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PG&E reaches $13.5B settlement; Chesapeake Utilities agrees to buy Elkton Gas

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PG&E enters $13.5B settlement agreement linked to California wildfires

PG&E Corp. reached a $13.5 billion settlement agreement with victims of California wildfires linked to its electric transmission infrastructure, a move that could assist the company in its bankruptcy proceedings.

Overpowered: Eyeing zero-carbon grid, California seeks a gas exit strategy

California, the world's fifth-largest economy, is making headway in its goal to boost its renewable energy purchases to 60% of retail electric sales by 2030, almost twice as much as in 2018. But questions remain about how the state can turn off natural gas generation that remains essential to keeping the lights on.

Murray Energy submits plan to sell off assets, wind down estate in restructuring

Murray Energy Corp. filed a restructuring proposal that includes plans to sell substantially all of its assets and wind down the estate.

US utility association builds team to fight gas ban movement

The American Gas Association is working to form a coalition among industry, consumers, and construction and labor groups to push back against the sharp rise of cities banning natural gas for heating and cooking in new buildings.


"Having the people who use this product not just us who deliver it, but the people who use it and see the value of it every day — having them speak loudly and en masse is more powerful than just having the utilities," CenterPoint Energy Inc. President and CEO Scott Prochazka said as the American Gas Association, which he chairs, is organizing a coalition among industry, consumers, and construction and labor groups to push back against the sharp rise of cities banning natural gas for heating and cooking in new buildings.


* A bipartisan group of U.S. senators asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to work with other agencies to curb potential threats to the electric grid from equipment, including solar inverters, made by China-based Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.

* Pattern Energy Group Inc.'s 35-day "go-shop period" under its $2.63 billion merger transaction with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board expired. The company contacted 16 bidders and did not receive any indication for a potential alternative transaction.

* US Wind's 270-MW wind project off the coast of Maryland will not come online until 2023, two years later than planned, the developer told state regulators.

* Iberdrola SA plans to use the largest 14-MW wind turbines at its new 804-MW offshore wind farm in Connecticut, Bloomberg News reported. "It will be something bigger than we see in the market today," Jonathan Cole, head of offshore wind for Iberdrola, was quoted as saying. "We're going to be looking for ways to scale up."

* Europe's largest integrated utilities and grid operators risk stretching their balance sheets in the long run by going all-in on renewables, Fitch Ratings warned.

* The last two electric generating units at the James River Power Station in Greene County, Mo., are set to close.

Natural gas

* Chesapeake Utilities Corp. agreed to acquire Elkton Gas Co. from South Jersey Industries Inc. for undisclosed financial terms. Elkton Gas operates in Cecil County, Md. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2020.

* In a case that could have implications for the timing of natural gas pipeline construction, the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed to reconsider a ruling on whether Federal Energy Regulatory Commission practices deprive property owners of a fair process in natural gas pipeline cases.

* U.S. producers vented and flared about 1.28 Bcf/d of natural gas in 2018, with North Dakota and Texas accounting for 1.1 Bcf/d, or 82%, of the reported U.S. vented and flared natural gas, according to a report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

* Ohio's oil and gas producers pulled 7% fewer permits for new shale wells in November than in October, but November's 26 new permits represented a 44% increase over the year-ago month, according to the latest data from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

* Saudi Arabian Oil Co., through its shipping arm, issued an expression of interest to charter up to 12 LNG tankers from 2025 to expand its footprint in the LNG trading business, Reuters reported.

* Annova LNG's backers will sanction the company's proposed $4.5 billion South Texas LNG export project after two-thirds of the capacity is sold, and they are willing to offer buyers a gas charge with a lower premium than is typical for existing terminals, Annova CEO Omar Khayum said.

* U.N.-backed Principles of Responsible Investing said in a report that climate change-related rules could erase as much as $2.3 trillion in value of companies, including fossil fuel producers, by 2025, Reuters reported.


* Enbridge Inc. and Enterprise Products Partners LP agreed to jointly develop and market a deepwater offshore crude oil export terminal in Texas. Enbridge also announced that it will move forward with the development of its Jones Creek crude oil storage terminal, which will have a storage capacity of up to 15 million barrels.

* OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia and key oil ally Russia finalized their new production quotas, agreeing to deeper cuts to bolster the market ahead of winter, according to a source involved in the talks.

* Equinor ASA completed the sale of its 63% interest in, and operatorship of, its onshore business in the Eagle Ford Shale to Repsol SA. The divestment covers all of Equinor's interests in the Eagle Ford joint venture with Repsol, covering 69,000 net acres.

* Saudi Arabian Oil Co.'s shares will start trading on the Saudi stock exchange Tadawul on Dec. 11 under the symbol 2222, the exchange said on its website.

* Tullow Oil PLC's shares nosedived 60% after the company slashed its 2020 oil production forecast to 70,000 barrels per day and announced the resignations of CEO of Paul McDade and head of exploration Angus McCoss, the Financial Times reported.

* Halliburton Co. will reduce the number of employees at its Bakersfield plant in California, following an earlier layoff of 800 people in Oklahoma, Reuters reported, citing a filing with California authorities.

* In light of the OPEC announcement on oil production cuts, Goldman Sachs increased its outlook on Brent crude spot price to $63 per barrel from its previous forecast of $60/bbl for 2020, Reuters reported.


* NorthWestern Corp. entered into a six-year agreement to supply the Colstrip power plant in Montana with coal from Westmoreland Rosebud Mining.

* A federal bankruptcy court approved Cloud Peak Energy Inc.'s disclosure statement and confirmed its bankruptcy reorganization plan nearly seven months after the Powder River Basin producer filed for bankruptcy protection.


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Aiming to transition the world's fifth-largest economy to a carbon-free electric grid, California faces the challenge of reducing its reliance on natural gas-fired generation as it ramps up renewables and energy storage.

New from RRA

* The staff of the Missouri Public Service Commission recently said Ameren Corp. subsidiary Union Electric Co. should be required to implement a $65.1 million, or 2.4%, electric base rate reduction.

* The Michigan Public Service Commission voted to approve a settlement agreement authorizing SEMCO ENERGY Gas Co. a $19.9 million increase in gas base rates, premised upon a 9.87% return on equity, to help the company replace aging gas mains and initiate a program to improve infrastructure reliability.

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