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Energy editors' picks: Enel sees higher renewable profits; Chevron's devaluation

S&P Global Market Intelligence editors' picks for the best stories for the week ended Dec. 13.

1. Petrochemical applications for federal clean energy program raise alarms

Two companies have applied under a federal clean energy program for a combined $3.9 billion in loan guarantees to back the construction of a pair of petrochemical facilities, sparking outcry among U.S. lawmakers who say the projects directly contradict the program's stated goals.

2. Chevron devaluation comes amid broader climate-related market impact concerns

Chevron Corp.'s recent devaluation of up to $11 billion in U.S. assets happened at a time when investors and analysts are questioning whether major oil and gas companies could have stranded assets in the future due to climate-related risks.

3. Chevron may struggle to find buyers for Appalachia shale gas assets

Analysts and investors were not surprised by Chevron Corp.'s recent disclosure that it is considering selling its Appalachian natural gas shale assets, but the major may be hard-pressed to find interested buyers since sluggish gas prices are not expected to recover any time soon, according to analysts.

4. Renewables giant Enel sees profits improving for green power

Over the past two decades, Enel SpA has leapfrogged many of its competitors to become one of the largest developers and operators of renewable energy in the world. Now, the Italian utility says sheer size, as well as surging demand for renewable energy from corporate consumers, will drive even greater returns in its green power business.

5. Private equity leaves midstream assets on the table as exit becomes difficult

Private equity firms have become more discerning buyers of midstream infrastructure in the risky market of 2019, and their reluctance to pounce on pipelines and other assets is expected to persist into the new year.