The Texas Energy Report NewsClips – Non-Subscriber Edition

The Texas Energy Report NewsClips – April 25, 2018

Non-Subscriber’s Edition

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Lead Stories


Corpus Christi Caller Times* – April 23, 2018

Gov. Greg Abbott joins growing calls for funding for Port of Corpus Christi

The chorus is growing louder for the federal government to uphold its financial commitment to the Port of Corpus Christi ship channel expansion project and others like it.

This time, it’s Gov. Greg Abbott joining the call for more funding and action.

In an April 19 letter sent to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Abbott urged the Corps to provide advance funding to ports across Texas, as they play a critical role in the nation’s energy future.



Wall St. Journal* – April 23, 2018

The Next Winners From the Oil Rally

Oil prices may be “artificially Very High,” as Donald Trump alleged last week, but that hasn’t boosted an industry that should be a key beneficiary.

On Monday morning Halliburton HAL -1.31% rounded out first-quarter earnings season for the world’s three largest oil-field-services companies. Like its brethren, Schlumberger and Baker Hughes, a General Electric company, it struck an upbeat tone. With international benchmark oil prices hovering near $75 a barrel, near their highest level since 2014, it would be hard to imagine otherwise.



Asian Business – April 23, 2018

Hedge-fund investors pour into oil as firms predict surge to $80

Hedge funds investing in oil are luring capital at the fastest pace in more than a year.

With crude climbing to levels not seen since 2014, commodity funds have recovered the client outflows they suffered last year. And if firms such as Westbeck Capital Management and Commodities World Capital are correct about prices soon exceeding $80 a barrel from about $68 currently, then the jump in allocations may just the beginning.



Bloomberg News – April 24, 2018

Big Oil Gets Little Love With Toxic Troika Shadowing Revival

For generations of investors, Exxon Mobil Corp. has been a cornerstone of fund managers’ portfolios alongside the biggest names in corporate America. Not so much any more.

From leading the S&P 500 Index a decade ago, the company has dropped to the ninth-largest in a top 10 now dominated by technology giants. Its rivals Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Chevron Corp. aren’t faring much better, with investors demanding unusually high dividend yields to hold the stocks.



Financial Post – April 23, 2018

Solomon: China has declared economic war against us — and we’re helping them win

China is systematically hollowing out the West’s industries, not just toys and T-shirts, as was the case decades ago, but increasingly strategic industries vital to national security. China isn’t succeeding simply because of its comparative advantage in cheap labour. It’s succeeding because of its comparative advantage elsewhere — in its ability to overwhelm target industries using the power of the state.

Take steel, where China now controls 50 per cent of the world’s production, and where — until U.S. President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on steel imports — it was one to two years away from collapsing what was left of America’s steelmaking capacity.


Oil & Gas


CNBC – April 25, 2018

Oil stable but below recent highs as rising U.S. supplies threaten bull-run

Oil prices were stable on Wednesday, but were below more than three-year highs reached the previous session as rising U.S. fuel inventories and production dragged on an otherwise bullish market.

Brent crude oil futures were at 74.02 per barrel at 0020 GMT, up 16 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last close, but were some way below the November-2014 high of $75.47 a barrel reached the previous day.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 14 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $67.84 per barrel. That was also off the late-2014 highs of $69.56 a barrel reached earlier in April. …

U.S. crude inventories rose by 1.1 million barrels in the week to April 20 to 429.1 million, according to a report by the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday.



International Conference on Informational Systems – April 23, 2018

Largest US methanol plant closer to start-up with mechanical completion

This year’s big event in US methanol drew a little closer on Friday as OCI announced that its new Texas plant is mechanically complete.

The new OCI Natgasoline unit in Beaumont, Texas will be the largest US methanol plant when it completes the commissioning phase and begins running, expected in the next two months or so.



Wichita Falls Times Record – April 23, 2018

Texas energy producers arrive for annual expo; Gov. Abbott part of the program

Energy producers and industry vendors converge again in Wichita Falls this week with a sense of optimism, as their statewide agency holds its annual meeting.

The Texas Alliance of Energy Producers opens Tuesday at MPEC on a wave of cheerfulness as the industry has seen an uptick in revenue and job potential.

“Absolutely, there is a sense of optimism in oil patch these days,” said John Tintera, alliance president and chief of staff. …

Wednesday’s events will feature Harold Hamm – for the 8 a.m. breakfast – who is chairman and CEO of Continental Resources. Tintera called Hamm “renown” in the industry. The breakfast will be held in Kay Yeager Coliseum.



KLBK – April 24, 2018

Gas Companies Say Fuel Shortage is Short-Term

LUBBOCK, TX – Gas shortages across the city caused drivers to rush to the pumps over the past couple days, worried about not being able to fuel up their cars.

“It’s kind of hard for us going on road trips because you can’t get gas,” said Glen Robinson, a tow truck driver. “We just have to hit places when we can.”



Houston Chronicle* – April 24, 2018

McDermott’s profits grow as it nears merger, rejects hostile bid

Houston’s McDermott International touted its rising profits as it nears the completion of its merger with The Woodlands-based CB&I.

Offshore engineering and construction firm McDermott on Monday rejected a hostile takeover bid from European rival Subsea 7, reiterating its commitment to complete its nearly $4 billion merger with financially struggling CB&I in May.



Bloomberg News – April 24, 2018

Frackers Preach Patience on Payoff From $70 Oil, Growth in Shale

The world’s biggest oilfield service companies have a message for investors: There’s a payoff for patience.

While first-quarter earnings were less than exciting, Schlumberger Ltd., the largest service provider, said it plans to profitably add about 1 million horsepower worth of rock-crushing pumps this year into North American shale. Halliburton Co., the fracking king, said it sees a return to the 20 percent profit margins last seen before the downturn.



Dallas Morning News* – April 23, 2018

Fracking boom drives Taiwan company’s plan for $9 billion petrochemical plant in Louisiana

A company based in Taiwan plans to build a $9.4 billion chemical manufacturing complex on a 2,400-acre site in Louisiana, officials announced Monday.

Gov. John Bel Edwards and Formosa Petrochemical Corp . Executive Vice President Keh-Yen Lin announced plans for the plant in St. James Parish, between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.




The Hill – April 23, 2018

Shaffer: High oil price not the albatross it once was for US economy

The global oil price is trading at its highest price in more than four years, and it seems that a number of additional price spikes are on the way, as instability and conflict affect several major oil producers.

What has happened? The global oil market has tightened, allowing geopolitical risks to carry a super-sized impact. Many of these risks are exceptional — such as a potential conflict between Iran and Israel — in their capacity to threaten oil supplies.



Hellenic Shipping News – April 24, 2018

Trump vs. OPEC: Oil traders must now ‘rigorously check’ Twitter to monitor simmering feud

Oil traders must become especially attentive to Donald Trump’s Twitter feed over the coming weeks, an analyst said Monday, following the president’s abrupt decision to lash out at the world’s largest oil-producing nations.

In a tweet sent during a key meeting between Saudi-led oil producers and Russia on Friday, Trump criticized OPEC for “artificially” propping up prices. He also warned the oil cartel that its actions were “no good” and “would not be accepted” by the White House.



Houston Chronicle* – April 24, 2018

Struggling Weatherford shrinks loss, grows revenue

Financially struggling Weatherford International is still losing money, but the energy services firm is shrinking its losses and growing its revenues.

Weatherford, which operates out of Houston, posted a $245 million loss for the first quarter versus a $448 million loss a year ago. Despite selling assets and shrinking, Weatherford’s revenues jumped 3 percent to $1.42 billion from the same three months a year ago.



Public News Service – April 23, 2018

Documentary Features Effects of ND Pipelines

A documentary premiering at the Black Hills Film Festival this week will feature the lives of North Dakotans disrupted by oil pipelines. The film “This Land” takes a look at the effects of pipelines up and down the Midwest.

In the Bakken region, the film focuses on a pipeline near the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, which in 2014, spilled more than a million gallons of saltwater, a byproduct of oil operations.



Houston Chronicle* – April 23, 2018

Deepwater Horizon settlement to help restore coast at McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge

Nearly 20 miles of shoreline at McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge will be restored with the help of $26.5 million in funds related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, federal officials announced Monday.

“This important investment will bolster a fragile stretch of shoreline that is critical to the coastal ecosystem and communities of southeast Texas,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, which made the announcement Monday. “The restored shoreline will also serve as a first line of defense against future storms.”



Houston Chronicle* – April 23, 2018

Halliburton software engineer-turned-California winemaker Tom Parmeson returning to his Texas roots

In his previous existence, Tom Parmeson was a precociously successful but too frequently over-stressed software engineer for Halliburton and a resolute beer drinker. Then his wife, Katie, convinced him that a few days spent decompressing in Napa and Sonoma, Calif., would do them both good. For those of us who love wine and wine culture, things played out in a predictable fashion.

Parmeson didn’t quit his day job straight away, but the die was cast immediately. What began as “an innocent wine trip” in 2005 turned into a career-altering, “complete-180 life-changing” adventure for the Bellaire High School (class of ’89) and Texas A&M University graduate.




Evansville Courier and Press (IN) – April 24, 2018

Webb: Vectren’s merger partner CenterPoint has asked for a lot of rate increases lately

For most of us, the news of Vectren’s merger with CenterPoint Energy sparked one question: will it affect my wallet?

It’s an understandable concern. We’re already paying the highest electrical rates in the state – and Vectren just got a hike approved by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission last September.

For now, there’s nothing to worry about. Rates are locked in for at least a while. Vectren CEO Carl Chapman even said the merger could lead to “consumer rate benefits” sometime in the future.




Forbes – April 24, 2018

McCown: Are Our Neighborhood Pipelines Safe?

Residents in northwest Dallas are still reeling from a series of natural gas fires that destroyed multiple homes and resulted in one fatality. …

While these incidents are rare, they seem to be occurring more frequently. Recently another large explosion stemming from a cut gas line in Firestone, Colorado resuled in two fatalities last April. …

That said, gas companies are not always the culprits when it comes to accidents.



Utility Dive – April 24, 2018

Access to data: Bringing the electricity grid into the Information Age

Timely and convenient access to granular energy usage data can help customers track and manage their energy use; equip utilities and competitive suppliers with the information necessary to develop new and innovative customer offerings; empower third-party (non-utility) companies to animate the market for distributed energy resources (DERs); and enable utilities to transition to a more customer-focused culture and business model. While the amount of available data has increased, it remains largely in the hands of utilities, so the question becomes: How can utilities best utilize all this data and make it available – and useful – to customers and third parties?



Wired – April 23, 2018

Why Can’t We Fix Puerto Rico’s Power Grid?

Most folks understand, by now, the difficulties Puerto Rico’s electrical grid faced even before the hurricane. “It’s not the right word, but Puerto Rico’s system is too chunky,” says Jeremy Fisher, a senior strategy and technical advisor at the Sierra Club who co-wrote a scathing 2016 report on the Prepa grid for Synapse Energy. Essentially, the generating capacity is overly centralized, which “puts a lot of requirements on a few large fossil-fueled generating units.” When one fails: poof.


Alternatives and Renewables


Energy Business Review – April 20, 2018

E.ON inaugurates 228MW Bruenning’s Breeze wind farm in Texas

German energy company E.ON has officially inaugurated its 228MW Bruenning’s Breeze wind farm in Willacy County in the US state of Texas.

The Bruenning’s Breeze wind project, which was commissioned in last December, consists of 76 3MW turbines in the AW125/3000 range supplied by German manufacturer Nordex.



Solar Power World – April 18, 2018

Low-income housing represents huge solar opportunity, new study from NREL finds

A new report released by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) shows that nearly half of all the United States’ residential rooftop solar technical potential is on the dwellings of low-to-moderate income (LMI) households, representing 320 GW of potential solar capacity.

Although residential solar adoption has increased over the past decade, adoption among LMI households (defined as 80% or less of the area median income) and affordable housing providers continues to lag, prompting concerns of a green divide.




Dallas Morning News* – April 24, 2018

Wayne: Texas has a big stake in swift NAFTA negotiations

Since 2015, the U.S. has had an energy trade surplus with Mexico, per the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Since Mexico’s 2013 energy sector opening to private investment, U.S.-Mexico and Texas-Mexico energy trade has blossomed in ways that help strengthen North America’s energy security. An essay by the Atlantic Council’s David Goldwyn, however, points out leading presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is a critic of Mexico’s energy reforms who may undermine them and the U.S.



Dallas Morning News* – April 23, 2018

Texas governor orders emergency special election to replace Farenthold in Congress

Voters along the storm-stricken Gulf Coast won’t have to wait until November to replace the disgraced Blake Farenthold, who resigned abruptly from Congress this month, too late for a special election to determine a successor.

Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday ordered a June 30 emergency special election, calling it “imperative” to restore representation in the district. All the counties in the district remain under a state disaster declaration after Hurricane Harvey.



Wall St. Journal* – April 24, 2018

Energy, a Bright Spot in Nafta Talks, Bogged Down by Dispute Over Rule Change

The Trump administration is at odds with American companies over a proposed rule change to the North American Free Trade Agreement that is endangering a bright spot—energy—in contentious treaty talks. …

Under negotiation are initiatives to ease the construction of pipelines across borders, to aid U.S. exports of natural gas and to assist American companies opening gas stations or explore for oil in Mexico, officials say.



New York Times* – April 24, 2018

E.P.A. Announces a New Rule. One Likely Effect: Less Science in Policymaking.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced a new regulation Tuesday that would restrict the kinds of scientific studies the agency can use when it develops policies, a move critics say will permanently weaken the agency’s ability to protect public health.

Under the measure, the E.P.A. will require that the underlying data for all scientific studies used by the agency to formulate air and water regulations be publicly available. That would sharply limit the number of studies available for consideration because much research relies on confidential health data from study subjects.