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PJM seeks capacity auction delay; coal companies unhappy with rail performance

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PJM seeks capacity auction delay; coal companies unhappy with rail performance

Top News

PJM seeks possible delay of annual capacity auction amid push for big changes

The PJM Interconnection asked U.S. federal regulators for permission to potentially delay its next annual capacity auction as the electric grid operator mulls changes to its market tariff to account for the impacts of renewable and nuclear energy subsidies on the region's power markets.

Diamondback Energy to acquire fellow Permian producer Energen in $9.2B deal

Diamondback Energy Inc. agreed to take out fellow Permian Basin driller Energen Corp., a recent target of activist investors, in an all-stock transaction worth about $9.2 billion.

Coal companies unhappy with 'substandard' rail performance in Q2

Several coal companies reported transport delays along railroads in the first quarter, an issue some said persisted through the most recent reporting period.

Leaner oilfield services sector could support recovery in offshore activity

Offshore oil and gas exploration and production is expected to become increasingly important in 2019 and beyond, as companies look to expand operations or diversify their portfolios after focusing elsewhere during the recent market downturn.

Quoted

"Other companies will either tell you they will continue to expand [production] or they will say nothing. So I hope the industry as a whole can be more rational," Canadian Solar Inc. Chairman, President and CEO Xiaohua "Shawn" Qu said on the headwinds facing the global solar manufacturing industry during an Aug. 14 earnings conference call.

Power

* Ohio Valley Electric Corp. wants the U.S. Court of Appeals to weigh in on a jurisdictional dispute involving its sales contract with FirstEnergy Solutions Corp.

* Middle River Power plans to run the Navajo Generating Station at 44% of its capacity, if it succeeds in taking over the Arizona coal-fired power plant, according to The Associated Press.

* Attempting to jump-start the state's offshore wind industry, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities is seeking public comment through Oct. 19 on draft rules to create a program to stimulate the development of offshore wind farms.

* Maryland is requiring the Chalk Point, Dickerson and Morgantown power plants to limit arsenic and mercury water pollution by Nov. 1, 2020, The Baltimore Sun reported.

* China has filed a formal complaint with the World Trade Organization over the U.S. tariffs on solar panels, AP reported.

* The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor is recommending that state regulators reject a proposed rate increase by Vectren Corp. to recover investments for a new 850-MW natural gas-fired power plant, the Evansville (Ind.) Courier & Press reported.

Natural gas

* After reporting second-quarter results, Appalachian shale gas producers discovered again how choosy investors can be, as the magic elixir of share buybacks returning cash to investors lost appeal.

* A judge has ruled that the Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission vacate its decision forcing landowners to sell natural gas and oil leases to a Texas company, according to AP.

* Cheniere Energy Inc.'s recent deal with a Taiwanese energy company expanded the U.S. natural gas exporter's reach into growing Asian markets and might move forward plans for a sixth train at the Sabine Pass export terminal, analysts said.

* Pieridae Energy Ltd. could reportedly decide to proceed with its C$10 billion Goldboro LNG project as soon as next month, the Calgary (Alberta) Herald reported.

Oil

* Berkshire Hathaway Inc. continued to trim its stake in Phillips 66 and sold minor amounts of equity holdings in certain banking and airline companies during the second quarter, according to its latest ownership filing.

* Energy Transfer Partners LP CEO Kelcy Warren is looking at expanding the company's Dakota Access Pipeline, the Bismarck (N.D.) Tribune reported.

* Demand for high-sulfur fuel oil and sour crude is expected to drop with a new rule that limits the amount of sulfur in shipping fuel, Bloomberg News reported.

* Members of the Metis Nation of Alberta voted to support the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion through British Columbia, according to The Canadian Press.

* India could cut oil imports from Iran by 50% to secure a U.S. waiver for continued shipments, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

* AziNam Ltd. announced that ExxonMobil Namibia (PEL44) Ltd., an affiliate of U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil Corp., has signed an agreement to acquire a 30% stake in Petroleum Exploration License 44, located offshore from Namibia, for an undisclosed amount.

Coal

* The U.S. coal industry must look beyond technologies that economically capture carbon dioxide from power plants if the sector wants to maintain its share of electricity generation, past and present officials of the U.S. Department of Energy said at a recent industry conference.

* Peabody Energy Corp. has agreed to repurchase $300 million of its stock directly from entities advised by Elliott Management.

* Nonpartisan think tank American Jobs Project said in a new report carbon technology could support 2,600 jobs annually in Wyoming, according to the Casper (Wyo.) Star Tribune.

* Edenville Energy PLC decided to relinquish exploration license PL6098/2009 at the Muze area, part of its Rukwa Coalfield in Tanzania, which will result in annual savings of about US$30,000.

ChartWatch

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Growing refinery capacity and high refined product demand has enabled U.S. refinery runs to reach record levels, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which expects the trend to continue over the next couple of years.

New from RRA

* July weather continued a pattern of nationwide temperatures hotter than last year. Cooling degree days last month were 3% stronger than in July 2017 and 17% higher than the norm for the month.

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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