S&P Global Market Intelligence editors' picks for the best stories for the week ended Jan. 4.
1. Outlook 2019: Big year for power, natural gas players under FERC jurisdiction
The U.S. power and natural gas sectors could face a tumultuous 2019 as a new lineup at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission works through a wide-ranging, politically charged agenda that involves competitive wholesale power markets, taxes, transportation rates and infrastructure permitting.
2. Foreign buyers, maturing renewables augur strong M&A outlook for US generation
Bankers and lawyers in the power finance sector predict the busy U.S. seller's market for generation assets will extend into 2019, with Canadian pension funds and European corporations poised to make further purchases. Industry observers also expect technologies such as battery storage to proliferate and repowering projects to ramp up in the new year.
3. NARUC president: No single direction for states on grid evolution
Nick Wagner is a member of the Iowa Utilities Board and in November was named the president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. The group is hosting its annual Winter Policy Summit in Washington, D.C., Feb. 10-13.
4. Top US gas producers have more gas hedged for 2019 at lower prices
The top U.S. independent natural gas producers have more of their anticipated gas production for the year ahead hedged at lower prices than a year ago, S&P Global Market Intelligence found.
5. US coal sector's credit health stabilizing on export opportunities
U.S. coal producers' credit quality has generally stabilized over the past two years as companies focus on shareholder returns and increased capital spending after many producers cleansed the debt from their balance sheets through bankruptcy restructurings.