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AEP drops Wind Catcher project; Murray CEO says investors are 'well-protected'

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AEP drops Wind Catcher project after Texas rejection

American Electric Power Co. Inc. announced July 27 that it is canceling the $4.5 billion Wind Catcher Wind Farm based on the decision by Texas regulators to reject cost recovery for the acquisition and construction of the 2,000-MW project

American Midstream's investor backlash highlights frustration with MLPs

American Midstream Partners LP's 75% distribution cut and the brutal stock market reaction shine a spotlight on investors' frustration with the master limited partnership model to finance energy pipelines.

Murray Energy CEO says investors are 'well-protected' after refinancing

Murray Energy Corp. will continue to delever its businesses to weather the impact of shrunken domestic coal demand and has mitigated the potential consequences of a subsidiary's bankruptcy by finding new customers, Chairman, CEO and President Robert Murray said.

Exxon shares tumble 3.5% after Q2 earnings miss as output slumps to lows

Exxon Mobil Corp. shares tumbled in trading July 27 after adjusted second-quarter earnings fell far short of analysts forecasts, total production continued to wallow near multiyear lows and the company remained vague on potential share buy backs.


"American citizens understandably place their trust in the Forest Service to protect and preserve this country's forests, and they deserve more than silent acquiescence to a pipeline company's justification for upending large swaths of national forestlands," said a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit that vacated U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management decisions that allowed the Mountain Valley gas pipeline project to cross national forest land.


* The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is planning to issue a proposed replacement rule for the Clean Power Plan by early fall and finalize the rule by early 2019, the agency told a federal court.

* Environmental group Food and Water Watch claims in a new study that Maryland's clean energy policy is "cleanwashing" dirty sources of energy, such as a paper-making byproduct known as black liquor, as renewable, The Baltimore Sun reported.

* Renewable energy developers are protesting a plan by the Midcontinent ISO to revert to its old rules allowing transmission owners to unilaterally decide to fund interconnection-related transmission upgrades, saying it is unfair and would increase costs for developers.

* Although acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler is also pursuing regulatory agenda like his predecessor Scott Pruitt, he is taking a more disciplined approach to make sure they stick, The New York Times reported.

* Separately, an ethics official at the EPA is defending Wheeler for his series of meetings with former lobbying clients, after several House Democrats called for a probe into those meetings, The Hill in Washington, D.C., reported.

* Germany's state-owned investment bank KfW has decided to temporarily acquire a 20% interest in one of the country's largest grid operators to block a proposed acquisition by a Chinese firm, according to Bloomberg News.

* The Arkansas Public Service Commission has ordered eight investor-owned utilities operating in the state to submit plans on how they will pass federal tax reform savings to ratepayers, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

* The Colorado Public Utilities Commission is requiring Black Hills Energy to develop and submit a time-of-use rate plan for Pueblo residential customers by Oct. 1, The Pueblo (Colo.) Chieftain reported.

Natural gas

* Williams Cos. Inc. and KKR & Co. struck a deal to acquire Discovery DJ Services LLC from TPG Growth for approximately $1.17 billion. Discovery is a Dallas-based provider of natural gas and oil gathering and natural gas processing services in the southern portion of Colorado's DJ Basin. Separately, Williams Partners LP agreed to sell its Four Corners area assets in New Mexico and Colorado to Hilcorp Energy Co. affiliate Harvest Midstream Co. for approximately $1.13 billion.

* President Donald Trump's pledge to send more U.S. shale gas cargoes to Europe will still have to come face-to-face with market realities about LNG contracting and governments' lack of capacity to dictate trade, several industry experts said.

* Southcross Energy Partners LP has terminated its merger deal with American Midstream Partners LP that would have formed a $3.0 billion partnership.

* NextEra Energy Inc. announced it has completed the acquisition of Florida City Gas, which serves approximately 110,000 residential and commercial natural-gas customers from Southern Co. The transaction is part of a $6.48 billion deal that would expand NextEra's regulated footprint and address Southern's equity need.

* Years ago, the Utica Shale was big-spending Aubrey McClendon's last big bet as CEO of Chesapeake Energy Corp. Now the increasingly frugal company has announced plans to sell out of the play as part of $2 billion agreement with a Houston startup.

* The Oregon Supreme Court ruled that the permit granted by the state Department of State Lands to allow dredging of the port of Coos Bay for the proposed Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas export terminal is valid, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

* Additional review indicates that Nikiski is still a better site than Port MacKenzie for the proposed Alaska LNG project, according to the Alaska Journal of Commerce.


* Despite expected tailwinds, Phillips 66 executives said they would maintain their long-term capital allocation strategy following a quarter during which the company more than doubled earnings year over year to beat Wall Street's expectations.

* The OPEC production deal may be end soon, as Russia hinted that a coalition of producers could boost oil more than what was agreed, The Wall Street Journal reported.

* Separately, the Journal reports that big oil companies are looking more on new digital technologies to open resources instead of deeper and more complex wells in a bid to they keep costs in check.

* The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is offering 144 parcels, or approximately 295,174 acres, in its September oil and gas lease sale in Eureka, White Pine, Nye, Lincoln and Elko counties, Nev.

* BP PLC is receiving profits from its shale business for the first time thanks to the "crystal ball" oilfield technology, which has helped in cutting production costs by 34% over five years, Reuters reported.

* Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said his government will invest 160 billion pesos to build a new oil refinery located in the southern state of Tabasco over the next three years, Reuters reported July 27.


* Cloud Peak Energy Inc. cited the impact of heavy rains as a primary reason for reduced shipments from its Antelope mine during a quarter that saw a nearly $30 million income hit for the company.

* Peabody Energy Corp. commenced solicitations of consents to amend the indenture governing its 6% senior secured notes due 2022 and 6.375% senior secured notes due 2025. The consent solicitations will expire at 5 p.m. ET on Aug. 10.

* Coal producer Alliance Resource Partners LP increased its cash distribution for the second quarter to 52 cents per unit, representing a 1% increase over the previous quarter. Alliance Resource Partners reported second-quarter net income attributable to the partnership of $86.2 million, a 36.3% increase over the prior quarter.


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Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy executives insisted that the company will not pass along rising increased costs from U.S. steel tariffs to wind turbine customers.

New from RRA

* Lawmakers filed comments urging the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to not preclude "at risk" entities such as the Millstone nuclear plant from being considered for their zero-carbon environmental and other attributes prior to 2023.

The day ahead

* Alliance Resource Partners LP will hold its second-quarter 2018 earnings call at 10 a.m. ET.

* Early morning futures indicators pointed to a mixed 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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