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EQM bets on continued Appalachian gas growth; US coal exports up 13.2% YOY


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EQM bets on continued Appalachian gas growth; US coal exports up 13.2% YOY

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EQM betting on continued Appalachian gas growth with $1B bolt-on

EQM Midstream Partners LP's planned $1.03 billion acquisition of gas gathering systems in the Appalachian Basin represents a departure from broader sector trends toward private equity investment in oil and gas assets, and some analysts are skeptical of whether EQM is getting its money's worth.

FirstEnergy Solutions to retain retail assets under amended reorganization plan

FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. has submitted an amended plan of reorganization that would allow the company to emerge from bankruptcy as a new legal entity owning retail assets and liabilities, while also creating a new holding company as the "ultimate corporate parent" of the reorganized debtors.

US coal exports rose 13.2% YOY in '18; Asia likely to drive 2019 seaborne demand

U.S. producers increased coal and petroleum coke exports 13.2% year over year in 2018, and several analysts said the industry's eyes should be on Asia for potential growth opportunities in 2019.

Judge rejects Exxon's plea to dismiss climate lawsuit involving oil terminal

A federal judge has largely rejected Exxon Mobil Corp.'s petition to dismiss a lawsuit by the Conservation Law Foundation that claims the company violated permit requirements for its oil terminal in Everett, Mass., by failing to account for climate change-related risks.


"We are going to ask our Republican colleagues to answer three simple questions... One, is climate change real? Two, is it caused by human activity? And three, should Congress do something about it?" Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed a motion that could set up a debate on a resolution over the Green New Deal.


* Exelon Corp. is supporting legislation in Illinois the company said would protect the state's clean energy programs from potential rule changes aimed at addressing the impact of state energy subsidies on the PJM Interconnection capacity market.

* The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff is weighing some of the nuclear power industry's requests, including a proposal to replace the agency's inspections with "self-reporting" by plant operators, according to The Associated Press.

* Environmental groups asked the U.S. Appeals Court for the D.C. Circuit to rethink a decision that could prevent states from using water quality certification to hold up federal energy project permitting, arguing that the decision could effectively exempt hydropower projects and natural gas pipelines from water quality standards.

* The Maryland Senate Finance Committee advanced a bill that would increase the required amount of energy from renewable resources, The Baltimore Sun reported. The bill also survived a committee vote in the state House.

* As part of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's first visit to the White House, Brazil expects to sign an accord with the U.S. to create a bilateral forum on energy cooperation, including investments by U.S. companies in new nuclear power plants, Bloomberg News reported.

* A judge sided with landowners in rejecting sPower's request for preliminary injunction to cut down trees and perform surveying work on private property to keep its proposed Seneca wind farm project on schedule, the Toledo (Ohio) Blade reported. SPower is known legally as FTP Power LLC.

Natural gas

* NiSource Inc. tapped former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to keep the company on track as it adopts a large-scale, long-term safety program in the wake of a series of deadly gas blasts and fires on its Massachusetts gas distribution system.

* A U.S. Forest Service analysis of the proposed drilling in the Ruby Mountains in northeast Nevada found that "there is little to no potential of oil and gas resources there," the AP reported.

* Enterprise Products Partners LP is counting on U.S. energy exports to anchor its growth plans and does not expect competition in the Gulf Coast to water down the world's interest in what the partnership has to offer.

* British Columbia's auditor general said decommissioning inactive wells and restoring oil and gas sites will cost operators C$3 billion.

* Executives working on various North American LNG export plants who gathered at CERAWeek by IHS Markit this week butted heads over the evolution of project financing models and how quickly liquefied natural gas is becoming a liquid commodity.

* Brett Huber, an adviser to Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy, said an analysis of the economic viability of a liquefied natural gas project in the state could be completed within the next two months, according to the AP.

* New York announced a $250 million clean energy investment program for Westchester County as a relief for businesses and residents affected by Consolidated Edison Inc. subsidiary Consolidated Edison Co. of New York Inc.'s decision to put new application for firm natural gas service on a waiting list beginning March 15.

* Three Republican senators reintroduced legislation to expedite approval of natural gas exports equal to or less than 51.1 Bcf per year.


* Royal Dutch Shell plc announced March 14 it has set short-term carbon emissions reduction targets for the first time ever.

* Mexico could release bidding documents for its first refinery in decades as soon as next week, the Houston Chronicle reported, citing Mexican Energy Minister Rocio Nahle.

* After demand fell in 2018, OPEC again trimmed its forecast for the call on its own crude oil this year, according to the organization's latest monthly analysis.

* BW Offshore AS agreed to acquire the remaining 30% of the Maromba field offshore Brazil for $25 million from Chevron Corp.

* Vancouver-based East West Petroleum Corp. announced that David Sidoo has stepped down as president and CEO after being named in a college admissions cheating scandal in the U.S.

* Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido plans to appeal an "overestimated" $8.75 billion award to ConocoPhillips for the confiscation of the company's Hamaca and Petrozuata heavy crude oil projects in 2007, Bloomberg News reported.


* Westmoreland Coal Co. said its subsidiary Westmoreland Coal Co. Asset Corp. accepted for purchase 182,448 Westmoreland Resource Partners LP common units in a tender offer, as of the expiration date of March 13.

* The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement adopted the U.S. Forest Service's supplemental final environmental impact statement to expand underground operation at Arch Coal Inc.'s West Elk Mine.

* Total U.S. coal production for the week ended March 9 fell 9.6% year over year to 13.2 million tons from 14.6 million tons, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.


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Michigan regulators are re-evaluating issues of safety and resilience across the state's energy systems after a fire that jeopardized reliable gas service for almost 2 million customers during a severe cold snap this winter.

New from RRA

* The New York Public Service Commission approved on March 14, a three-year joint proposal for Orange and Rockland Utilities Inc.'s electric and gas operations, covering the period Jan. 1, 2019, through Dec. 31, 2021.

The day ahead

* The Baker-Hughes rig count is due out today.

* Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher 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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