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Power industry largely backing GOP incumbents; Westmoreland files for bankruptcy

Top News

US power industry largely backing GOP incumbents in 2018 midterms

Power producers and industry trade groups are largely backing incumbent GOP committee leaders in the upcoming 2018 midterm elections as Democrats push to reclaim the majority in at least one chamber of the U.S. Congress.

Westmoreland Coal, MLP file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Westmoreland Coal Co. and its master limited partnership, Westmoreland Resource Partners LP, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Oct. 9 after years of attempting to delever their balance sheets.

Antero Midstream stock spikes on consolidation deal; analysts welcome clarity

Analysts and investors welcomed Antero Resources Corp.'s midstream consolidation plan, which followed several months of review stoked by concerns about the Appalachian shale gas driller's cash-leaking pipeline business.

Global jet fuel demand seen reaching 9.5 MMbbl/d by 2040

Driven primarily by the expansion of the middle class in emerging markets, IHS Markit said in an analysis released Oct. 9 that it expects the global market for jet fuel will reach more than 9.5 million barrels per day by 2040 to comprise more than 10% of refined product demand, but airline fleet efficiency and a potential shift toward biofuels pose a risk to that outlook.

Reducing permitting obstacles will be key to 'critical minerals' revival in US

Resuscitating U.S. production of critical minerals is beyond any one quick fix, but several mining experts and leaders say that reducing permitting timelines will be crucial to any U.S. effort to reboot the industry. President Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress are pursuing policies that would achieve that.

Quoted

"It seems to me a pretty obvious threat or lever that other countries could use. If you want to put us over a barrel, [China] could do so very easily by threatening to withhold shipments of the stuff we're buying from them," William Shughart, an economics professor at Utah State University and research director at nonpartisan think tank Independent Institute, said on U.S. reliance on imported minerals, including rare earth minerals from China.

Power

* Florida utilities and a nuclear plant operator say they are prepared for the arrival of Hurricane Michael, a Category 3 storm projected to make landfall in the state's panhandle during the afternoon of Oct. 10. President Donald Trump approved a Florida emergency declaration in connection with the storm.

* Sagging Pacific Gas and Electric Co. power lines made contact and resulted in the fatal Cascade Fire in October 2017, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection concluded. CAL Fire, however, noted that there were no violations of the Public Resources Code.

* Duke Energy Corp. plans to invest $500 million to add nearly 300 MW of battery storage to its portfolio in the Carolinas over the next 15 years.

* Squeezed by an abrupt downturn in China, by far the world's biggest solar power market, and 30% import tariffs on foreign-made photovoltaics in the U.S., the second-largest global solar market, Canadian Solar Inc. is looking for a resurgence in a former solar powerhouse: the European Union.

* Arizona Corporation Commissioner Andy Tobin has announced via email his opposition to Proposition 127, a ballot measure to adopt a state constitutional amendment requiring utilities to get 50% of their power from renewable energy by 2030.

* The Delaware Public Service Commission denied a request to review a tariff deal between Delmarva Power & Light Co. and Bloom Energy Corp., according to The Associated Press.

* Whitefish Energy Holdings LLC has been winning contracts from the U.S. government since it lost a controversial $300 million contract to repair Puerto Rico's electrical grid, AP reported.

* Wisconsin Public Service Corp. retired its 9-MW Lincoln wind energy facility, which was placed into service in 1999, Fox 11 News reported.

* President Donald Trump said he will be reviewing the latest climate change report from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, The Hill reported.

Natural gas

* Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC completed binding contracts with two natural gas producers for the full transportation capacity of the planned Leidy South pipeline expansion project, which would bring Appalachian supplies to markets in the Atlantic seaboard.

* Nauticol Energy Ltd. is proposing to build a C$2 billion methanol manufacturing facility, which will convert Alberta's natural gas into a value-added product.

* A National Grid USA technician accidentally released "excess gas" into part of its gas system during routine maintenance in a city north of Boston, the gas and electric utility disclosed Oct. 8, prompting Massachusetts regulators to halt all nonessential work across the company's service territory.

* Since Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones acquired an 84% interest in Comstock Resources Inc., the company has been actively seeking shale gas deals to expand in the Haynesville region, Bloomberg News reported.

* Enbridge Inc. has placed into service a part of its Texas Eastern Appalachian Lease natural gas pipeline project in Ohio.

Oil

* The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement estimates that about 670,831 barrels of oil per day and about 726 million cubic feet of gas per day is currently offline in the Gulf of Mexico due to platform and rig evacuations ahead of Hurricane Michael.

* Petróleos Mexicanos SA de CV confirmed finding two wells in Mexico's Southeast basin with more than 180 million barrels of proven, probable and possible reserves.

* Canadian exploration and production company Frontera Energy Corp. said it has discovered light oil from its Acorazado-1 exploration well on the 100% owned and operated Llanos-25 block in Colombia.

* ConocoPhillips announced that a drill site in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska produced its first oil ahead of schedule.

* EOG Resources Inc. expects a noncash net loss of $52.1 million on the mark-to-market of its financial commodity derivative contracts.

* Saudi Arabia plans to supply an additional 4 million barrels of crude oil to Indian buyers in November, Reuters reported, citing several sources familiar with the matter.

* After a due diligence process, Royal Dutch Shell PLC has decided to drop plans to purchase a stake in Kazakhstan's KazMunayGas National Co., Bloomberg News reported.

* The target expansion of the Seaway crude pipeline, a joint venture between Enterprise Products Partners LP and Enbridge Inc., will be delayed to year-end, according to Reuters.

Coal

* Virginia Tech is one step closer to a $25,000 grant to study using coal to create graphene.

* The Shanxi province, a key coal mining region in China, decided to cut annual coke capacity and output to reduce toxic emissions from heavy industry in the long term, Reuters reported Oct. 9, citing a government statement.

ChartWatch

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While the number of shale gas drilling permits in Pennsylvania dropped nearly in half in September year over year, the pattern of permitting showed active producers chasing natural gas liquids such as ethane and propane in wet gas in the southwest corner of the state.

New from RRA

* State regulators have approved a settlement reached between Black Hills Energy Arkansas Inc., the staff of the Arkansas Public Service Commission and the Arkansas attorney general in the company's gas base rate case calling for a $22.6 million, or 26.17%, increase.

The day ahead

* 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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