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Energy, editors' picks: Brexit turmoil could benefit US midstream players; coal CEO pay stable despite industry woes

SNL Energy editors' picks forthe best stories for the week ended July 8.


subsidiaryMidAmerican Energy trying to persuade Iowa regulators that requirements supported by , and — companies withinterests in energy-intensive data centers — could block one of the largestproposed renewable energy projects in the state, MidAmerican's Wind XIfacility, according to filings with the Iowa Utilities Board.


Forcoal companies with available data, most reduced compensation given to theirtop executive in 2015, a year many in the sector struggled under a confluenceof market and regulatory pressures and began or ended a bankruptcy. According to an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysisof 2015 coal company compensation, ForesightEnergy LP's former CEO Michael Beyer earned the top option-adjustedcompensation in 2015 at $7.9 million. CONSOLEnergy Inc., also a major natural gas producer, paid its CEO $7.8million.


TheUnited Kingdom's departurefrom the EU is likely to hold some benefit for the U.S. midstream oil and gassector, whose dividend performance attracts yield-focused investors if interestrates stay low, market observers and participants said. Elevated levels ofpost-Brexit uncertainty will keep the federal funds rate low, said TortoiseCapital Advisors LLC Managing Director Rob Thummel.


SNLEnergy explores the situation for oil-field services companies on the wrongside of a commodity price cycle: When drilling dries up, so does cash flow. Andbecause it happens to a lot of operators at once, there are more sellers than buyersfor all the surplus gear. "Companies I deal with that were selling $10million of goods per month are now selling $250,000 per month," said DerekAbbott, president of now-defunct Texas Shaped Metals.


Fallingnatural gas prices continue to weigh on power values across the , withaverage prices in the second quarter marking a near 50% drop in value comparedto the spring of 2014. Natural gas at the Panhandle Hub March through May averaged$1.68/MMBtu, down more than 30% compared to $2.46/MMBtu in spring 2015 and down64% compared to $4.66/MMBtu in spring 2014.