Gas supply issues, future of nuclear fleet dominate Q2 US utility lobbying
Nuclear energy and natural gas pipeline siting and security woes were key focuses of major U.S. electric utilities' federal lobbying efforts during the second quarter of 2019, according to lobbying disclosures filed with the U.S. Senate.
Quotes of the quarter: Pipeline execs home in on crude exports
Oil and gas pipeline executives used second-quarter earnings conference calls to highlight their proposed oil export projects that are racing to be the first to fully load the world's largest oil tankers on the Gulf Coast.
Saudi Aramco seeks earnings diversification through Reliance downstream stake
Saudi Arabian Oil Co.'s proposed US$15 billion investment in Reliance Industries Ltd.'s downstream oil business will allow the world's largest oil producer to secure a market for its crude oil production while mitigating its exposure to a volatile crude oil market.
TVA prepping environmental assessment of Foresight coal expansion in Illinois
The Tennessee Valley Authority is preparing an environmental impact statement on a proposed expansion of mining operations by Foresight Energy LP subsidiary Sugar Camp Energy LLC.
"I don't know a whole lot of people who put out a positive spin on this," said KeyBanc Analyst Leo Mariani on Occidental Petroleum Corp.'s close of its $55 billion acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum Corp.
* The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has far exceeded its deregulatory mandate under President Donald Trump's executive order requiring federal agencies to eliminate two regulations for every one they create, according to a new internal watchdog report.
* PG&E Corp. has received substantially similar equity capital commitments to those offered by Abrams Capital Management LP and Knighthead Capital Management LLC in support of the utility's reorganization plan.
* Tampa Electric Co., the Florida utility owned by Canada's Emera Inc., is joining other utilities in the state in a court challenge to a proposed ballot initiative that would enable broader customer choice in suppliers if passed.
* Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost rejected the summary language for a proposed referendum seeking to repeal the recently enacted legislation that is designed to keep two nuclear plants and two coal facilities in business.
* Two Minnesota state agencies have voiced their opposition to Xcel Energy Inc.'s proposed $650 million acquisition of the Mankato gas-fired power plant from Southern Power Co., the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
* Kinder Morgan Inc. companies told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that the first natural gas liquefaction train of the Elba Island LNG terminal in Georgia is about ready to start commercial operations.
* Conservation groups have filed a lawsuit with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
* NextDecade Corp. will determine whether a natural gas pipeline attached to its proposed Galveston Bay LNG LLC export terminal in Texas will be classified as an intrastate or interstate pipeline, a decision that could affect the size of the FERC review for the project.
* In the name of easing regulatory burdens, the Trump administration has finalized sweeping changes to a 46-year-old law that saved a number of species such as bald eagles, humpback whales, grizzly bears and Florida manatees from the brink of extinction.
* Mexico's environmental regulator gave a conditional approval for an $8 billion refinery for the state-owned oil company Petróleos Mexicanos SA de CV, Reuters reported.
* Halliburton Co. was awarded nine conditional contracts from Woodside Energy Ltd. for drilling and completion services.
* Minneapolis, Minn.-based Black Ridge Oil & Gas Inc. is shifting away from oil and gas and toward esports video gaming, following the closing of a merger agreement between Black Ridge Acquisition Corp., Allied Esports International Inc. and WPT Enterprises Inc.
* FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee is organizing a bipartisan event planned for this fall in his home state of Kentucky focused on "the future of American energy."
* Coal exports from the Ridley Terminals Inc. in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, totaled 799,570 tonnes in July, up 12.9% from 707,925 tonnes in June and 13.2% from 706,639 tonnes in the year-ago month, according to data from the Prince Rupert Port Authority.
The seven largest U.S. oil refining companies largely beat lackluster second-quarter earnings expectations, with some of those beats coming despite underwhelming refining segment performance as the industry coped with narrower crude oil discounts, a factor that executives expect to improve as the second half of the year unfolds.
New from RRA
* Duke Energy Corp. subsidiary Duke Energy Kentucky Inc. recently notified the Kentucky Public Service Commission in Case No. 2019-00271 that it intends to file for a change in its electric base rates on or around Aug. 31.
The day ahead
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