* The U.S. Department of the Interior allocated about $291.3 million for 25 coal-producing states and three tribes to reclaim and repurpose abandoned coal mines, according to a March 19 release.

* China is nearing the release of new "green bond" standards that would exclude financing coal, Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

ChartWatch

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Colder-than-normal weather, along with continued pipeline and storage restrictions, have pushed Southern California Gas Co.'s Citygate natural gas prices to record highs this winter, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a March 19 note.

New from RRA

* The Wyoming Public Service Commission approved a settlement, with minor modifications, filed by PacifiCorp and the Wyoming Industrial Energy Consumers that addresses the impact of changes in federal tax law enacted in December 2017 that lowered the federal corporate income tax rate to 21% from 35%.

The day ahead

* The Energy Information Administration natural gas 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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SNL ImageClick 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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