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PG&E files amended restructuring bid; Continental's Hamm not stepping aside


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PG&E files amended restructuring bid; Continental's Hamm not stepping aside

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'Best solution for all': PG&E files amended $25.5B restructuring bid

A week after troubled California utility Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and its parent company PG&E Corp. disclosed a $13.5 billion settlement with a group of individual wildfire victims, the third such major deal in their sprawling Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding, the debtors late on Dec. 12 filed an updated plan of reorganization.

Continental's Hamm makes it clear he is stepping down, not stepping aside

Harold Hamm may be stepping down as CEO of Continental Resources Inc., but he made it clear during a recent conference call that he will still have a key role in the direction of the company.

Anchor project could begin wave of investments in US Gulf of Mexico

Chevron Corp. approval of the initial $5.7 billion development of the Anchor project in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico could be the start of a wave of offshore investments using advanced technology in the region and beyond, analysts said.

Met coal producers proceeding cautiously, tout strengths amid volatile market

Several U.S. metallurgical coal miners are proceeding cautiously through the fourth quarter and into 2020 after a third-quarter price decline, and executives recently touted their strategies to navigate the volatile market.


"We must counter those who would do anything to stop the use of any important sources of energy," Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said during his first public speech as the U.S. Department of Energy's leader, doubling down on the Trump administration's criticism of oil and natural gas pipeline construction opponents.


* With a little over a week left until Congress adjourns for 2019, the U.S. Senate will likely defer major planned action on energy until 2020. That action includes voting on confirmation of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission nominee James Danly and introducing broad energy legislation.

* Elliott Management Corp., one of PG&E's largest creditors, criticized the company's reorganization plan, saying it does not meet any of the state's mandates, benefits only a small group of its shareholders, and jeopardizes both short- and long-term health of the company as well as its critical infrastructure most notably by increasing debt to over $34 billion.

* British utility companies breathed a sigh of relief on Dec. 13, after a crushing general election defeat for the opposition Labour Party meant plans to renationalize the industry went up in smoke.

* The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission completed the fourth phase of review of the design certification application for NuScale Power LLC's small modular reactor. The agency is on track to complete its final safety evaluation report by September 2020.

* Two companies have applied under a federal clean energy program for a combined $3.9 billion in loan guarantees to back the construction of a pair of petrochemical facilities, sparking outcry among U.S. lawmakers who say the projects directly contradict the program's stated goals.

* NorthWestern Corp., which does business as NorthWestern Energy, plans to issue a request for proposals in January 2020 for about 280 MW of dispatchable capacity resources to begin delivering services to Montana customers in 2023.

* Solar installations in the U.S. jumped 45% in the third quarter compared to the same period the year before despite added costs from tariffs on most imported solar panels, according to research and consulting firm Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and the Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade group.

* EDF Renewables Inc. entered a new partnership with Array Technologies Inc., such that the latter will supply EDF with almost 2 GW of reliable single-axis solar tracking equipment to deploy on projects that will be built over the coming years.

* A federal appeals court has ruled that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has a say, albeit a limited one, on whether FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. may reject certain wholesale power contracts as part of the company's bankruptcy proceeding.

Natural gas

* Total daily natural gas flows to the six operational U.S. LNG export facilities averaged about 6.3 Bcf/d in November as the ramp-up in U.S. export capacity continued, according to pipeline flow data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

* The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved Tellurian Inc.'s application to start site preparation work at its proposed Driftwood LNG export facility on the U.S. Gulf Coast in Louisiana. Driftwood LNG would be capable of producing about 27.6 million tonnes per annum of LNG.

* Separately, FERC delayed the date for issuing a final decision on Marathon Petroleum Corp. subsidiary Trans-Foreland Pipeline Co. LLC's plan to convert the Kenai LNG export plant in Alaska into an import terminal to July 23, 2020.

* Chevron's recent devaluation of up to $11 billion in U.S. assets happened at a time when investors and analysts are questioning whether major oil and gas companies could have stranded assets in the future due to climate-related risks.

* The Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton defended the agency's move to grant a seven-month flaring permit to EXCO Resources Inc., saying the commission wasn't "going to force a producer to pay exorbitant rates" sought by Williams Cos. Inc., according to Bloomberg News.

* German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas rejected the potential U.S. sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline project, saying "European energy policy is decided in Europe, not the US," the Financial Times reported.


* SandRidge Energy Inc. is reevaluating its 2020 capital plans with an emphasis on cost control and free cash flow generation amid the current challenging price environment. The company also named John Suter interim president and CEO, replacing Paul McKinney who has resigned.

* Petróleos Mexicanos SA de CV's largest hydrocarbon reserve discovery in 30 years is boosting the Mexican government's confidence that the troubled state-run enterprise can reverse a more than decade-long decline in crude oil production.

* The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's decision for the Bakersfield Field Office supplemental environmental impact statement would allow the leasing of public land in California for oil and gas hydraulic fracturing, ending a five-year ban.

* Critics of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion project are pressing the Canadian government to update the estimated construction cost for the project, which is expected to have risen to about C$9.3 billion from C$5.4 billion in 2018, the Vancouver Sun reported.

* Oil prices gained three-month highs on Dec. 13, reaching $64.63 a barrel, as U.S. and China moved closer to ending their 18-month trade war that made global demand for crude oil unstable, Reuters reported.

* Permian Basin operators will have to drill considerably more wells in order to increase or even maintain current output levels, as the base decline rate of the more than 150,000 producing oil and gas wells in the Permian Basin has "increased dramatically" since 2010, according to an analysis by IHS Markit.


* Decarbonizing the power sector globally or in individual countries appears feasible, but the solutions will vary and require a mix of technological advancements, declines in cost, cohesive policy and creative financing, experts said at the Platts Global Energy Outlook Forum in New York.

* Six large mining company stocks are trading more than 20% below analysts' mean target prices, implying a strong upside potential for investors, an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis found.

* Total U.S. coal production for the week ended Dec. 7 fell 15.9% year over year to 12.7 million tons from 15.1 million tons, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

* Total U.S. coal rail traffic for the week ended Dec. 7 fell 18.5% year over year to 72,402 carloads, according to data from the Association of American Railroads.


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Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey joined recent calls from U.S. senators and presidential candidates for ISO New England to reform its wholesale electricity market rules to support more renewable energy resources and invited state residents to do the same.

New from RRA

* The last 10 years of wind development have showcased rapidly increasing installed capacity, higher turbine capacities, bigger turbine rotors, higher efficiency and an overall more mature wind industry.

* The utility winter heating season is off to an unimpressive start, as heating degree days in November were 1% below those in November 2018 and 15% above the November norm.

The day ahead

* The Baker-Hughes rig count 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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