S&P Global Market Intelligence editors' picks for the best stories for the week ended Dec. 28.
1. With Mass. auction, NJ lease purchase, Shell pushes on US offshore wind future
Royal Dutch Shell PLC sees the oil company's renewable energy segment becoming a key player in the United States' growing offshore wind sector, starting with its $135 million winning bid for a lease off the coast of Massachusetts and the purchase of another lease offshore New Jersey.
2. After years of lows, Appalachian gas prices rocket higher with new pipelines
After years of being forced to dump their excess natural gas into glutted Appalachian markets for low, low prices, the region's shale gas producers may end 2018 with a sigh of relief.
3. 'The transition takes time': Smart grid efforts face power sector inertia
Julia Hamm is president and CEO of the Smart Electric Power Alliance, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization made up largely of electric utilities and technology companies whose mission is to facilitate the power sector's transition to a smarter, cleaner energy future.
4. Oil, gas producers dive harder than S&P 500, but analysts see 2019 silver lining
The bear stalking the U.S. markets has chewed up oil and gas stocks in December, leaving Wall Street analysts looking for crumbs of hope amid a large drop in crude oil prices and the exploration and production stocks shackled to the commodity.
5. Growing US met coal beyond traditional regions may be long shot in fickle market
Coal industry hopes that the U.S. can increase exports of metallurgical coal — a recent bright spot for companies with coal mines in Central Appalachia — by expanding production to untapped regions could be a long shot as many analysts are hesitant to believe that the good times will last long enough for such an expansion to be prudent.
6. Gulf Coast becoming preferred destination for Texas crude
With oil producers in the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale running up against steep price discounts at their usual trading hubs, pipelines coming in 2019 and beyond to serve these booming production areas areas are focusing on the Gulf Coast, with its access to export markets.