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Microgrids serving load growth in oilfields; West Elk mine expansion gets OK


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Microgrids serving load growth in oilfields; West Elk mine expansion gets OK

Top News

Permian Basin producers turn to private builders for electric infrastructure

Oil and gas companies are turning to alternative providers to meet their growing needs for electric infrastructure in the Permian Basin, building so-called microgrids to serve unprecedented load growth in the West Texas oilfields.

CEOs of 2 big US oil, gas producers vow to rebuild investors' trust

The CEOs of two large independent producers said they know the "winning formula" to bringing investors back to the oil and gas patch: disciplined budgets that can generate free cash flow at low energy prices that can be returned to shareholders. The question they have is whether other producers will leave the wildcatter mentality behind the next time oil prices rise.

Federal agency approves 1,720-acre expansion to West Elk coal mine in Colorado

The U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement approved a 1,720-acre expansion to Arch Coal Inc.'s West Elk mine in Colorado.

OPEC cancels April meeting on steady market outlook

OPEC and its allies will leave the market waiting until close to the expiry of their supply accord in June to learn whether their 1.2 million barrels per day in oil production cuts will be extended into the second half of the year.


"This proposal might seem so extreme that you don't want to take it seriously, and you might not think that anyone else would either. That would be a mistake on our part. Today the Green New Deal is endorsed by more than 100 members of Congress and at least six major presidential candidates," American Fuel and Petrochemicals Manufacturers President and CEO Chet Thompson said on the new reality facing industry and politicians on public opinions toward climate change.


* As solar suppliers worldwide expand their collective installed capacity from about 500,000 MW entering 2019, the industry must prevent a growing waste stream associated with billions of aging panels from eclipsing their environmental benefits, according to Andreas Wade, First Solar Inc.'s global sustainability director.

* The Baltimore City Council is looking at blocking the sale of the 700-mile underground conduit system, which contains telephone, electric and fiber-optic cables, The Baltimore Sun reported. Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. is the largest user of the system.

* The U.S. SEC has sided with an energy company's request to block a pro-renewables resolution. It also has allowed a measure by the co-founder of a pro-coal campaign targeting two other utilities for their climate-related efforts.

* NorthWestern Corp. has been accused by the Montana Public Service Commission staff of trying to undermine the state's ability to protect ratepayers, the Billings (Mont.) Gazette reported. The staff cited NorthWestern's push for a bill to stop the PSC from setting the contract length for power purchase agreements.

* A proposed policy to reduce carbon emissions in New York could result to higher costs and the possible closure of Covanta Holding Corp.'s three waste-to-energy power plants, Newsday reported.

* Ascent Solar Technologies Inc. has engaged Fidelity Equity Partners LLC to assist with its plans to drive shareholder value and deliver overall corporate advisory.

Natural gas

* For the second month in a row, oil and gas operators in North Dakota's Bakken Shale managed to grow natural gas production while lowering the volume of gas flared.

* Records show that North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper talked to Duke Energy Corp. CEO Lynn Good days before his administration issued permits for the Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline project, The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer reported.

* Producers in the Permian Basin would be delighted to see more LNG export capacity developed on the Gulf Coast and elsewhere to take their associated gas. U.S. exporters appear happy to help, but the relief could take a while.

* The Oregon House of Representatives passed a bill that imposes a 10-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing to explore oil and natural gas in the state.

* Texas Eastern Transmission LP secured approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to commence service on the Texas Eastern system portion of its 322,000-Dth/d Stratton Ridge natural gas expansion project.

* S&P Global Ratings downgraded Legacy Reserves LP to CCC-, following the partnership's announcement that it has hired advisers to review potential strategic alternatives.

* Bill Moler has been named president of Tallgrass Energy LP in addition to his current role as COO.


* Data is not a true commodity, but as the fuel of a massive digital transformation it has to remain open and transparent, used and reused, in order to provide the energy industry with its greatest opportunities, a panel of experts said March 12 at CERAWeek by IHS Markit.

* Alberta is increasing oil production limits by 25,000 barrels a day in May and 25,000 more in June. "This temporary policy has been critical to reducing the oil price differential while we move ahead with our medium-term plan to ship more oil by rail and lead the long-term charge for new pipelines as we fight to get full value for the resources owned by all Albertans," said Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.

* Moody's upgraded Continental Resources Inc.'s corporate family rating to Ba1 from Ba2 on expectations that the independent oil and natural gas exploration company will continue to generate free cash flow and reduce debt in 2019.

* Norway-based oil and gas major Equinor ASA hiked its production of renewable energy in 2018 to nearly 1,300 GWh as its carbon intensity was 9 kilograms of carbon dioxide per barrel, it said in its 2018 Sustainability Report released March 15.

* Mexico is limiting participation in the bidding process for a new Petróleos Mexicanos SA de CV refinery to four foreign companies, the Houston Chronicle reported.

* Inpex Corp. won an onshore block, covering a surface area of approximately 6,116 square kilometers, in Abu Dhabi National Oil Co.'s first competitive bid round for new licensing opportunities to explore, develop and produce oil and gas in the United Arab Emirates.

* The ongoing political turmoil in Algeria is causing oil majors like Exxon Mobil Corp. to delay investments, The Wall Street Journal reported.


* The U.S. government established a new research program to address the expansion of automation and related technology in the mining sector.

* S&P Global Ratings lowered Cloud Peak Energy Resources LLC's issuer credit rating to SD from CCC after it missed interest payment on its 6.375% unsecured notes due 2024.

* Seaport Global Securities LLC ended coverage of Cloud Peak Energy Inc. after the pure-play Powder River Basin coal miner said in a March 15 securities filing that it might file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy within a month.

* Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon vetoed a bill that would have authorized the state Legislature to sue the Washington state over the denial of permits for a $680 million coal export facility.


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After a remarkable buildup in oil and gas production over the past two years, a new set of projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration indicates that the boom may be slowing.

New from RRA

On March 14, the Virginia State Corporation Commission staff filed testimony in Washington Gas Light Co.'s pending rate case recommending that the commission reject Washington Gas' request for a $37.6 million base rate increase and authorize no rate change at this time.

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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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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