In Utah, real-estate mogul bets on virtual power plants
Dell Loy Hansen, CEO of Wasatch Property Management Inc., has built a $4 billion real-estate empire across the western U.S. Now he is building a solar- and battery-powered apartment complex in Utah that utility Rocky Mountain Power will use as a grid resource.
Resolution to halt South Jersey Gas pipeline project fails at NJ commission
A New Jersey commission voted down a resolution to prevent South Jersey Gas Co.'s Cape Atlantic Reliability pipeline from proceeding, while also rejecting calls from environmental groups to bar the project's developer from filing a new application.
2020 may be defining year for shale producers, Barclays says
Independent producers capable of generating consistent free cash flow may earn back the trust of investors in 2020, while those struggling to generate cash flow could be in serious trouble, Barclays said in a recent report.
More than a third of western US coal mine land left unreclaimed, report says
More than one-third of all land mined for coal in the western U.S., equating to about 150,000 acres or 234 square miles, remains unreclaimed after nearly 50 years of mining, according to a new report from the Western Organization of Resource Councils.
"I would predict that, if you reach the point where you're going to have two plans in front of Judge [Dennis] Montali, there can be a global agreement where bondholders agree to support the shareholder plan if they are allowed to provide financing for the shareholder plan," Jared Ellias, a law professor at the University of California's Hastings College of the Law, said as PG&E Corp. and utility subsidiary Pacific Gas and Electric Co. enter their second year of bankruptcy reorganization.
* Brookfield Renewable Partners LP made a non-binding proposal to acquire all of TerraForm Power Inc.'s outstanding class A common shares that it does not already own. The proposal values TerraForm Power at $17.31 per class A common share, representing an 11% premium to its closing share price on Jan. 10.
* As the deadline approaches for power suppliers to decide if they will participate in ISO New England's capacity auction to be held in 2021, the grid operator has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to grant market participants some flexibility to account for an expected fuel security proposal that could have substantial impact on market revenues and costs.
* Wholesale electricity prices in major hubs in the U.S. were relatively low in 2019 than 2018, except for Electric Reliability Council of Texas Inc. where record electricity demand paved way for higher prices, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
* The U.S. utility sector will remain a stock buyers' market in 2020, but it may be approaching the end of high valuations among electric and gas utilities, according to a sector outlook from Guggenheim Securities LLC.
* Exelon Corp. will need to continue operating its Mystic River 8 and 9 units in Boston under a cost-of-service agreement through the 2023-2024 capacity commitment period after federal regulators rejected an amendment the company had proposed.
* The share of renewables in the global power mix should increase to 57% from the current share of 26% to advance the global energy transformation and achieve a pathway to climate safety, the International Renewable Energy Agency said in a report.
* Uniper SE is planning to open a new coal-fired power plant in Germany even though the country trails behind other European nations in transitioning away from coal generation, Bloomberg News reported.
* Environmental advocates want the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reject an in-service extension request by PennEast Pipeline Co. LLC and have asked a federal appeals court to allow them to reopen a challenge to the company's 1.1-Bcf/d natural gas transportation project.
* Eagle LNG Partners LLC selected Matrix Service Inc. to build a liquefied natural gas export facility in Jacksonville, Fla. The facility is estimated to cost approximately $500 million and will have a production capacity of approximately 1.65 million LNG-gallons per day with 12 million LNG-gallons of storage plus a marine terminal and truck-loading capabilities.
* Parsley Energy Inc. closed its $2.27 billion acquisition of fellow Permian Basin oil and gas producer Jagged Peak Energy Inc. after obtaining approval from its shareholders.
* Natural gas use in the U.S. rose by 10% during the week ended Jan. 8 as seasonally cold temperatures persist, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its "Natural Gas Weekly Update."
* Exxon Mobil Corp. is in the process of selling its Equatorial Guinea oil assets and a Russian oil company could be interested in buying them, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing Equatorial Guinea oil minister Gabriel Obiang Lima.
* The White House released a proposed rule to speed federal reviews of pipeline and other infrastructure projects under the National Environmental Policy Act, delving into disputed areas of law and appearing to constrain federal agency consideration of climate change impact indirectly associated with oil and natural gas projects.
* After falling by nine the week prior, the combined oil and gas rig count in the U.S. tumbled by 15 to total 781 rigs during the week ended Jan. 10, according to the latest Rotary Rig Count released by Baker Hughes Co.
* U.S. shale oil supplies helped simmer down U.S.-Iran tensions, Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources Francis Fannon told Bloomberg News in an interview.
* Saudi Arabian Oil Co. on Jan. 12 announced the exercise of its overallotment option of 450,000,000 additional shares, resulting in aggregate initial public offering proceeds of $29.4 billion.
* Lundin Petroleum AB cut its contingent resource estimate for the Alta discovery and does not plan to pursue a standalone development of the Alta and nearby Gohta discoveries.
* Almost half of U.K.'s 158 public universities have decided to pull investments out of fossil fuel companies, The Guardian reported.
* China's 2020 oil demand could be half of what it imported in 2019, Bloomberg News reported, citing China National Petroleum Corp.'s researchers.
* West Virginia coal producers hope to push more policies favorable to the fuel in the state's legislative session this year, including laws to encourage in-state consumption of the fuel, spark the development of alternative coal uses and lower the industry's tax burden.
* Murray Energy Corp. received bankruptcy court approval for a bidding process to sell the company's assets.
* Siemens AG has decided to continue the supply of signaling systems to Adani Carmichael coal mine project in Australia despite opposition from environmental groups.
* State-owned Coal India Ltd. may hinder Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's efforts to open new coal mines for auctions, Bloomberg News reported.
With oil and gas midstream project spending set to begin declining in 2020, the sector's companies need to carefully prioritize how they use their excess cash when it comes to lowering debt, stabilizing investor payouts and conducting share buybacks, energy industry analysts at Bernstein said.
New from RRA
* For the third consecutive week, utilities lagged the broader market measures. Through midday Friday, the Dow Jones Utility Average was up 1.1%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 1.2% and 2.2%, respectively.
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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