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Groups seek McNamee recusals at FERC; PG&E links exec changes to records issues

European Energy Insights February 2021

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Global M&A Infographic Q1 2021

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COVID-19 Impact & Recovery: Private Equity


Groups seek McNamee recusals at FERC; PG&E links exec changes to records issues

Top News

Final NERC report finds more action may be needed to preserve grid reliability

Following industry input, the North American Electric Reliability Corp. in a final report adopted a more moderate view than expressed in an earlier draft of what may be needed to preserve reliability if coal and nuclear generators shut down at a faster rate than anticipated in conjunction with extreme weather events.

Environmental groups join chorus seeking McNamee recusals at FERC

A trio of environmental and science groups asked that new Federal Energy Regulatory Commission member Bernard McNamee recuse himself from matters related to his past work at the U.S. Department of Energy to aid uneconomic coal-fired and nuclear power plants.

PG&E says it made leadership changes over records problems before Calif. probe

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said it changed corporate leadership in response to internal concerns about complying with key gas safety rules and keeping accurate related records, although the utility has not elaborated on the nature of those personnel changes.

Report: Shell in initial talks to buy Endeavor Energy for $8B

Oil major Royal Dutch Shell plc is in talks to buy Texas-based oil producer Endeavor Energy Resources LP for about $8 billion, according to an article from Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter.

IEA says global coal consumption will remain stable through 2023

The International Energy Agency expects global coal consumption to remain stable through 2023, growing about 0.2% annually.

Quoted

"In the event that sufficient replacement resources are unavailable to make up for planned retirements, actions may be needed to ensure resource adequacy," according to NERC's "Generation Retirement Scenario Special Reliability Assessment" report, which found that four of 10 NERC assessment areas may not have enough generation capacity to maintain planning reserve margins if about 30% of existing coal-fired generation and 45% of nuclear generation retire by 2022.

Power

* The Council of the District of Columbia unanimously approved a bill establishing a 100% renewable portfolio standard for the nation's capital.

* The Sierra Club sued Vistra Energy Corp. for allegedly violating Illinois water quality standards at its E.D. Edwards, Coffeen and Joppa Steam coal-fired power plants in the state.

* Nine Northeastern and mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia have formally announced plans to create a regional cap-and-trade style program to reduce transportation sector emissions.

* Oil major Royal Dutch Shell plc announced a deal to acquire a 49% stake in Asia-focused Cleantech Solar, with the possibility to increase its position after 2021. The deal will be Shell's second major solar investment this year after it bought a stake in U.S. solar company Silicon Ranch Corp.

* EDF EN Canada Inc. secured a 20-year agreement for the output of its 201.6-MW Cypress wind project in Alberta through a competitive procurement process managed by the Alberta Electric System Operator.

* The city of Philadelphia signed a long-term power contract with Community Energy Inc. to purchase 70 MW of electricity from the planned Adams solar farm in Pennsylvania. The agreement will help the city meet its goal of sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewables by 2030.

Natural gas

* South Korea overtook Mexico in October as the greatest overall importer of U.S. LNG over the almost three years since the first cargo left the Lower 48, according to figures released by the U.S. DOE.

* A Sempra Energy subsidiary signed a definitive 20-year deal with Polish Oil and Gas Co. to export 2 million tonnes per annum of LNG from the planned Port Arthur export terminal in Jefferson County, Texas.

* The Rice brothers are seeking to replace EQT Corp. Chairman Jim Rohr, CEO Robert McNally and some of its board of directors, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a letter by Toby and Derek Rice to EQT's board. Activist investor Elliott Management Corp. is reportedly backing the proposal.

* Cheniere Energy Inc.'s long-term agreement to supply a Petroliam Nasional Bhd. unit with liquefied natural gas could push a sixth liquefaction train at the company's Sabine Pass export terminal across the line to be commercially sanctioned in 2019.

* Altus Midstream Co. subsidiary Altus Midstream LP exercised and closed its option with Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline LLC to acquire a 15% equity interest in the approximately $1.75 billion Gulf Coast Express pipeline project, which is designed to transport up to 1.98 Bcf/d of gas from the Waha Hub and other points in the Permian Basin to the Agua Dulce Hub near the Texas Gulf Coast.

* Exxon Mobil Corp. wants the Trump administration to keep the "key elements" of the Obama-era methane gas emission rules, noting that "reasonable regulations help reduce emissions," Reuters reported, citing a company letter to the U.S. EPA.

* Pembina Pipeline Corp. released its first sustainability report detailing the Calgary, Alberta-based midstream company's environmental, social and governance efforts in a three-year period from 2015 to 2017.

* The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission approved new rules that require oil and gas drillers to create a 1,000-foot buffer zone between new wells and school properties, The Associated Press reported.

* A Texas resident sued Kinder Morgan Inc. for allegedly discharging chemicals and toxic gas from a pipeline that supplies natural gas to the northeast section of the U.S. from Louisiana, according to Reuters.

Oil

* Deputy Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, and Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., are among the top contenders to replace Ryan Zinke as interior secretary, according to The Hill in Washington, D.C.

* ConocoPhillips closed on separate transactions with BP PLC to simultaneously expand its Alaska footprint while shedding a portion of its assets offshore the U.K.

* A subsidiary of San Mateo Midstream, LLC placed into service the Rustler Breaks crude oil gathering and transportation system in Eddy County, N.M. San Mateo Midstream is a joint venture between Matador Resources Co. and Five Point Energy LLC.

* Anadarko Petroleum Corp. is partnering with a Google LLC venture to use artificial intelligence to analyze seismic and operational data on geological features below the seabed aimed at increasing oil production and improving the efficiency of drilling operations, the Financial Times reported.

Coal

* Providers of financing for Mission Coal Co. LLC's bankruptcy reorganization said they have been unable to resolve a dispute with the company over whether they should be forced to "write a blank check to backstop" some of the claims against Mission's estate in order to move forward with a deal to buy the company's assets.

* The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas approved a disclosure statement with respect to the joint Chapter 11 plan of Westmoreland Coal Co. and certain of its debtor affiliates, according to a company filing.

* California's attorney general is once again weighing in on a case involving a proposed coal export terminal in Oakland, this time calling for a reversal of a federal judge's ruling against the city's coal ban.

ChartWatch

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One of Colorado's many small electric distribution cooperative members of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc. filed a complaint with state regulators in an effort to quit its membership so it can pursue cheaper, cleaner energy resources.

New from RRA

* Iowa regulators have approved a settlement reached between Interstate Power & Light Co. and parties to its gas base rate case, Docket No. RPU-2018-0002, calling for a $13.9 million, or 5.92% permanent increase.

The day ahead

* The U.S. Energy Information Administration petroleum status report is due out today.

* 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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