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Oncor to buy InfraREIT for $1.28B; FERC offers new way to set transmission ROEs

Top News

Oncor strikes deal to acquire InfraREIT for $1.28B

Oncor Electric Delivery Co. LLC struck a deal to acquire InfraREIT Inc. for approximately $1.28 billion, or $21 per share, in a bid to expand its Texas regulated utility platform. Concurrently, Oncor parent Sempra Energy agreed to buy a 50% limited partnership interest in a holding company that will own Sharyland Utilities LP for approximately $98 million.

FERC lays out potential new policy for setting transmission ROEs

Federal regulators have proposed a new methodology for determining the appropriate return on equity for transmission owners in New England and possibly elsewhere.

Kinder Morgan has 'pivotal' quarter as it puts Trans Mountain woes behind it

Kinder Morgan Inc. had a pivotal quarter as the midstream giant put questions about the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion behind it and saw natural gas volumes pick up as power generation demand surged.

Proposal to export gas, coal from US military bases faces major obstacles

A proposal being considered by the Trump administration to use U.S. West Coast military installations for exporting coal and liquefied natural gas would face significant bureaucratic, economic and national security obstacles before it could become a reality.

Pipeline constraints, refinery turnarounds spark Canadian heavy crude plunge

A spate of refinery turnarounds and a chronically bottlenecked pipeline system sent prices for Canadian-produced crude tumbling, leading to speculation that some companies could start to slow output.

Quoted

"I'm not sure who thinks anything is shelved.... We're still talking about fuel-secure generation," Bruce Walker, assistant secretary heading the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Electricity, said in response to reports the White House had shelved a DOE proposal to rescue vulnerable coal and nuclear plants amid opposition from advisers on the National Security Council and National Economic Council.

Power

* Two incumbent Republicans are defending seats on the Georgia Public Service Commission this November, putting Georgia Power Co.'s steadfast regulatory support up in the air as Democratic hopefuls pledge to take a more skeptical approach to the company if elected.

* During President Donald Trump's first year in office, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions dropped by 2.7%, The Hill in Washington, D.C., reported, citing a new report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

* Both clean energy groups and large industrial companies are asking the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to reject the planned 550-MW Nemadji Trail natural gas-fired power plant in Douglas County, Wis., Midwest Energy News reported.

* The first advanced nuclear reactor design undergoing a regulatory review in a Western country has begun the final stage of its pre-licensing vendor design review in Canada.

* The Delta-Montrose Electric Association is considering a buyout of its contract with the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc. in a bid to increase the use of renewable energy sources, The Denver Post reported. To make this possible, the association voted to change its articles of incorporation.

* FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. is seeking the U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval for a $25 million bank deal to move forward with plans to separate with parent FirstEnergy Corp., Reuters reported.

* The Burleigh County Commission assumed permitting authority for Pure New Energy USA's proposed 300-MW wind farm in Morton Township, N.D., The Bismarck (N.D.) Tribune. All three Morton Township supervisors are participating landowners in the project, according to the report.

* EDF Group confirmed that it plans to begin construction of the Sizewell C nuclear power plant in the United Kingdom by 2021, the Financial Times reported.

Natural gas

* With the midterm elections approaching, the top gas distribution industry group is closely watching for a shifting congressional balance that could change federal lawmakers' pipeline safety priorities.

* Two more Canadian liquefied natural gas export projects could become a reality in the near future after the approval of the Royal Dutch Shell PLC-led LNG Canada project, the Calgary Herald reported. Pieridae Energy Ltd. expects to secure construction permits for its Goldboro LNG project in Nova Scotia, while Woodfibre LNG Ltd. is nearing a decision on its project in British Columbia.

* Dominion Energy Inc. has decided not to build a piece of the almost $150 million Eastern Market Access natural gas transportation project approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in January.

* Earthstone Energy Inc. agreed to acquire producing and non-producing oil and gas assets in the northern Midland Basin from Sabalo Holdings LLC for $950 million. The purchase price is subject to certain customary adjustments.

* Exxon Mobil Corp. is banking on China's increasing demand for liquefied natural gas for its plan to open its first import and storage hub, Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Oil

* Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke could exclude New Hampshire, Maryland, North Carolina, Maine, Oregon and Washington from the Trump administration's plan to expand the country's offshore oil and natural gas drilling, Reuters reported.

* MEG Energy Corp. is asking its shareholders to reject an unsolicited C$3.3 billion cash-and-stock buyout offer from Husky Energy Inc., saying the offer "significantly undervalues" the MEG shareholders' investments in the company.

* Saudi Arabian Oil Co. agreed to invest in a new refinery in China's Zhejiang province, according to Reuters.

* Wintershall Holding GmbH subsidiary Wintershall Norge AS received a drilling permit from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate to drill well 6706/6-2 S in production license 847 in the Norwegian Sea, according to an Oct. 17 release.

* Venezuela is making management changes at the state-owned oil company Petróleos de Venezuela SA, Reuters reported, citing industry sources.

Coal

* The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has decided to restart its environmental review of Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview LLC's proposed coal export project in Washington, according to The Associated Press.

* The strong export coal market boosted CSX Corp. in the third quarter, increasing the railroad's coal revenues by 14% over the year-ago period to $588 million and offsetting domestic utility weakness.

* Consol Energy Inc. reported coal production of 6.4 million tons from its three-mine Pennsylvania complex in the third quarter, down 17.0% compared to the prior quarter and 3.7% compared to a year ago.

ChartWatch

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Over-the-counter California carbon allowance prices were firm to slightly higher during the week ended Oct. 16 in overall lackluster trading activity.

The day ahead

* The U.S. Energy Information Administration's natural gas storage report is due out at 10:30 a.m. ET.

* Sempra and Oncor will hold a conference call at 12 p.m. ET to discuss their deals for InfraREIT and Sharyland Utilities.

* 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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