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In This List

North Dakota embraces wind-driven future; Mountain Valley likely starts in Q4'19

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


North Dakota embraces wind-driven future; Mountain Valley likely starts in Q4'19

Top News

Overcoming resistance, North Dakota embraces a wind-driven future

When Xcel Energy Inc. broke ground Aug. 9 on its 150-MW Foxtail Wind Project in central North Dakota, U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp pointed to the project as an example of the continued growth of wind energy and jobs across the state.

NextEra eyeing expiring renewables, political risk, regulated M&A in future

The two trends most worrisome to NextEra Energy Inc. over the next decade are expiring incentives for development of renewables and changing political risk, its CEO says, arguing the company is actively preparing to address them.

Mountain Valley project likely starts in Q4'19 despite permit loss, analysts say

A federal court decision to vacate a key permit for Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC should not further delay the start-up date for its 2-Bcf/d natural gas pipeline despite the potential for a temporary moratorium on at least some construction, energy industry analysts said.

Industry, critics push back on Murray Energy-backed challenge to gas plants

A bid to deny permits for natural gas plants in West Virginia that has financial backing from Murray Energy Corp. could threaten energy investment in the state, critics said.

Analysts' outlooks on Exxon, Chevron hinge on Q3 production figures

As oil prices continued to climb and the market looks for a rebound in production volumes, analysts are banking on improved financials for U.S. oil and natural gas majors Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. during the third quarter.

Quoted

"He should be prepared to answer some very hard questions about his previous comments and positions, and how they would affect FERC independence," John Moore, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's Sustainable FERC Project, said on the appointment of U.S. Department of Energy official Bernard McNamee to fill the fifth spot on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Power

* Responding to federal regulators' determination that its existing capacity market design is unjust and unreasonable, the PJM Interconnection developed a proposal for mitigating the impact of state-subsidized resources on its capacity market.

* The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency excluded experts from its own Office of the Science Adviser when it launched an effort to rewrite rules on using scientific studies, The Washington Post reported.

* New Mexico utility regulators agreed to issue a permit for construction for Pattern Energy Group Inc.'s ambitious plan to install 2,200 MW of wind energy capacity across more than 300,000 acres in the east-central part of the state.

* American Wind Energy Association CEO Tom Kiernan warned that the cost of wind power could increase by up to 10% due to the Trump administration's import tariffs, Bloomberg News reported.

* A public inquiry on the Muskrat Falls hydro project found the lack of evidence of a detailed internal government review, according to The Canadian Press.

Natural gas

* The two Democratic members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission backed an Oct. 1 decision to grant a Natural Gas Act certificate for an expansion of the Sierrita Gas Pipeline LLC system that would allow up to 323 MMcf/d of additional firm transportation service to the Mexican border.

* West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Evan Jenkins has been asked to recuse himself from a case against Antero Resources Corp. due to a potential conflict of interest, according to West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

* The Natural Gas Supply Association expects lower storage levels to be countered by soaring production in the coming winter, resulting in neutral pressure on wholesale natural gas prices.

Oil

* The federal court's decision on the adequacy of the additional study of the Dakota Access oil pipeline could come months from now, according to the AP.

* Oil and gas major BP PLC said it signed an agreement with Aker BP ASA, or Det norske, to explore possible areas of cooperation in the development and deployment of advanced technologies.

* The U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration fined Superior Refining Co. LLC for safety violations related to a series of fires and an explosion at a refinery in April.

* Saudi Arabia has announced a record oil output of 10.7 million barrels per day, the Financial Times reported. Separately, the kingdom reached a deal with Russia to increase oil output, Reuters reported, citing four sources familiar with the plan.

* Russia's PJSC Lukoil has shelved its plan to sell trading arm Litasco due to sanctions, according to Reuters, citing a report in business daily Vedomosti.

* Canada's federal government announced that it will not appeal a ruling overturning environmental permits for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, as it begins consultations again with First Nations, The Globe and Mail reported.

Coal

* Peabody Energy Corp. has discussed purchasing Drummond International LLC, which owns and operates Colombian thermal coal mining operations, The Wall Street Journal reported.

* A majority of the nine Department of Energy-supported carbon capture demonstration projects were canceled or withdrawn, E&E News reported, citing a report from the Government Accountability Office.

* Sunrise Coal LLC on Sept. 14 received a warning of elevated methane levels and low oxygen levels in a return area of its mine in Oaktown, Ind.

ChartWatch

SNL Image

The sugar high of share buybacks has worn off, and investors are walking away from Appalachia's shale gas producers as drillers continue to produce more and more natural gas into a glutted market.

New from RRA

* MDU Resources Group Inc. filed a settlement with the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission calling for a refund to its electric and gas ratepayers stemming for the federal tax law enacted this year.

The day ahead

* The Energy Information Administration natural gas report is due out today.

SNL Image

* 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.

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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