Brent crude settled down 9 cents to $79.19 per barrel on Thursday after reaching a session high of $80.50 per barrel, the highest level since Nov. 24, 2014. West Texas Intermediate crude closed at $71.49 per barrel after trading as high as $72.30 during the session.
Shuttering all of Dynegy-Vistra's coal-burning power plants in central and southern Illinois by 2025 wouldn't threaten grid stability, according to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club, challenging a claim made by the utility. Instead, the duo argue, replacing those plants with wind and solar projects could save utility customers between $12 billion and $14 billion from 2018 to 2030.
Pipeline companies Williams Cos., Cheniere Energy and Enbridge on Thursday unveiled plans to buy out their subsidiaries organized as master limited partnerships in the wake of a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruling that eliminated some tax benefits for MLPs. "Under the newly changed FERC tax policy, holding certain interstate pipelines in MLP structures is highly unfavorable to unitholders and is no longer advantageous," said Enbridge, which will pay $8.85 billion to purchase its independent units, including Spectra Energy Partners and Enbridge Energy Partners.
The inability of US Gulf Coast ports to handle very large crude carriers threatens to limit US crude export potential since using smaller ships is less time- and cost-effective and therefore would require a wider price differential between US crude and international oil prices to make it economical. The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port is currently the only facility that can directly load VLCCs, while most Gulf Coast ports can only accommodate vessels with capacities of up to 500,000 barrels.
Increased investment in pipeline projects can enhance energy security and ensure customer access to affordable, reliable energy, write American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Jack Gerard and Laborers' International Union of North America General President Terry O'Sullivan. Additionally, a recent ICF study estimates private sector investment in energy infrastructure could reach $1.34 trillion by 2035, with associated employment seen averaging more than 1 million jobs each year.
Logistics company Jupiter MLP has received regulatory permission to expand a crude export dock at the Port of Brownsville in Texas to be able to handle Suezmax-size vessels. The company also plans to build an offshore facility that would accommodate and load very large crude carriers, but the projects are not expected to be completed earlier than 2020.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management signed off on Orsted's site assessment plan for its proposed offshore wind farm in New Jersey on Thursday, giving it the first permit needed to advance the project, said Thomas Brostrom, president of Orsted North America. The company launched its new headquarters in Atlantic City, N.J., the same day.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has opened a review into the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act and may consider how it affects renewable energy and its purchase contracts. "Today's energy landscape is profoundly different from late '70s, and because of this, many have rightly voiced a desire for a fresh look at the existing policy to better align PURPA with the needs we have today," said Commissioner Neil Chatterjee.
A bill under consideration in the Ohio Senate would relax the state's setback distance for wind turbines. The bill would also enact a renewable energy mandate requiring utilities to source 8.5% of their total electricity from renewables by 2026.
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