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EPA's bid to scrap mercury finding probed; coal frets over grid reliability

European Energy Insights February 2021

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Global M&A Infographic Q1 2021

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Q1 2021 Global Capital Markets Activity: SPAC IPOs, Issuance in Consumer Discretionary Sector Surge

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COVID-19 Impact & Recovery: Private Equity


EPA's bid to scrap mercury finding probed; coal frets over grid reliability

Top News

House committee digs into US EPA's bid to scrap mercury finding for power plants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's move to revoke the legal basis for the Obama-era Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, or MATS, rule would create years of unnecessary uncertainty for an industry that has already complied with the regulation, a former EPA official said.

Midstream stock prices stuck waiting for catalyst amid financial outperformance

Stock prices across the pipeline sector are stuck in a holding pattern despite robust financial performance and consistent efforts to de-risk business models and balance sheets.

Oil, gas sectors see Canada, Mexico deal on tariffs as positive shift

The Trump administration's agreement to lift 25% tariffs on steel imports from Canada and Mexico is a positive step for oil and gas infrastructure projects that will also help avoid disruptions to interconnected supply chains, oil and gas industry representatives said.

Coal frets over grid reliability, resilience as its customers embrace transition

As the U.S. coal fleet shrinks, stakeholders in the future of the fuel continue to push concerns about reliability and resilience of the nation's electricity grid.

Quoted

"If you have tax incentives on one side and you take [them] away on the other side, that's not a level playing field," said Sen. Angus King, I-Maine during a May 21 hearing in the U.S. Senate that questioned whether the U.S. Congress should revive or extend certain renewable energy tax breaks as costs for the technology have fallen, pointing out that long-standing tax breaks for fossil fuels remain in place.

Power

* Women from fossil fuel, financial, technology and other sectors have joined the boards of some of the biggest U.S. power companies over the past year, according to corporate reports.

* The South Carolina legislature approved guidelines for the possible sale of the state-owned utility Santee Cooper, The Associated Press reported.

* The U.S. House Appropriations Committee advanced a $46.4 billion bill for investments on energy and water programs, despite President Donald Trump's request to curb spending, The Hill in Washington, D.C., reported.

* Portuguese utility EDP - Energias de Portugal SA and French energy group Engie SA are combining their offshore wind power businesses in an ambitious bid to catch up to the largest developers in the sector in a matter of years.

* Private solar energy developer Ranger Power plans to build the "Speedway Solar" project in Indiana for $175 million, the AP reported. Construction on the solar facility is slated to begin in 2022 with expected completion in 2023.

* The Montana Land Board voted to approve a lease for Clenera LLC's proposed $150 million solar project, the Montana Standard reported. The project could be the largest in the state with a planned capacity of 120 MW.

Natural gas

* A group of 52 environmental organizations is working to head off the possibility of federal legislation that could help Dominion Energy Inc. free the Atlantic Coast pipeline from some of the legal tangles that have blocked construction.

* Subsidiaries of Sempra Energy and Saudi Arabian Oil Co. entered into a nonbinding agreement that may lead to a 20-year LNG supply deal for Sempra's Port Arthur LNG export project and a 25% equity investment in the project's first phase.

* Energy Transfer LP has been accused of ruining streams and soiling wetlands while building natural gas and liquids pipelines in Pennsylvania, and now a customer has claimed the pipeline giant put it out of business.

* Wyoming is pushing forward to merge its infrastructure and pipeline authorities into a single state Energy Authority, the Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune reported.

* The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has admitted that the permit granted to Enbridge Inc.'s Weymouth gas compressor was based on incomplete data, according to the State House News Service.

Oil

* QEP Resources Inc. has been on the market for three months with limited interest, a company up for sale in an environment where oil and gas M&A activity is being frowned upon. There are new rumors of serious suitors for the Denver-based producer, but analysts are divided on just how seriously to take those rumors.

* Chinese companies have stopped buying crude oil from U.S. exporters after the Trump administration imposed a 25% tariff on Chinese goods worth $200 billion, Reuters reported, citing Enterprise Products Partners LP CEO Jim Teague.

* Weatherford International PLC is hoping reorganization under Chapter 11 bankruptcy will give the beleaguered company the leg up it needs to regain its position among the top international oilfield service providers, but analysts said more drastic action might be needed.

* The British Columbia Utilities Commission has been tasked to investigate the high prices of gasoline in the province, according to The Canadian Press. The investigation could have oil company representatives testifying.

* Carbon Engineering Ltd. and an Occidental Petroleum Corp. subsidiary are moving forward with the engineering and design of a direct air capture and sequestration facility in the Permian Basin. The facility is intended to capture 500 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide, which would be used in Occidental's enhanced oil recovery operations and subsequently stored underground permanently.

* U.S. shale oil production is on track to grow 16% to 1.1 million to 1.2 million barrels per day in 2019, energy research firm Rystad Energy said.

* TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Co. and Schlumberger are collaborating to develop opportunities to co-invest in additional multiclient ocean-bottom node projects in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

Coal

* After nearly collapsing a few years ago, metallurgical coal markets are in a strong position once again and there seems to be a near-term floor on seaborne prices, said J.P. Richardson, vice president of operations for Metinvest BV subsidiary United Coal Co. LLC.

* Florida utility JEA is seeking bids for 35,000 short tons plus or minus 10% of coal for its Northside Generating Station in Jacksonville.

ChartWatch

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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff authorized exports of initial LNG volumes produced as Sempra Energy-led Cameron LNG LLC completes commissioning work on the first natural gas liquefaction train of its Louisiana facility.

New from RRA

* PJM Interconnection received approval from FERC to implement a new variable resource requirement curve for the upcoming capacity auction for reliability year 2023-24, currently scheduled for August.

The day ahead

* The U.S. Energy Information Administration petroleum status report is due out today.

* 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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