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BP to buy BHP's US shale assets for $10.5B; US coal production takes a dip


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BP to buy BHP's US shale assets for $10.5B; US coal production takes a dip

Top News

Analysts: BHP shale assets purchase to 'transform' BP's US foothold

BP PLC's purchase of BHP Billiton Group's shale assets will allow the global oil and gas major to "transform" its United States portfolio, according to analysts.

Trade fights could dampen US clean-energy enthusiasm, but not kill it

The multi-front trade war being waged by the U.S. ranks as the most significant policy challenge for the country's renewable energy industry under the Trump administration, according to industry insiders including Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners K/S Executive Director Will Demas.

Early data: US coal production takes a dip, but coal mine employment rising

Quarterly average U.S. coal mining employment is at the highest level since 2015 despite total coal production declining in the past three quarters, according to an analysis of available second-quarter coal mining data.

Chesapeake Energy to exit Utica Shale in $2B sale

Chesapeake Energy Corp. agreed to sell its entire operating position in the dry gas Utica Shale in Ohio for up to $2 billion to the privately held Encino Acquisition Partners LLC as it plans to pursue more oil-laden plays.

Murray Energy CEO: 'Zero' contact with former lobbyist now acting EPA chief

Murray Energy Corp. CEO Robert Murray said the media's focus on the coal lobbying past of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administration Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler is "very unfair" and he is staying away to avoid the appearance of any impropriety.


"You've got to be very careful once you initiate the war because all the things that you expect to happen, they don't happen, and all these new things happen that you didn't expect to happen," said Anthony Scaramucci, former White House Communications Director, on the unforeseen consequences of tariffs on imported steel and other goods.


* The decision by Texas regulators to reject cost recovery for the acquisition and construction of the 2,000-MW Wind Catcher Wind Farm may have been the death knell for what was hyped as the largest wind project in the U.S.

* The California Public Utilities Commission approved a settlement agreement tied to the closure of the San Onofre nuclear power plant that would save customers $750 million in the coming years, The Associated Press reported.

* Three Massachusetts electric utilities, NSTAR Electric Co., Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light Co. and National Grid USA, asked state regulators to approve recovery of the costs of power to be supplied by Hydro-Québec pursuant to 20-year contracts to be delivered over a proposed Maine power line.

* Four environmental groups have joined NV Energy Inc. in opposing a ballot initiative that would break up the Berkshire Hathaway Energy subsidiary's monopoly over retail electricity in the state.

* Cyberattacks on American energy systems have become unavoidable, and enough have been successful that the sector and its regulators are increasingly focused on mitigation, response and recovery.

* Wisconsin regulators have signed off on American Transmission Co. LLC's plan to build 345-kV transmission lines and a new substation to serve Foxconn Technology Group's flat-screen plant in Mount Pleasant, The Associated Press reported. The project is estimated to cost $117 million to $120 million.

Natural gas

* The highest-paid CEOs in the oil, gas and coal industries saw their pay packages increase considerably in 2017, including some of the biggest names in U.S. production, refining and oilfield services.

* Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said a proposed ballot measure concerning new oil and gas drilling in Colorado is "fundamentally unconstitutional" would be killed by the courts, The Denver Post reported. Initiative 97 would require new oil and gas operations to be at least 2,500 feet from homes.

* The Trump administration's move to impose 25% tariffs on European steel and Chinese goods could have a "multi-billion-dollar threat" on the U.S. energy industry, American Petroleum Institute Inc.'s outgoing President and CEO Jack Gerard told the AP in an interview.

* EQT Corp. anticipates holding up the start of service on the 300-mile Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline project until 2019 as construction delays continue from a court-ordered stay.

* Eagle LNG Partners has officially opened the Maxville LNG facility near Jacksonville Fla. The plant has a production capacity of 200 000 LNG gallons-per-day with a 1 million-gallon storage tank, according to a news release.


* Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball announced a framework agreement for the development of the Bay du Nord deepwater offshore oil project. The project is expected to be sanctioned in 2020, with first oil expected in 2025. The province will own a 10% stake in the project, which is expected deliver first oil in 2025.

* ConocoPhillips executives said that despite cost inflation, the company is not paring the drilling activity it had outlined to analysts in November 2017.

* The Canadian government's proposed acquisition of Kinder Morgan Inc.'s Trans Mountain pipeline system may need an approval from the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investments to close the transaction, The Globe and Mail reported.

* Epic Midstream Holdings LP's EPIC Crude Oil Pipeline has added Diamondback Energy Inc. as a strategic partner and signed other new primary shippers. Diamondback will have a capacity of 50,000 barrels of oil per day and an option to buy up to 5% of the equity in the pipeline by the first quarter of 2019.

* North Dakota Senate Majority Leader Rich Warder announced a proposal that calls for investing $280 million in infrastructure projects outside the state's oil patch, the AP reported.

* Bad bets on heavy crude prices caused Canadian oil sands producer Cenovus Energy Inc. to swing to a loss in the second quarter even as spot prices and production improved.


* The Public Service Commission of West Virginia issued orders against eight coal companies, including five with ties to West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, that violated state laws on coal transportation and have not paid the resulting fines.

* Cloud Peak Energy Inc. on July 26 reported a net loss of $29.9 million, or 39 cents per share, in the second quarter, compared with a loss of $6.9 million, or 9 cents per share, in the prior-year period.


Massachusetts and New Jersey solar renewable energy credit markets chopped around during the week ended July 26.

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New from RRA

* Given the relatively close proximity of Sempra Energy's June 28 asset sale announcement to its March 9, $9.45 billion acquisition of an 80% indirect ownership interest in Oncor Electric Delivery Co. LLC, one may reasonably conclude that the asset sale was part of a previously considered strategy and was predicated on/intertwined with its consummation of the Oncor acquisition.

The day ahead

* 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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