PG&E preparing to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy
PG&E Corp. is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in an effort to manage the fallout from the 2017 and 2018 Northern California wildfires. The company and its subsidiary Pacific Gas and Electric Co. on Jan. 14 filed the 15-day advance notice for Chapter 11 reorganization. PG&E plans to file the petitions on or about Jan. 29.
Amid global battery boom, 2019 marks new era for energy storage
By most measures, 2018 was a long-anticipated breakout year for batteries, with record volumes of investment flowing into research, product development and manufacturing as prices plummeted, governments established new policies supporting energy storage, and mass markets emerged for electric vehicles and electrochemical energy storage.
EQT management dispute escalates as investor D.E. Shaw backs Rice brothers
Saying it is disappointed with EQT Corp.'s "poor execution," investment firm D.E. Shaw & Co. LP threw its weight behind the efforts of the former Rice Energy management team that wants to have a direct role in running America's largest natural gas producer.
6 largest US refiners expected to grow Q4'18 adjusted earnings by $1.15B YOY
Despite falling gasoline and distillate prices, analysts expect U.S. refining and marketing companies to boost adjusted earnings year over year in the fourth quarter of 2018, a quarter during which the companies are expected to have benefited from their ability to sell into markets where their products are priced off of more expensive crude oil benchmarks.
Some in US coal boost 2018 capex as supply remains tight on limited investments
While many remain cautious, some U.S. coal producers increased planned capital expenditures in 2018 as higher, sustained prices follow a trend of limited investment in volume growth that has tightened U.S. thermal and metallurgical coal supply.
"I can beat a gas peaker anywhere in the country today with a solar-plus-storage power plant. Who in their right mind today would build a new gas peaker? We are a factor of two cheaper," said Tom Buttgenbach, president and CEO of developer 8minutenergy Renewables LLC, commenting on the dramatic fall in prices for energy storage.
* PG&E Corp. is beginning the search for a new CEO following the departure of Geisha Williams, as the California utility grapples with a declining share price, potential bankruptcy and credit downgrades related to what could be tens of billions in wildfire liabilities. Separately, PG&E Corp. contacted major banks about financing that could help it work through a potential bankruptcy filing, Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.
* S&P Global Ratings lowered its rating on Panoche Energy Center's $321 million senior secured bonds due July 31, 2029, to B from BB, following its recent downgrade of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. The 400-MW gas-fired facility receives all of its revenue from the PG&E Corp. utility under a long-term power purchase agreement.
* Former Secretary of State John Kerry said in a tweet that President Trump needs to declare a national emergency over climate change instead of focusing on a "fictional" crisis like the construction of a border wall with Mexico. Kerry's tweet came in response to a New York Times article that oceans are heating up faster than previously thought.
* The U.S. House of Representatives vote to pass a bill to fund and reopen the U.S. Interior Department, Environmental Protection Agency and Forest Service, The Hill, in Washington, D.C. reported. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the Senate will not take up the measure for a vote until the border wall funding issue is settled.
* The U.S. is expected to add 10.9 GW of wind capacity, 7.5 GW of gas-fired capacity and 4.3 GW of solar capacity this year, the Houston Chronicle reported. Overall, the nation is expected to add 23.7 GW of new power capacity in 2019.
* Companies implementing a new international climate change reporting framework may find the heaviest lift involves crafting long-term scenario analyses of potential climate-related risks and opportunities, according to industry and climate disclosure experts.
* Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., along with three other Democrats colleagues, said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could be violating rules by tapping furloughed employees and redirecting resources toward for Andrew Wheeler’s nomination hearing while the agency is shut down.
* Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc. is partnering with Juwi Inc. to build the 100-MW Spanish Peaks solar facility in Las Animas County, Colo. Construction is expected to start in 2022, and the project is expected to enter operation in 2023.
* The Anadarko Basin of Oklahoma and Texas has thousands of unconventional oil and gas locations left to be tapped and may be home to biggest yet-to-be developed shale play in the country, according to a new report from IHS Markit.
* The Colorado Supreme Court is set to decide today whether to require the state Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to take into account environmental and health concerns before issuing drilling permits, The Denver Post reported.
* The head of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America said a U.S. Government Accountability Office audit that was critical of the Transportation Security Administration's oversight of U.S. pipelines' cybersecurity efforts does not mean the industry itself is not ready.
* Companies involved in Russia's Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline project could face U.S. sanctions under the "Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act," Reuters reported, citing the U.S. Embassy. Russia's PJSC Gazprom is working with Uniper SE, Wintershall AG, ENGIE SA, OMV AG and Royal Dutch Shell PLC to build the $11 billion project.
* The Haynesville Shale in east Texas and northwestern Louisiana is projected to reach "record heights," thanks to higher gas prices and LNG export terminals along the Gulf Coast, according to research firm Rystad Energy.
* S&P Global Market Intelligence-covered U.S. oil and gas companies raised just $256 million in December 2018, compared to the $2.30 billion of capital raised in November. All of the December capital was raised through joint venture and private equity deals.
* Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said the size of Saudi Arabian Oil Co.'s planned bond offering "will probably be in the 10 billion range," without specifying the currency, according to Reuters.
* OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo voiced concerns over the "lingering trade disputes" between the U.S. and China and its potential impact on major Asian markets that import a large amount of crude, CNBC reported.
* South Dakota state Sen. Troy Heinert wants state lawmakers to require TransCanada Corp. to pay into a state oil spill cleanup fund to address some of the concerns related to the Keystone XL oil pipeline project, the AP reported. Heinert also is a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.
* Epic Crude Pipeline LP urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to hurry on a request for approval of tariff and rate structure and other matters, saying any delay will hurt the schedule to build a crude oil pipeline connecting the busy Permian Basin production area to Texas terminals and the Port of Corpus Christi.
* Bankruptcy attorneys said there is little precedent for a federal judge's decision to reopen Alpha Natural Resources Inc.'s bankruptcy case, but the move is ultimately unlikely to negatively affect the coal producer and could actually provide some benefit.
* The U.S. Department of Energy modified a solicitation for conceptual designs for "coal-based power plants of the future" and extended the deadline for submitting a proposal by 10 days.
* A trade war between Beijing and Washington created anxiety over the chance that it might drive away natural gas buyers from a second generation of multibillion-dollar U.S. LNG export projects, but a paper from the Center for Strategic and International Studies suggested the role of China has been overstated.
New from RRA
* This week saw a respite from the volatility that had characterized the broad stock markets in several of the past weeks. Stocks generally rose, while utilities underperformed the broad measures.
The day ahead
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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