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FERC chair outlines priorities list; midstream earnings to show stability


According to Market Intelligence, December 2022


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FERC chair outlines priorities list; midstream earnings to show stability

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FERC chairman presents ambitious priorities list

Neil Chatterjee outlined a wide-ranging, ambitious priorities list for his tenure, however long that may be, as the head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in an address delivered Oct. 17 at the Energy Bar Association's midyear forum.

Midstream earnings season expected to show emerging stability with oil off lows

With higher crude oil prices restoring some investor confidence in the midstream energy sector, a number of industry experts expect third-quarter earnings to reflect a stabilizing financial environment as pipeline operators are still learning to operate within their means.

Advocate: Industry needs strong coalitions to fight efforts to close coal plant

S&P Global Market Intelligence asked Randy Eminger, the executive director of the Energy Policy Network, about the way he has helped the coal industry fight against local grassroots and state efforts by environmentalists to shut down coal plants across the country.


* Dynegy Inc. CEO Robert Flexon sees plenty wrong with organized power markets in the U.S., but he is not convinced that Energy Secretary Rick Perry has the right ideas for fixing them.

* A hearing examiner is recommending that the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission reject the solar and geothermal deals in Public Service Co. of New Mexico's renewable energy plan, saying the deals were not sufficient, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

* Several big banks that recently provided capital or advised on financing for nearly 150 large- and commercial-scale battery storage projects planned across the United States, mostly in Southern California, are preparing to build on those initial forays with follow-up funding to fuel the spread of stationary battery installations.

* Glendale, Calif., residents want the Glendale Water & Power Commission to study renewable energy alternatives to the proposed $500 million upgrade of the Grayson power plant, The Los Angeles Times reported.

* The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is increasing its oversight at Duke Energy Corp.'s Catawba nuclear power plant in York County, S.C., after an inspection finding of low to moderate safety significance.

* Enel SpA is eyeing acquisitions in the energy storage business, with the U.S., Europe and Latin America markets offering the "most potential," according to Bloomberg Markets.

* The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a 30-day extension to the public comment period on two draft documents concerning the review of the primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard for sulfur oxides, according to a notice published in the Federal Register.

* SunPower Corp. will supply 291 MW of its solar panels to projects awarded in the second round of France's CRE tender process, according to a company release. SunPower is a majority-owned subsidiary of Total SA.

Natural gas/midstream

* Concerned about what they see as an interstate natural gas pipeline overbuild, consumer and environmental advocates are urging federal regulators to take a stand against a ratemaking formula that they said encourages unnecessary projects.

* The U.S. is looking for "more Japanese investment" in its natural gas infrastructure to help expand the country's LNG exports to Asia, The Associated Press reported, citing U.S. Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, who is visiting Tokyo.

* Dominion Energy Inc.'s Cove Point liquefaction and export terminal is on track to enter service as the second LNG export project in the Lower 48 before the end of 2017, bringing total U.S. LNG export capacity to more than 3 Bcf/d.

* Energy XXI Gulf Coast Inc. estimates Hurricane Nate-related impact to its fourth-quarter production of 3,000 net barrels of oil equivalent per day to 4,000 net boe/d. "While our team has brought the majority of our production back online due to the storm, additional production has been curtailed due to pipeline repairs and maintenance. It will take time to restore production to pre-storm levels," CEO and President Douglas Brooks said in a statement.

* Encana Corp. expects to deliver approximately 25% compound annual growth in non-GAAP cash flow and around C$1.5 billion of cumulative non-GAAP free cash flow through its updated five-year plan. "We are on track to deliver leading corporate returns, strong cash flow growth and substantial free cash flow, without any improvement in commodity prices," Encana President and CEO Doug Suttles said in a statement.

* RMP Energy Inc. completed a strategic asset disposition to Tangle Creek Energy Ltd., receiving a consideration of approximately C$78.1 million. With the deal closing, the company is also changing its corporate name to Iron Bridge Resources Inc., effective within 30 days following Oct. 17.

* San Antonio, Texas-based Silverback Exploration II LLC has named Matthew Alley as its new CFO. Alley most recently served as vice president of finance and CFO at the oil and gas operator, Palomar Natural Resources.


* The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Rio Tinto and two of its former executives with fraud for allegedly violating the reporting, books and records, and internal controls provisions of federal securities laws related to an acquisition of coal assets in Mozambique.

* Rockwell Mining LLC is nearing completion of a permit for a new underground coal mine in Wyoming County, W.Va.


* Secondary market prices for California carbon allowances swung higher during the week ended Oct. 16, with gains driven in part by buying ahead of an impending compliance deadline. Broker data shows the October 2017 vintage 2017 California carbon allowance contract pegged in a bid-and-ask range of $15.33/tonne to $15.41/tonne, increasing 17 cents week over week.

* A recent Brattle Group study found that an independent market monitor-endorsed proposal to implement a marginal loss methodology for pricing and dispatching generation in Texas' wholesale power market would shift costs and benefits versus the current market design in which average transmission losses are socialized.

* Following a 1.6-cent advance in the prior session to finish at $2.962/MMBtu, NYMEX November natural gas futures deflated overnight ahead of the Wednesday, Oct. 18, open, in a round of technical selling and despite some supportive fundamentals. At 6:51 a.m. ET, the contract was 5.3 cents lower at $2.909/MMBtu.

* Day-ahead power pricing could unravel Wednesday, Oct. 18, as mostly softer demand prospects for the latter part of the workweek conspire with renewed losses in natural gas futures trading. Ending the prior session 1.6 cents higher, NYMEX November natural gas futures were moving lower early Wednesday.

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New from RRA

* On Oct. 17, the Florida Public Service Commission voted to approve Florida Power & Light Co.'s May 1 request to continue to pursue a combined operating license for Turkey Point units 6 and 7, two proposed new nuclear units.


"I believe there's real value in Secretary [Rick] Perry initiating conversation regarding whether FERC-jurisdictional organized markets adequately compensate certain generators for their contributions to the reliability and resilience of the nation's grid," FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee said at the Energy Bar Association's midyear forum.

The day ahead

* Kinder Morgan Inc. will hold its third-quarter 2017 earnings webcast at 4:30 p.m. ET.

* 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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