Update: Oil surges as US airstrike kills Iranian commander
Oil prices climbed in the early hours of Jan. 3 following a U.S. airstrike that killed Qasem Soleimani, a top Iranian general who headed the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Iranian retaliation could include attacks on oil infrastructure or the disruption of oil flows through the strategically important Strait of Hormuz, according to strategists at ING Economics.
Despite development boom, US solar industry rues 'lost opportunity'
Trade disputes and sunsetting federal subsidies have combined to inflict a year-end malaise on an otherwise booming U.S. solar market.
Halliburton facility closure opens door for competitors in SCOOP and STACK
The closure of Halliburton Co.'s facility in El Reno, Okla., in December 2019 could open the door for in-state competitors. But with fewer producers willing to battle the challenges of the SCOOP and STACK plays in Oklahoma, other services companies may need to follow Halliburton's lead.
Other energy headlines
* Companies such as Cenovus Energy Inc. and ConocoPhillips Co. are working to drastically reduce their use of condensate — a substance used to dilute bitumen to make it viable for rail transportation — by employing heat and other methods to get more of the oil sands-derived products into rail cars.
* At about a quarter of the previous five years' average, Spanish demand for coal generation slumped to its lowest year on record in 2019.
* Tokyo-based trading company Itochu Corp. is investing in a West Virginia metallurgical coal mine project that is expected to become one of the largest coking coal mines in the U.S.
U.S. coal production in the week that ended Dec. 28, 2019, dropped 9% year over year from 11.4 million tons to 10.4 million tons, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Research and data
* RRA Regulatory Focus: Busy utility regulatory agenda begins to take shape in new year
* RRA Regulatory Focus: Tax benefit saving temper electric, gas rate hikes for Wis. Public Service Corp.
Top pick of the day
European power outlook: Falling costs to drive more unsubsidized solar activity
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