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JEA halts utility sale; the decade in midstream

Top News

JEA halts effort to sell utility

The board of directors of Jacksonville, Fla., utility JEA on Dec. 24 abandoned efforts to sell the municipal electric and water utility, a day after Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry called for an emergency meeting.

The decade in midstream: Growth, a crash and the shrinking MLP universe

While booming oil and gas production drove a physical transformation in the U.S. pipeline industry over the past decade, midstream experts said the enormous infrastructure build-out on its own could not counter the structural headwinds the sector faced from growing financial challenges during those 10 years.

Analysts reassured of Guyana growth forecasts as 1st oil flows

Oil is flowing, deals are being made and hydrocarbon deposits are still being found. Such is life these days for oil exploration and production companies parked off the northern coast of South America.

Another new policy highlights growing trend of US insurers abandoning coal

A new policy from Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. excluding companies generating more than a quarter of their revenues from thermal coal mining or more than 25% of their energy production from coal adds further pressure to an industry seeing its options for financial services shrink rapidly.


"It's getting late. It's getting dark. It's much tougher," said Michael Webber, an independent LNG analyst and managing partner of Webber Research & Advisory, on the prospect that 2020 could be a shakeout year for the dozen or so LNG projects being developed around the country, amid a growing consensus among market observers that the window for independent projects to be advanced to construction is rapidly closing.


* Cheap debt is abundant in the project and acquisition finance markets for power generation assets, a trend that has persisted for several years and one that bankers and lawyers expect will continue through 2020.

* S&P Global Ratings raised its long-term issuer credit ratings on Gulf Power Co. and Florida Power & Light Co. to A from A- and removed them from under criteria observation. Gulf Power and FPL are subsidiaries of NextEra Energy Inc.

* The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently issued an early site permit for a small modular reactor project that the Tennessee Valley Authority is considering building at its Clinch River site near Oak Ridge, Tenn.

* Dominion Energy South Carolina Inc. completed the removal of all the coal ash from its 684-MW Wateree power plant in Richland County, S.C., more than a year earlier than planned, The Associated Press reported.

* AEP Renewables has decided to cease development of a 100-MW wind farm in Muskegon County, Mich.

Natural gas

* This was supposed to be a breakout year for U.S. LNG export projects getting commercially sanctioned. But with 2019 wrapping up, just two new export terminals and an additional train at an existing facility made it over the line to construction.

* TC Energy Corp. agreed to sell a 65% equity interest in the Coastal GasLink pipeline project to KKR & Co. Inc. and Alberta Investment Management Corp. Concurrent with the completion of the sale, TC Energy expects that Coastal GasLink will enter a secured project financing construction credit facility with a syndicate of banks to fund up to 80% of the project during construction.

* Lawyers representing California's utility regulator accused Southern California Gas Co. of deploying "antics" to distract the commission amid an ongoing investigation into the company's responsibility for the massive 2015 methane leak at the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility.

* Gas reservoirs are becoming more problematic in the Permian Basin, slowing drilling activities as oil explorers still have to resort to getting natural gas scooped away or flared to get it out of the way, Bloomberg News.

* Woodside Energy Trading Singapore Pte Ltd. entered into a 13-year LNG sales deal with Germany's Uniper Global Commodities SE for the supply of LNG from the Australian company's global portfolio starting in 2021.


* A Texas bankruptcy court judge ruled that pure-play STACK operator Alta Mesa Resources Inc. and subsidiary Alta Mesa Holdings LP cannot use Chapter 11 proceedings to reject oil and gas gathering contracts with Kingfisher Midstream LLC.

* Oil prices are on track for the largest monthly gain after recording more than 11% increase so far in December, as U.S. stockpiles drop and as prospects of trade pact between the U.S. and China grows, according to Bloomberg News.

* A new Norwegian oilfield in the North Sea is on scheduled to churn about 0.5% of global oil production, ignoring calls by some environmental groups to stop operations, CNBC reported.

* South Africa lawmakers issued a draft legislation that proposes a 20% carried interest in oil and gas exploration and production in the country, Bloomberg News.


* Democrats in the U.S. Senate are calling on the U.S. Government Accountability Office to audit a coal production tax credit they say has permitted refiners, many of them owned by financial services companies, to claim roughly $1 billion in tax write-offs based on "questionable pollution data."

* A coal miner died at Murray Energy Corp.'s Marshall County mine on Dec. 23 due to injuries sustained while helping to repair a beltline at the underground mine, according to a statement from the West Virginia governor's office.

* A new group of owners took over Ridley Terminals Inc., a key export point for metallurgical and thermal coal, petroleum coke and liquefied petroleum gas from Canada to Asia.


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Dominion Energy Virginia often says that its electric retail rates for residential customers are "well below state, regional and national averages." But Dominion Energy Virginia, known legally as Virginia Electric and Power Co., has also tacked a number of riders — also known as rate adjustment clauses — onto its base rates in recent years.

New from RRA

* The PJM Interconnection showcases a wide variety of renewable portfolio standards over the 12 states or jurisdictions under its purview, with all states within PJM utilizing renewable energy certificates for compliance.

* Growth in the U.S. natural gas storage sector accelerated from 2017 to 2018, to $5.90 billion from $5.63 billion, or nearly 5%. The growth in 2018 compares favorably to growth in 2017 of only 1.9%.

The day ahead

* 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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