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EIA revises 2020 generation estimates; Berkeley asks court to toss gas lawsuit


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EIA revises 2020 generation estimates; Berkeley asks court to toss gas lawsuit

Top News

'Constructive negotiations' bring possible PG&E bankruptcy resolution closer

Days after a University of California law professor and bankruptcy expert predicted a global agreement between opposing factions in the contentious joint Chapter 11 restructuring of PG&E Corp. and its utility subsidiary Pacific Gas and Electric Co., that scenario appears closer to unfolding.

Berkeley, Calif., asks federal court to toss restaurant group's gas ban lawsuit

Berkeley, Calif., petitioned a federal court to throw out a lawsuit that aims to prevent the city from enforcing a ban on natural gas hookups in new buildings.

EIA revises down 2020 generation estimates for natural gas, coal

The U.S. Energy Information Administration in its latest monthly short-term energy outlook revised its expectations downwards for the amount of electricity that will be generated in the U.S. by coal- and natural gas-fired power plants in 2020.

Weak market may pinch cash available for US coal's shareholder value trend

U.S. coal companies' cash holdings were down significantly in the first three quarters of 2019 compared to the year before, leaving questions about the prospects of continuing a trend of share buybacks and other capital return projects in 2020.


"Climate change has become a defining factor in companies' long-term prospects. In the near future — and sooner than most anticipate — there will be a significant reallocation of capital," BlackRock Inc. Chairman and CEO Larry Fink said in a Jan. 14 letter urging chief executives around the globe to put climate consideration at the forefront of their operations ahead of what he described as a "fundamental reshaping of finance."


* The European Commission has laid out its plan to generate record amounts of green investment — totaling at least €1 trillion over the next decade — to achieve its target of climate neutrality by 2050, but faced criticism over the low volume of direct funding.

* PG&E Corp. is zeroing in on a deal with a group of creditors led by Pacific Investment Management Co. LLC and Elliott Management Corp. to offer them equity and new debt in return for withdrawing a rival restructuring plan, Bloomberg News reported.

* Emera Energy Inc. agreed to pay a reduced civil penalty after self-reporting that it justified seeking higher fuel price payments for a power plant in the ISO New England footprint between 2015 and 2016 with price offers that an affiliated natural gas trading desk posted to an exchange.

* Although Republican state senators staged a walk-out in June 2019 to keep a similar bill from passing, Oregon lawmakers are back with new draft legislation that would require the power, natural gas and other industries to curtail greenhouse gas emissions through carbon cap-and-trade regulations.

* Xcel Energy Inc. subsidiary Southwestern Public Service Co. filed a rate case settlement with New Mexico regulators under which it will retire the Tolk coal-fired power plant in Texas in 2032, the Sierra Club said in a press release.

* The U.S. power sector is expected to add 42 GW of new generation in 2020 and about 32 GW, or 76%, will come from solar and wind, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a report.

* Ohio's top consumer advocate is leading the charge in pushing state regulators to adopt a rule that would ensure ratepayers are reimbursed for unlawful utility tariffs.

* The global market size of power generation from natural gas is expected to reach $10.87 billion by 2025, according to Grand View Research Inc.

Natural gas

* The EIA expects softening demand for natural gas in 2020 from power, residential and commercial customers, ahead of an expected slowdown in gas production in 2021.

* TC Energy Corp. plans to mobilize heavy equipment in three states along the route of its planned Keystone XL pipeline in February and would ramp up to full construction by August, Canadian newspaper the National Post reported.

* Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley are opposing new proposal by the Trump administration around the transportation of LNG by rail.

* Encana Corp. received approval from its shareholders to proceed with a plan to change its name and move its headquarters to the U.S.

* The oil and gas sector in Texas paid a record-breaking $16.3 billion in state taxes and royalties in fiscal year 2019, while spending more on tackling climate change from operations, according to the Texas Oil & Gas Association.


* Norway offered 28 companies ownership interests in 69 petroleum production licenses on the Norwegian Continental Shelf in its 2019 licensing round.

* Colorado-based oil and gas driller PDC Energy Inc. has completed its previously announced $1.7 billion all-stock merger with SRC Energy Inc.

* Tullow Oil PLC expects to report a $1.5 billion writedown for 2019, primarily due to the reduction in its long-term oil price assumption to $65 per barrel, which is down $10, the company said.

* Oil prices will average $65 per barrel in 2020 and $68 per barrel in 2021, the EIA said in its "Short-Term Energy Outlook" report.

* Environmental groups took to the courts in a lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management's plan to allow oil drilling and fracking on more than 1 million acres of public land in Central California, the Natural Resources Defense Council said.

* The boom in proposed petrochemical plants along the U.S. Gulf Coast could be responsible for as much carbon emissions as 131 coal-fired power plants by 2030, Reuters reported, citing University of Texas researchers.

* The price of new environment-friendly fuel for ships has surpassed gasoline and diesel after a rule forcing vessels to curb their emissions of sulfur oxides took effect on Jan. 1, 2020, the Houston Chronicle reported.

* Premier Oil PLC is facing a lawsuit from its biggest creditor, Asia Research & Capital Management, over its planned spending spree in the North Sea and the extension of its debt, Bloomberg News reported.


* The decline in coal production and exports will slow considerably or even reverse course from 2020 to 2021 compared with this year's expected trajectory, according to the EIA.


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The top five midstream enterprises in terms of potential 2020 capital expenditures together may spend $18.6 billion this year. Regulatory Research Associates, a group within S&P Global Market Intelligence, estimates that 2019 capital expenditures for these companies will approximate $18.5 billion.

New from RRA

* The Iowa Utilities Board approved a settlement for Interstate Power & Light Co.'s electric base rate case that provides for an annual retail revenue increase of $127 million and a series of ratemaking changes related to clean energy and modernization investments.

The day ahead

* The EIA Petroleum Status Report is due out today.

* Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower 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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