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Wind, solar stocks soar; pipeline giants stick to core areas

Q2: U.S. Solar and Wind Power by the Numbers

Essential Energy Insights - September 17, 2020

Essential Energy Insights September 2020

Rate case activity slips, COVID-19 proceedings remain at the forefront in August


Wind, solar stocks soar; pipeline giants stick to core areas

Top News

Renewable premium: Wind, solar stocks soar as oil prices constrain drillers

Renewable energy stocks have punched well above their weight over the past five years, an analysis by S&P Global Market Intelligence found, with the biggest players tripling in value in that period as oil and gas production company stocks held steady.

Pipeline giants stick to core areas as private equity fills in 'white spaces'

Big North American pipeline companies are comfortable focusing on their core positions as private capital expands its reach in the midstream oil and gas space, pipeline CEOs said at a conference.

Power plants set to retire in next decade consumed nearly 7% of US coal in 2017

Coal producers delivered 51.4 million tons of coal, 6.6% of the coal mined in the U.S. in 2017, to power plants scheduled to retire in the next 10 years as a secular decline in domestic demand continues to erode the size of the U.S. coal market.

Trump's pick to lead surface mining agency pulls out after 'year of uncertainty'

President Donald Trump's pick to lead the government agency responsible for protecting the public from the adverse effects of surface coal mining operations has withdrawn his name from consideration.

OPEC crude oil production rises to 32.89 MMbbl/d in August: Platts survey

OPEC's crude oil production in August, not including newest member Congo, rose to a 10-month high, with Iraq surging to record output and Libya recovering from militia fighting, more than offsetting Iran's slide as the sanctions-hit country struggles to keep its customers, according to the latest S&P Global Platts survey.

Quoted

"The general posture of corporate America in at least the United States Senate ... is still violently hostile to doing anything on climate change," U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said at a Sept. 6 event in Washington, D.C.

Power

* As Duke Energy Corp.'s fleet of coal generation shrinks in the Carolinas, the company will largely rely on the addition of natural gas plants complemented by renewables to meet growing customer demand and offset planned retirements.

* Moody's downgraded the ratings of California utilities Pacific Gas and Electric Co., San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and Southern California Edison Co., saying the recently passed bill on wildfire liability still fails to address inverse condemnation.

* The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission voted to stop Southwestern Public Service Co. from collecting "standby fee" from customers, who installed rooftop solar energy systems, and ordered the company to reimburse customers over $10 million in the next 18 months, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

* The New England Power Pool is taking steps to ensure that journalists are excluded from its stakeholder meetings, but the trade publication that spurred those efforts is doing its best to keep that from happening.

* Five climate and energy-conservation groups have filed a lawsuit against the Tennessee Valley Authority for allegedly imposing discriminatory electric rates that discourage renewable energy and energy efficiency investments.

* Oregon regulators said they want early retirements to be considered as a resource strategy during a recent workshop on the future of PacifiCorp's fleet of coal-fired power plants, the Portland Business Journal reported.

* The Electric Reliability Council of Texas sees sufficient generation capacity to serve system-wide forecasted peak demand in the fall and winter.

* Private equity firm I Squared Capital is exploring the sale of Irish power producer Viridian Group Holdings Ltd., Bloomberg News reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

Natural gas

* Parties that oppose the Spire STL Pipeline LLC natural gas transportation project for the St. Louis area asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to pull its approval.

* The U.S. House Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would eliminate bureaucratic delays and reform litigation processes for infrastructure projects. The bill would incentivize permitting agencies to finalize their decisions within a 2-year deadline and set a "prompt statute of limitations" for lawsuits challenging those decisions.

* Chesapeake Energy Corp. and former SandRidge Energy Inc. CEO Tom Ward reached a settlement for $6.95 million in a class-action lawsuit accusing them of fixing prices in the Anadarko Basin.

* The North Dakota Public Service Commission approved Andeavor Logistics LP's plan to convert the 42-miles of the BakkenLink crude oil pipeline to transport natural gas liquids, the Bismarck (N.D.) Tribune reported.

* Spyglass Cedar Creek LP said its officials spent a $20,000 bond for 40 idled natural gas wells in South Dakota because they forgot its purpose, the Rapid City (S.D.) Journal reported. The oil and gas exploration company are petitioning against the revocation of its well permits.

Oil

* Magellan Midstream Partners LP is not having problems securing customers for its Houston-area Seabrook Logistics LLC crude export terminal even as international buyers push for U.S. export facilities to accommodate the biggest tankers most commonly used in oil trade.

* Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said the federal government promised to establish a timeline to resume construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project within weeks, according to The Canadian Press.

* Russia's PJSC Lukoil is looking at spending at least $1 billion to repurchase shares by the end of 2019, Reuters reported, citing Interfax.

* Delta Air Lines Inc. announced that it is working with investment banks Barclays PLC and Jefferies Financial Group Inc. to seek an investment partner for its 185,000 barrel-per-day Trainer Refinery.

* EnQuest PLC is proposing to exercise its option to acquire from BP PLC the remaining 75% interest it does not own in the Magnus field in the North Sea. The independent oil and gas production and development company plans to fund the deal with an approximately £107 million rights issue.

* The government of Mexico President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador plans to launch tenders for drilling oil wells from early December to "quickly increase" the country's crude output, according to Reuters.

Coal

* Fifth Third Bank asked a judge to award a summary judgment of $7.2 million in addition to attorneys' fees and interest because coal producer Revelation Energy LLC is allegedly in default of a loan it agreed to pay in full by Feb. 1 of this year.

* Total U.S. coal rail traffic for the week ended Sept. 1 decreased 2.7% year over year to 92,084 carloads, according to data from the Association of American Railroads.

ChartWatch

Dominion Energy Inc.'s Cove Point LNG export terminal contributed to a rising swell of natural gas flows into U.S. export facilities when it became the second major terminal in operation in the Lower 48 in April, a month that set an all-time record as it topped 3.5 Bcf/d in monthly average gas deliveries to the facilities.

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New from RRA

* On Sept. 4, a hearing examiner issued an order modifying the procedural schedule in New Mexico Gas Co.'s pending rate case to accommodate settlement discussions.

The day ahead

* The Baker-Hughes rig count 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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