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PM Edition: Judge says Exxon did not dupe investors; Ontario revokes wind permit

Top News

NY judge rules Exxon Mobil did not mislead investors on internal carbon price

A judge with the New York State Supreme Court has ruled that the state's attorney general failed to prove Exxon Mobil Corp. misled investors about its use of an assumed price on carbon dioxide emissions in making investment decisions to account for long-term climate change risks.

Analysts expect OPEC+ production cut to tighten oil market, lift prices in Q1'20

Plans by OPEC+ members to further cut their crude oil production should support prices in the first quarter 2020, but a failure to extend the cuts beyond March 2020 and the possibility of a ramp-up in Saudi Arabia's oil output pose risk to full-year 2020 price support, analysts said. OPEC+ agreed to lower targeted production by an additional 500,000 barrels per day through the first quarter of 2020, with Saudi Arabia pledging to overcomply with its official target by about 400,000 bbl/d.

Ontario revokes permit for wind project already under construction

In Canada, Ontario Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks Jeff Yurek sided with a regional environmental group and pulled the plug on the under-construction 100-MW Nation Rise facility, citing the possibility of "irreversible harm" to endangered bat populations in the region. EDP Renewables Canada Ltd, one of the facility's owners, is considering legal action.

S&P cuts gas price forecast again, cites 'undisciplined' Permian flows

Natural gas coming from Permian Basin shale oil wells will continue to cripple the chances of any significant commodity price increase over the next three years, S&P Global Ratings said Dec. 6, as it cut its gas price assumptions for credit ratings for the third time this year. S&P clipped 25 cents/MMBtu from its 2020, 2021 and long-term price forecasts, lowering the price it assumes for credit ratings to $2.25/MMBtu, $2.50/MMBtu and $2.75/MMBtu, respectively.

Other energy headlines

* Europe saw its strongest year-over-year solar photovoltaic capacity growth in almost a decade in 2019. Additions were 104% higher in 2019 than in 2018, growing by a total of 16.7 GW. Spain emerged as the largest single market in the EU with an estimated 4.7 GW of new capacity.

* An ad hoc group of superpriority lenders denounced objections from the United Mine Workers of America union and Consol Energy Inc. in Murray Energy Corp.'s bankruptcy case, saying the two entities are seeking to second-guess the debtors. In its objection, the union said the debtors were seeking to "undermine and circumvent" the mandatory bargaining process by asking the court to approve predetermined bargaining outcomes.

* NorthWestern Corp. is proposing to acquire Puget Sound Energy Inc.'s 25% ownership stake in unit 4 of the coal-fired Colstrip power plant in Montana for $1, saying it would help cover a generation capacity shortage in the state. NorthWestern would own 55% of Colstrip unit 4 if the deal is approved. The company also pledged to cut down its carbon intensity in Montana by 90% from 2010 levels by 2045.

* Vår Energi AS has completed the previously announced acquisition of Exxon Mobil Corp.'s nonoperated assets in Norway for $4.5 billion, according to a Dec. 10 release from majority owner Eni SpA. The acquisition included fields operated by Equinor ASA that would add approximately 150,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day to the production of Vår Energi, which says that the deal makes it the second-largest exploration and production company in the Norwegian continental shelf.


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S&P Global Market Intelligence considers a solar project to be in advanced development when two of the following five criteria are met: financing is in place, a power purchase agreement is signed, panels are secured, required permits are approved or a contractor has signed on to the project.

Research and data

* Data Dispatch: US solar capacity additions slip a bit in Q3'19

* Data Dispatch: Northwest hydroelectric output in November up on month but still below normal

* RRA Regulatory Focus: Va. staff recommends well below average ROE for Kentucky Utilities

* RRA Regulatory Focus: Transmission rate base in non-RTO/ISO regions continues run of steady growth

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The S&P Global Market Intelligence news article headlined "S&P cuts gas price forecast again, cites 'undisciplined' Permian flows" may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.