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DOE likely to bail out at-risk plants; Permian, Bakken production to grow

Top News

Conflicting outlooks emerge on action to save at-risk US coal, nuclear plants

Despite reports to the contrary, investment firm Morgan Stanley & Co. said a "significant probability" exists that the U.S. Department of Energy will issue an order to prop up merchant coal-fired and nuclear plants at risk of premature retirement.

Next round of US pipeline buildout will be difficult, Williams Cos. exec says

Construction of the next round of pipelines that would carry natural gas from U.S. supply basins to market will likely be more challenging and expensive than the build-out underway.

EIA sees oil, gas production surge through November in Permian, Bakken

No pipelines? More flaring? No problem. Despite the infrastructure-related obstacles now facing the Permian Basin, the play will continue to grow at a breakneck pace through November, according to the latest assessment from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Carbon capture braces for potential loss of Senate advocates in midterms

Though two top carbon capture advocates in Congress face tough re-election bids going into November, several industry representatives said they were not worried about the outcome of the races affecting legislative support for the technology.


"I have close to a million dollars in cash and I don't know where to put that," said Puerto Rican supermarket owner Juan Carlos Agosto Martínez, recalling what he said to his account manager at Popular Inc., the island's largest bank, after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico's banking system in September 2017.


* Building on its background developing renewables and natural gas-fired power plants, Chicago-headquartered Hecate Energy joined with London-based investment firm InfraRed Capital Partners to launch a new energy storage joint venture called Hecate Grid LLC that could compete with gas peaker projects in North America.

* The California Public Utilities Commission issued an $8 million citation to Southern California Edison Co. for violations of safety regulations following an electric incident that occurred in Twentynine Palms, Calif., in August 2015.

* Dominion Energy Inc., as promised, is seeking a second renewal of the operating licenses of its 1,750-MW Surry nuclear plant in Virginia that if granted would keep the reactors online beyond 2050.

* Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, donated $1 million to a ballot initiative in the Washington state that would impose a direct fee on carbon dioxide emissions, The Associated Press reported. Supporters of the measure have raised a total of $11 million, compared to $22 million raised by opponents.

* An affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources LLC signed a 15-year contract with Iron Mountain Inc., a provider of storage and information management services, for 145 MW of electricity from the Pretty Prairie wind farm in Reno County, Kan.

* The Southwest Research Institute broke ground on a 10-MW supercritical carbon dioxide facility. The institute is collaborating with Gas Technology Institute, GE Global Research and the U.S. Department of Energy/National Energy Technology Laboratory to build the $119 million project.

* Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter approved NextEra Energy Resources LLC's request to extend the deadline to reach an agreement with the U.S. Department of Defense on a mitigation plan regarding a wind farm along a route of airspace the military uses for training.

* Basin Electric Power Cooperative is facing a lawsuit from several workers at the 1,710-MW Laramie River Station in Wyoming over wages, the Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune reports.

Natural gas

* The California Public Utilities Commission has issued two citations totaling $5.05 million to Pacific Gas and Electric Co. for violations of natural gas regulations resulting from two separate incidents in 2016 and 2017.

* While growing U.S. shale oil and gas exports are helping to narrow the energy product trade gap, sustained crude oil imports that domestic refiners can handle still keep the country a net importer, according to federal government data.

* U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., along with 21 other Democrats urged the Trump administration to extend the public comment period for the proposed methane rule and provide a justification for modifying the current national standards.

* Riley Exploration-Permian LLC said it has postponed its planned initial public offering due to "unfavorable equity market conditions." The company said it will continue to evaluate the proposed offering as market conditions develop.

* Polish state-run Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo S.A. has contracted to purchase 2 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas from U.S.-based Venture Global LNG subsidiaries over a 20-year period to reduce Russian gas imports, The Financial Times reported. The deliveries are expected to begin in 2022.

* Los Angeles firefighters filed a lawsuit against Southern California Gas Co., saying the natural gas utility knowingly exposed them to dangerous levels of chemicals as they helped residents during the massive gas leak in 2015-2016 at the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility.

* French energy company Total SA and India's private conglomerate Adani Group signed an agreement to expand their natural gas and fuel retail activities in the South Asian country, including developing regasification LNG terminals and a retail network of 1,500 service stations over a period of 10 years.


* Talks between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait over two shared oil fields have broken down after months of promise, shutting in about 500,000 barrels per day of anticipated oil production for the foreseeable future, sources close to the projects told S&P Global Platts.

* The U.S. Bureau of Land Management approved ConocoPhillips' Greater Mooses Tooth 2 oil and gas project in Alaska. The company expects to begin construction of the project during the winter of 2018-2019 and expects the site to be in production for 30 years from 2020-2050.

* San-Antonio-headquartered oil and gas company SandPoint Resources LLC closed an equity commitment from Carnelian Energy Capital II LP, a fund managed by Carnelian Energy Capital Management LP.

* Japanese refiner Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd. has completed a deal to acquire Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. through a share swap deal worth more than an estimated ¥600 billion.

* The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the completion of a $16 million sediment cleanup of the former Zephyr oil refinery in Muskegon Township, Mich.

* Mexico's state-owned oil company, Petróleos Mexicanos SA de CV, sold $2 billion in 6.5% bonds to help fund its investments and meet certain debt obligations, the Financial Times reported. The company expects the transaction to strengthen its cash level for the year end and ensure liquidity for the start of 2019.


* Mission Coal Co. LLC took advantage of a down cycle in global metallurgical coal markets to snatch up U.S. mines from struggling coal companies, only to find the bargain mines fraught with issues that would force the company into its own bankruptcy only a few years later and potentially put those assets back on the market.

* Warrior Met Coal Inc. amended its revolving credit agreement to raise the borrowing limit by $25 million, to $125 million. The amendment also extended the credit facility's maturity date to Oct. 15, 2023, and decreased the interest rate margins for the loans and fees related to issuing letters of credit.


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Gas flows to Dominion Energy Inc.'s Dominion Energy Cove Point LNG LP liquefied natural gas plant bounced back as the facility began a return to operation following a scheduled outage for maintenance and inspection activities.

New from RRA

* A hearing examiner issued a proposed order recommending that the Delaware Public Service Commission approve a settlement in Delmarva Power & Light Co.'s pending gas distribution base rate case.

* On Nov. 6, Georgia citizens will head to the voting booths to select a new governor; voters will be asked to choose from among Republican Brian Kemp, Democrat Stacey Abrams and Libertarian Ted Metz, as to who will lead the state for the next four years.

The day ahead

* 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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