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J.P. Morgan-backed fund to buy El Paso Electric; Williams facing 'growing pains'

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COVID-19 Impact & Recovery: Energy Outlook for H2 2021

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US utility commissioners: Who they are and how they impact regulation

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Climate Credit Analytics: Linking climate scenarios to financial impacts

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Essential Energy Insights, April 2021


J.P. Morgan-backed fund to buy El Paso Electric; Williams facing 'growing pains'

Top News

Infrastructure Investments Fund to acquire El Paso Electric

Infrastructure Investments Fund, an investment vehicle advised by J.P. Morgan Investment Management Inc., agreed to acquire El Paso Electric Co. for $68.25 per share in cash. The deal represents an enterprise value of approximately $4.3 billion, including El Paso Electric's net debt.

Williams facing 'growing pains' in bid for wider investor pool, CEO says

Williams Cos. Inc. is experiencing "growing pains" as it moves to attract generalist investors amid a broader energy sector slump, President and CEO Alan Armstrong said.

Conditions remain favorable for robust wind asset M&A activity

Low cost of capital continues to be a major feature of the U.S. renewable landscape as offshore wind takes off and European companies previously considered oil and gas majors ramp up investment on this side of the pond.

Experts: Global natural gas oversupply likely hurting European coal pricing

Global oversupply of natural gas and resulting low gas prices in Europe are likely contributing to depressed thermal coal prices in the region, which may make it more difficult for U.S. producers to compete, experts said.

Gulf hurricanes pose evolving threat as US role in global energy trade shifts

Hurricane researchers are predicting an average hurricane season in 2019, but as the Gulf Coast's role in oil and gas production evolves, even relatively weak storms pose an increased risk to U.S. energy infrastructure.

Utilities eye wind, water as 2-4 major hurricanes predicted for 2019 season

U.S. electric and diversified utilities operating along the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf Coast are gearing up for this year's hurricane season beginning June 1 even as several continue recovery from previous years' storms.

Quoted

"Nothing more than a power grab by the [California Public Utilities Commission]," said the California Community Choice Association, a group representing community choice aggregators, objecting to a bill passed by the California State Assembly that would authorize a state agency to act as a central buyer of electricity to provide "a backstop for addressing shortfalls or gaps" in power procurement.

Power

* A Florida administrative judge recommends that the state approve Tampa Electric Co.'s application to retire one of the Big Bend Generating Station's units and repower another one with a new combined-cycle natural gas generator.

* The Illinois House passed legislation that would strengthen regulation of alternative retail energy suppliers in the state.

* Costco Wholesale Corp. is the latest retail giant to lose its fight to combine demand from its stores in order to "escape" the rate structure of Dominion Energy Virginia.

* Calpine Corp. withdrew its application to build the 255-MW (nominal) Mission Rock Energy Center in Ventura County, Calif.

* Tennessee Valley Authority CEO Jeff Lyash said the utility expects to cut carbon emissions by 70% from 2005 levels by the end of the next decade, according to Reuters.

Natural gas

* New York asked a federal court to help the state recover its Clean Water Act permitting authority over the approximately $500 million Northern Access 2016 natural gas pipeline expansion project proposed by National Fuel Gas Co., after decisions by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission stripped that authority.

* Total SA agreed to take over Toshiba Corp.'s LNG portfolio, which includes a 20-year tolling agreement for 2.2 million tonnes per annum from Freeport LNG train 3 in Texas. Toshiba will make a one-time $815 million payment to transfer rights at the Freeport LNG project to Total.

* California's Supreme Court denied efforts by local businesses to recover losses incurred following the multimonth methane leak at Southern California Gas Co.'s Aliso Canyon storage field that began in late 2015.

* Bulgaria signed a deal to purchase two U.S. liquefied natural gas cargoes, Reuters reported.

Oil

* Murphy Oil Corp. closed its $1.23 billion strategic deep water Gulf of Mexico acquisition from LLOG Exploration Offshore LLC and LLOG Bluewater Holdings LLC.

* Independent oil and gas producers are using every opportunity to reassure investors that they have a plan for returning cash flow to shareholders while continuing to grow production. For EOG Resources Inc., this means using "premium drilling" to meet those objectives, CEO William Thomas said.

* The Iowa Supreme Court upheld the legality of building the Dakota Access pipeline project across the state, according to The Associated Press.

* Marathon Oil Corp. has completed the sale of its 15% interest in the Atrush block in Kurdistan, which marks its exit from the country.

* The U.S. energy industry is among those most exposed to the impact of U.S. President Donald Trump's plan to increase tariffs on Mexican imports, The Wall Street Journal reported.

* Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. shut approximately 65,000 barrels per day of crude oil production in response to Alberta forest fires.

* Bahrain Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al Khalifa issued an order allowing foreign companies to own all interests in oil and natural gas extraction projects in the country, according to Reuters.

Coal

* A Kentucky coal miner died May 30 from injuries sustained in an accident earlier in the month.

* Market sources say thermal coal prices appear poised for a sharp drop that could seriously squeeze producer profit margins, especially for high-cost mining companies.

ChartWatch

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Trade groups and consumer advocates have expressed disappointment and outrage over Ohio's latest effort to subsidize coal and nuclear plants, while the governor indicates he supports assisting nuclear assets.

New from RRA

* California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Picker announced at a commission meeting May 30 that he would retire after almost five years on the job once California Gov. Gavin Newsom names a replacement.

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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