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Turbine makers feel tailwinds rising; metallurgical demand drives coal earnings

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

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Essential Energy Insights, April 2021


Turbine makers feel tailwinds rising; metallurgical demand drives coal earnings

Top News

With prices stabilizing, turbine makers feel tailwinds rising

Wind turbine manufacturers expect to be buoyed by recovering prices for their products following several years of tight earnings margins.

Utilities concerned after New York denies permit for Transco expansion

New York's decision to deny a permit application for a Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC system expansion in the New York City area showed the state's continued resistance to new pipelines, and New York utilities are concerned about their ability to get natural gas.

Metallurgical expansion, demand drives Q1 earnings for coal sector

Though many in the industry are projecting weaker metallurgical coal exports this year, several companies said they expect continued demand to justify new mining projects on the latest round of coal sector earnings calls.

Total's purchase of Anadarko assets fits 'perfectly' with its strategy, CEO says

TOTAL SA's planned purchase of African assets from Anadarko Petroleum Corp. fits "exactly and perfectly" into the oil major's strategy to transform itself into a broader energy company, Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne said May 16 during an event in Washington, D.C.

Quoted

"In case you haven't noticed, governments seem to have run out of money. So there's going to be more pressure on channeling finance towards that direction," Jessica Ground, a fund manager and global head of stewardship at U.K. asset manager Schroders PLC, said on the central role of private investment in transitioning to a low-carbon economy.

Power

* PJM Interconnection power generators generally supported the grid operator's proposed reserve market design changes, while large power consumers, environmental groups and PJM's market monitor opposed the changes for a variety of reasons, including costs.

* Former Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko, who has since become a critic of nuclear power and is now working as a developer of offshore wind energy resources, wrote in an op-ed published in The Washington Post that nuclear energy is "no longer a viable strategy for dealing with climate change, nor is it a competitive source of power."

* NRG Energy Inc. struck a deal to acquire Stream Energy's retail electricity and natural gas business for $300 million plus working capital in an all-cash transaction.

* The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reaffirmed a regulation requiring grid operators to adopt rules that permit energy storage resources to participate in wholesale electricity markets.

* Oregon lawmakers voted to move the carbon cap and trade bill out of committee, The Oregonian reported.

* Owners of the Cayuga power plant in New York has decided to drop plans to convert its coal-fired generators to natural gas and instead reopen the facility as a data storage center, The Ithaca Voice reported. The plant's conversion to a data storage center, however, is dependent on a "fair and reasonable" power allocation from the New York Power Authority.

* Nevada state Sen. Chris Brooks introduced legislation that would make it harder for large businesses to leave NV Energy Inc., The Nevada Independent reported.

* NextEra Energy Resources LLC has decided not to build the 220-MW Minco V and 250-MW Crowder wind farms in Oklahoma due to military air space concerns, The Oklahoman reported.

Natural gas

* FERC staff issued a positive environmental review of a Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co.'s upgrade project Hampden County, Mass., designed to provide an additional 72,400 MMcf/d of natural gas transportation capacity and to increase reliability for shippers.

* Roan Resources Inc. has engaged Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and Jefferies LLC to assist in evaluating strategic alternatives.

* Columbia Gas Transmission LLC is suing Maryland after state officials denied easement for a planned pipeline, The Baltimore Sun reported. The TC Energy Corp. subsidiary is seeking access to the denied property and "award of just compensation and damages."

* The multimonth methane leak at Southern California Gas Co.'s Aliso Canyon storage field that displaced thousands of California residents was caused by a corroded pipe casing, a state investigation determined.

* A decade-long probe, led by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and University of Colorado scientists, found that some previous studies overestimated methane emissions from oil and gas drilling, The Denver Post reported.

* Investment firm KKR and Western Natural Resources LLC have formed a partnership to acquire producing and undeveloped oil and gas assets in the Williston Basin.

* Alta Mesa Resources Inc. is facing an investigation from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for potential fraud, the Houston Chronicle reported.

* The U.S. Department of Commerce recently denied Plains All American Pipeline LP's request to waive import tariffs on steel for its Cactus II crude pipeline. The federal agency, however, granted Cheniere Energy Inc. a waiver for its Midship natural gas pipeline project.

Oil

* Exxon Mobil Corp. intends to spend about $55 billion in New Mexico's Eddy and Lea counties as it targets Permian Basin production in excess of 1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2024.

* Separately, Exxon is in private talks with European oil majors to divest its oilfields located in the Gulf of Mexico worth $1.5 billion, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

* Carlyle Group LP is in talks with three pipeline companies to sell a 25% interest in its crude oil export terminal in Corpus Christi, Texas, for $625 million, Reuters reported, citing a source familiar with the matter.

* Environmental groups are challenging the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's approval of a right of way for a proposed oil shale mine and ore-processing project in the Uinta Basin, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

* Argentina granted hydrocarbon exploration permits in the Malvinas West basin to companies including Exxon, Total, YPF SA and Royal Dutch Shell PLC, according to Reuters.

Coal

* Early retirement has been the norm for U.S. coal plants in recent years, and though what remains of the fleet skews younger and larger than those already gone, the outlook for domestic thermal coal sales is grim.

* American Resources Corp. reported net loss attributable to shareholders of $10.1 million, or 48 cents per share, for the first quarter, compared with a loss of $2.8 million, or $2.96 per share, in the prior-year period.

ChartWatch

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Despite forecasts of higher than average temperatures for the West, Southwest and Northeast regions of the U.S., grid operators, with the possible exception of the Electric Reliability Council Of Texas, should have little trouble maintaining reliability this summer during periods of peak demand.

New from RRA

* On May 16, the California Public Utilities Commission voted to authorize Southern California Edison Co. a cumulative 3.94% increase in electric base rates from 2018 to 2020 retroactive to Jan. 1, 2018.

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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