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Energy editors' picks: A look back at Exxon-XTO deal; coal demand stable

S&P Global Market Intelligence editors' picks for the best stories for the week ended Dec. 20.

1. 'How not to do M&A': A look back at Exxon's deal for XTO 10 years later

In 2009, Exxon Mobil Corp. struck an agreement to acquire XTO Energy Inc. in a $41 billion deal known as the shale industry's biggest merger and one of Exxon's most expensive missteps. A decade later, even Rex Tillerson — then the chairman and CEO of Exxon — admitted that "we probably paid too much."

2. Global shortage of installation vessels could trouble waters for offshore wind

Towering 260 meters into the ocean skies and boasting generating capacity of a record 12 MW each, General Electric Co.'s Haliade-X wind turbines are set to enter commercial use in 2021. But the deployment of the world's largest machines — and those that will follow — could be hampered by a global shortage of shipping vessels capable of installing the next era of megaturbines out at sea.

3. IEA: Global coal demand to remain stable through 2024

Global coal power generation is expected to decline in 2019, but that is unlikely the start of a lasting trend as demand for the fuel will remain stable due to rising demand in India and other Asian countries offsetting declines in the United States and Europe, wrote the International Energy Agency in its latest analysis of coal markets.

4. Mass. gas bans unlikely to survive legal challenge, solicitors warn

Boston-area lawmakers are forging ahead with legislation prohibiting natural gas in new buildings despite legal opinions that the ordinances will probably not survive widely anticipated lawsuits.

5. Technology companies push for more renewables in Virginia

Technology firms are buying more than half the solar-generated electricity produced in Virginia, and a state official expects the industry to drive increasing demand for clean energy resources.