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In This List

PG&E urged to reform shutoff program; Cloud Peak seeks nod for Chapter 11 plan

Q2: U.S. Solar and Wind Power by the Numbers

Essential Energy Insights - September 17, 2020

Essential Energy Insights September 2020

Rate case activity slips, COVID-19 proceedings remain at the forefront in August


PG&E urged to reform shutoff program; Cloud Peak seeks nod for Chapter 11 plan

Top News

Calif. governor and regulators demand PG&E act to avoid future power disruptions

In response to a directive from Gov. Gavin Newsom, California's top utility regulator ordered Pacific Gas and Electric Co. to take multiple actions to ensure mistakes in its interactions with customers are not repeated in the aftermath of the utility's widespread proactive power shutoff to keep its equipment from starting wildfires.

US Supreme Court lets stand FERC rates for Transco gas pipeline expansions

The North Carolina Utilities Commission has failed to get the U.S. Supreme Court's help in its drive to challenge Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC's interstate natural gas pipeline expansions on the grounds that the projects negatively affected North Carolina.

ConocoPhillips' latest asset sale could kick off major Australian M&A

ConocoPhillips' agreement to sell oil and gas assets in northern Australia for $1.39 billion not only advances the company's plan to focus on its North American foothold but could also kick off a wave of upstream M&A across Australia, analysts say.

Cloud Peak urges claim holders to approve Chapter 11 plan or face impacts

Cloud Peak Energy Inc. is urging its claim holders eligible to vote on its Chapter 11 restructuring plan to approve the proposal, highlighting the financial repercussions of a failed vote that may result in a liquidation.

Quoted

"If natural gas becomes the next coal, that's going to be a real challenge," said Charlie Riedl, executive director of industry trade group Center for Liquefied Natural Gas, at the Gulf Coast Energy Forum in New Orleans on the policy headwinds facing the LNG industry.

Power

* With an eye on further mitigating the risk that future defaults in the financial transmission rights market could pose to market participants, the Midcontinent ISO proposed adding minimum collateral and mark-to-auction provisions to its financial transmission rights credit collateral requirements.

* The Maryland Department of the Environment released a draft plan to achieve climate goals. The plan calls for 100% clean electricity by 2040 and continued participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. The agency said the plan would result to a 44% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

* FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. expects to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection before the end of the year as the judge overseeing the case signals he will approve the company's reorganization plan.

* Duke Energy Carolinas LLC is suing NTE Energy for breach of contract over a connection agreement for the latter's 500-MW Reidsville Energy Center in Rockingham County, N.C., the Charlotte Business Journal reported.

* Anne Pramaggiore has stepped down as senior executive vice president of Exelon Corp. and CEO of Exelon Utilities on Oct. 15. She will also leave the board of Commonwealth Edison Co.

* New York statewide emissions have dropped as much as 95% since 1990 despite strong energy demand and increase in natural gas usage, according to Consumer Energy Alliance's analysis of U.S. government data.

* An analysis by University College London researchers shows that the U.S. "green economy" is now generating about $1.31 trillion in annual revenue, Bloomberg News reported.

Natural gas

* Contenders to be the Democratic Party's nominee for U.S. president have outlined varying paths away from fossil fuels and toward a greener economy, some of which include some form of a hydraulic fracturing ban. While such a policy would affect a significant chunk of the nation's economy if enacted, not all oil and gas companies would feel it equally, a study by Canadian investment bank RBC Capital Markets concludes.

* South Carolina regulators fined Dominion Energy Inc. for letting a sediment run off a natural gas pipeline project in the state, The State of Columbia, S.C., reported.

* NiSource Inc. appointed Nick Stavropoulos as Columbia Gas of Massachusetts' chief safety adviser, a new senior role at the utility subsidiary, in light of recent safety issues that include a deadly series of fires and explosions in 2018.

* The European Investment Bank deferred a decision on whether to stop providing funding to all fossil fuel projects or at least allow lending to gas projects for a period, according to Reuters.

* The British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office asked Chevron Corp. and Woodside Petroleum Ltd. to provide details on the potential environmental impact of their Kitimat LNG project, The Globe and Mail reported.

* Salt Creek Midstream LLC started up a second cryogenic processing plant with a capacity of 200 MMcf/d at its Pecos, Texas, facility.

Oil

* The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Oct. 15 released details of a proposal to account for waivers granted to small refineries when setting biofuel blending targets under the Renewable Fuel Standard that underwhelmed ethanol advocates and perturbed the petroleum industry.

* Parsley Energy Inc.'s agreed-upon $2.27 billion merger with Jagged Peak Energy Inc. is drawing reactions from across the spectrum from industry analysts, with some strongly supporting the move and others wondering what motivated Parsley to undertake such a transaction.

* An ARB Midstream LLC subsidiary is expanding its crude oil gathering and transportation system in the DJ Basin in northeastern Colorado. The Badger Pipeline started receiving crude oil this October.

* Suncor Energy Inc. increased its participation in Enerkem Inc., a waste-to-biofuels and chemicals producer, with a C$50 million equity investment.

* Nigerian company Seplat Petroleum Development Co. PLC agreed to acquire Eland Oil & Gas PLC for approximately £382 million in cash.

* Banks serving as Saudi Arabian Oil Co. advisers for its planned initial public offering may share a feel pool of as much as $450 million, Bloomberg News reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

Coal

* The worst could be over for U.S. metallurgical coal producers as the global market may have hit bottom, at least for now, according to Seaport Global Securities LLC analyst Mark Levin.

* Peabody Energy Corp. will close its Arclar coal complex in Illinois on Dec. 14 due to "uneconomic mining conditions," The Southern Illinoisan reported, citing a company statement.

ChartWatch

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U.S. oil and gas companies covered by S&P Global Market Intelligence raised about $10.85 billion of capital in September, dropping from the roughly $23.14 billion raised in August. Debt offerings accounted for almost all of the September capital raises.

New from RRA

* The Arizona Corporation Commission staff and Residential Utility Consumer Office are recommending that the commission significantly scale back an electric rate increase sought by Tucson Electric Power Co. in a pending rate case.

The day ahead

* Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower 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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