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EPA to introduce slew of energy-related rules; US Q1 coal exports down 7.7% YOY

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EPA to introduce slew of energy-related rules; US Q1 coal exports down 7.7% YOY

Top News

US EPA aims to introduce, finalize slew of energy-related rules in 2019

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency intends to introduce or finalize a host of energy-related rules in the second half of 2019, according to its midyear regulatory agenda. The EPA's regulatory calendar, released on a biannual basis by the White House's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, offers a preview of the short- and long-term actions the agency plans to take in the future.

Saudi Aramco's planned LNG deal with Sempra would rank among largest ever

Saudi Aramco's decision to pursue a big supply deal with Sempra Energy's proposed Port Arthur LNG project could advance the state-controlled oil giant's ambition to become a leading player in the world's growing LNG market and also boost the prospects for the Texas export project getting commercially sanctioned.

US Q1'19 coal exports decline 7.7% YOY following strong 2018 global market

Following a strong export market in 2018, U.S. coal producers shipped about 7.7% less coal abroad year over year during the first quarter of 2019 as thermal coal pricing into Europe declined.

Analyst: Occidental can sustain dividend as long as oil prices stay atop $45/bbl

While Occidental Petroleum Corp. took on a lot of debt in its quest to win oil and gas producer Anadarko Petroleum Corp., its common dividend can be "comfortably sustained" as long as West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices generally stay above $45 per barrel, analysts from Raymond James said in a May 22 research note.

Quoted

"You need a significant amount [of new production] to come from deepwater, about a million barrels per day. It costs you about $12 billion to $15 billion a year to get to this level. Right now, deepwater investment in Mexico is about $1 billion. That's a big gap," said Shell Exploration Manager for Mexico Kartik Mutnuri, describing the hurdles his company faces as it attempts to begin producing offshore Mexico.

Power

* Nuclear must be included with renewables as part of any serious effort to decarbonize U.S. energy, Southern Co. Chairman, President and CEO Tom Fanning said during the company's May 22 annual meeting in response to shareholder questions about Southern's commitment to clean energy and the cost of two new nuclear reactors.

* A bill requiring Maryland to source 50% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030 will become law without Gov. Larry Hogan's signature, The Baltimore Sun reported. Separately, Hogan plans to introduce legislation in the 2020 session that would move Maryland to 100% clean energy by 2040.

* Wind industry experts expect capacity additions to boom through 2020 but to level off between 4.3 GW and 5.7 GW a year through 2025, according to presentations made at a panel discussion May 21 at the American Wind Energy Association's annual WindPower conference in Houston.

* Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has committed to putting all electric distribution power lines in Paradise underground as the town rebuilds from Camp Fire.

* A bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced legislation to support grid-scale energy storage research and development and improve electric grid efficiency.

* California could repurpose an abandoned iron mine near the Joshua Tree National Park to a hydroelectric power plant under a legislation, which has bipartisan support in the state legislature, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Natural gas

* Canada's efforts to become a major global supplier of LNG could not come at a better time: The U.S. is embroiled in a protracted trade war with key importer China that gives its northern neighbor a chance to seize market share.

* UPS agreed to purchase 170 million gallon equivalents of renewable natural gas through 2026 from Clean Energy Fuels Corp.

* The U.S. Justice Department plans to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to remove a legal obstacle for the 600-mile, 1.5-Bcf/d Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline and has received an extension until June 25 to file a petition.

* Royal Bank of Canada may grant loans to oil and gas firms under its green bond program for projects like carbon capture infrastructure, Bloomberg News reported.

* Alaska's energy lease sales only attracted three bids, according to Reuters.

Oil

* Environmental and citizen groups announced their intent to sue Valero Energy Corp. for federal Clean Air Act violations at its Port Arthur refinery in Texas.

* Production of oil, NGLs and condensate in Norwegian waters averaged 1.73 million barrels per day in April, down from 1.75 million bbl/d in March, according to preliminary figures released by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

* The Mexican government plans to support Petróleos Mexicanos SA de CV until 2021, according to The New York Times.

* Oil and gas drilling company Ensco Rowan PLC announced that it will not pay a regular quarterly cash dividend.

* The Petróleo Brasileiro SA - Petrobras board approved the sale of an additional stake in BR Distribuidora, Reuters reported.

* The Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Co. KSCC signed a license and petroleum concession agreement for the Makhad block in Pakistan. The block covers an area of approximately 1,560 square kilometers.

Coal

* Technology that could capture carbon dioxide emitted by coal plants for use or storage could be a lifeline to pull coal into a "new era" in a lower-carbon energy world, but the expensive technology will likely need the government's help in the form of research and subsidies.

* The Bureau of Land Management has concluded that lifting the moratorium on coal sales would not increase emissions of greenhouse gases, according to the AP. The agency is currently seeking public input on the draft environmental assessment on lifting the moratorium.

* West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice's son and several companies affiliated with the family sued the federal government, alleging it had reneged on an agreement that would have allowed the entities to complete reclamation work to offset some of the financial penalties brought against them.

ChartWatch

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Driven largely by a push for Utica Shale natural gas wells by private equity-backed Ascent Resources, the number of new well permits in Ohio almost doubled in April compared to the year before.

New from RRA

* Utility capital structure issues are receiving considerable attention, as electric and natural gas utilities continue to invest staggering amounts of capital in their systems to meet public policy objectives and satisfy their investors.

The day ahead

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

* 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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