Carbon & Power Markets News

Apr 22 - Spanish government signals openness to TAQA's bid for Naturgy
Spain on Friday signalled it was open to a potential takeover bid of energy firm Naturgy by Abu Dhabi's TAQA, saying that while the government will defend its strategic interests that did not imply it would block the deal. TAQA confirmed on Wednesday it is in discussions with the three largest shareholders of Naturgy about a possible bid for the largest natural gas firm in Spain.

Apr 22 - First tanker in 11 days arrives at troubled Freeport LNG export plant
The first liquefied natural gas tanker to dock at Freeport LNG's gas liquefaction plant in 11 days arrived on Saturday, vessel tracking data from financial firm LSEG showed. Saturday's arrival of tanker BW Pavilion Leeara signaled a potential restart in coming days of one of the facility three gas-processing trains. Freeport LNG has suffered a series of outages and all units recently were out of service for maintenance, reducing U.S. LNG exports this year.


Apr 19 - Plunging solar capture rates to test nerve of Europe's policymakers: Maguire
Wholesale power prices coming under pressure from surging solar output is not a new concept in power markets, but looks set to become a potentially divisive issue across Europe as rampant expansions in solar output upend market pricing patterns. Power generated by solar panels is the cheapest source of electricity in several regions, and tends to drive down the price of wholesale power during peak solar output periods, eroding margins for power producers.

Apr 19 - US natgas flows rise to Texas Freeport and other LNG export plants, LSEG data shows
The amount of natural gas flowing to the seven U.S. liquefied natural gas export plants, including Freeport LNG, was on track to jump by around 17% on Thursday from a 15-month low on Tuesday, data from financial firm LSEG showed. LNG feedgas rose to a preliminary 10.8 billion cubic feet per day on Thursday, up from 10.1 bcfd on Wednesday and a 15-month low of 9.2 bcfd on Tuesday when feedgas to several facilities dropped, including Freeport in Texas, Cameron LNG in Louisiana, and Cheniere Energy's Sabine Pass in Louisiana and Corpus Christi in Texas.


Apr 18 - China widens wind power lead with new generation record: Maguire
China's wind farms produced over 100 terawatt hours of electricity in March, the highest monthly total ever by a single country and as much as all of Europe and North America combined, data from energy think tank Ember shows. The production total was 25% more than during the same month in 2023, and helps extend China's dominant position as by far the world's largest renewable energy producer.

Apr 18 - US plans to restore tariffs on dominant solar technology, sources say
The Biden administration is expected to grant a request by South Korea’s Hanwha Qcells to reverse a two-year-old trade exemption that has allowed imports of a dominant solar panel technology from China and other countries to avoid tariffs, two sources familiar with the White House plans said on Wednesday. The news sent shares of solar manufacturers including U.S.-based First Solar higher in afternoon trade.


Apr 17 - Permian natgas hits 15-month low as negative prices linger
Natural gas prices in the top U.S. shale field hit their lowest level in 15 months this week and continued to trade in negative territory as a supply overhang shows no sign of quickly abating. Prices at the Waha hub in west Texas closed at negative $2.99 per million British thermal units on Monday, its lowest since December 2022, according to data from LSEG. Waha gas has been trading negative for 23 out of the past 25 days, meaning producers are paying to have their gas taken away.

Apr 17 - US creates climate and trade task force to address commerce, manufacturing emissions
The U.S. will create a new trade task force aimed at reducing carbon emissions from global commerce and manufacturing, White House senior adviser John Podesta said at a conference on Tuesday. The new task force will focus on addressing carbon leakage, carbon dumping, and emissions associated with upstream manufacturing and production, he said, speaking at an event at Columbia University in New York City.


Apr 16 - China's March coal output slumps on high stockpiles, lower demand
China's coal output fell 4.2% in March, statistics bureau data showed, as miners cut back production on lower demand from power generators and ample inventories of the fuel limited stockpiling.  China produced 399.33 million metric tons of coal last month, the National Bureau of Statistics said. That brought output in the first quarter of the year to 1.11 billion tons, down 4.1% compared with the same period last year.

Apr 16 - EPA denies energy industry petition to shield turbines from air rules
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday denied a years-old petition by energy industry groups who sought to get the agency to remove limits on emissions of harmful pollutants from stationary turbines, arguing that the risk causing cancer remains high. The agency denied the joint petition filed in 2019 by groups including American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers and the American Petroleum Institute who asked to delist combustion turbines from the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Pollutants, which imposes curbs on emissions of known carcinogens like formaldehyde and benzene.


Apr 15 - Japan's JERA creates global renewables-focused unit in Britain
Japan's largest power company JERA Co. has created a global renewable energy business to be headquartered in London, as it seeks to increase low-carbon investments to meet decarbonisation targets, the head of the new unit told Reuters. Named JERA Nex, the unit will develop, invest in, own and operate renewable energy projects such as onshore and offshore wind, solar energy and battery storage.

Apr 15 - IAEA chief welcomes cold shutdown of all Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant reactor units
Safety at the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine remains precarious but the shift to a cold shutdown of all six reactor units, completed on Saturday, is positive, the U.N. nuclear watchdog chief said in a statement. Drones attacked Zaporizhzhia, Europe's biggest nuclear power plant, on Sunday, hitting a reactor building in the worst such incident since November 2022, though nuclear safety was not compromised, the International Atomic Energy Agency has said.


Apr 12 - EU Parliament approves legal option to block Russian LNG imports
The European Parliament voted on Thursday to pass rules allowing European governments to ban Russian liquefied natural gas imports, by preventing Russian firms from booking gas infrastructure capacity. The European Union has avoided imposing sanctions on Russian gas, which some members rely heavily on.

Apr 12 - China state planner finalises rule to set up coal production reserve system
China's state planner finalised a rule to set up a domestic coal production reserve system by 2027, aimed at stabilising thermal coal prices and supplies to power plants. The rule, which was first issued in draft form by the National Development and Reform Commission in December, called for 300 million metric tons of "dispatchable" annual coal production by 2030, equivalent to about 6% of last year's output.


Apr 11 - Global coal power grew 2% last year, the most since 2016, GEM survey says
The world's coal-fired power capacity grew 2% last year, its highest annual increase since 2016, driven by new builds in China and decommissioning delays elsewhere, according to research. Despite record renewable additions, nearly 70 gigawatts of new coal power capacity were commissioned across the world last year, including 47.4 GW in China, the U.S.-based Global Energy Monitor think tank said in its annual survey. Coal-fired capacity outside China also grew for the first time since 2019, while worldwide only 21.1 GW was shut down, the survey said.

Apr 11 - US electric utilities brace for surge in power demand from data centers
U.S. electric utilities predict a tidal wave of new demand from data centers powering technology like generative AI, with some power companies projecting electricity sales growth several times higher than estimates just months earlier. Nine of the top 10 U.S. electric utilities said data centers were a main source of customer growth, leading many to revise up capital expenditure plans and demand forecasts, according to a Reuters analysis of company earnings reports from the first three months of the year.


Apr 10 - EU to investigate Chinese wind turbine suppliers
The EU will investigate subsidies received by Chinese suppliers of wind turbines destined for Europe, in the bloc's latest move to shield domestic firms from cheap clean tech products. The European Commission will look into conditions for the development of wind parks in Spain, Greece, France, Romania and Bulgaria, the EU's anti-trust commissioner Margrethe Vestager said on Tuesday.

Apr 10 - France on track to smash clean electricity export record in 2024: Maguire
France has boosted electricity exports by 500% during the first quarter of 2024 from the same period in 2023, and is forecast to lift net electricity exports to a new record for the full year, according to data from Energy Charts and LSEG. As Europe's largest net exporter of electricity and one of the largest European clean power producers, France is a crucial supplier of low-carbon electricity throughout the continent.


Apr 09 - Guyana gas-to-power project to shave weeks off oil output, hit revenue
Guyana’s efforts to use its natural gas resources to fuel a power plant that would slash the South American nation's energy costs have snagged on construction delays and threaten to curtail the rising oil hotspot's revenue this year by about $1 billion. The $1.9 billion gas-to-power project, Guyana's biggest effort to capitalize on its energy bounty, is embroiled in legal fights and risks cost overruns.

Apr 09 - China's first quarter coal imports surge, defying gloomy forecasts: Russell
China's coal industry says it doesn't expect imports to increase this year, but the evidence from the first quarter is that the appetite of the world's biggest buyer remains ravenous. China's imports of all grades of coal from the seaborne market were 97.43 million metric tons in the first quarter of 2024, up 16.9% from 83.36 million tons in the same period in 2023, according to data compiled by commodity analysts Kpler.


Apr 08 - Shell, Aramco in final stage of Pavilion Energy talks
Shell and Saudi Aramco, which are competing to buy the assets of Temasek-owned liquefied natural gas (LNG) trading firm Pavilion Energy, are now locked in price negotiations after completing the due diligence process, three sources with knowledge of the matter said. The potential sale comes a decade after the Singapore state investment firm set up Pavilion Energy to focus on LNG-related investments. The assets could fetch more than $2 billion, two of the sources said.

Apr 08 - Asia takes LNG that Europe doesn't need as spot price stays muted: Russell
Asia's imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) rose sharply in March as the top-buying region took advantage of lower spot prices to draw cargoes away from Europe. A total of 24.16 million metric tons of the super-chilled fuel landed in Asia in March, up from February's 22.73 million and also up 11.5% from the 21.67 million in March 2023, according to data compiled by commodity analysts Kpler.


Apr 04 - EU carbon market emissions fall record 15.5% as renewable power soars
Carbon dioxide emissions regulated under the European Union's emissions trading system (ETS) fell by a record 15.5% in 2023 as renewable power output soared, the European Commission said on Wednesday. Around 45% of the European Union's output of greenhouse gases is regulated by the EU ETS, which is the 27-nation bloc's flagship scheme to tackle global warming by charging for the right to emit carbon dioxide (CO2).

Apr 04 - Majority of CO2 emissions linked to 57 producers and countries, report says
The vast majority of planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions since 2016 can be traced to a group of 57 fossil fuel and cement producers, researchers said on Thursday. From 2016 to 2022, the 57 entities including nation-states, state-owned firms and investor-owned companies produced 80% of the world's CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and cement production, said the Carbon Majors report by non-profit think tank InfluenceMap.


Apr 03 - New west-east route keeps Europe hooked on Russian gas
Western European governments have sought to reduce their energy dependence on Russia since the outbreak of the Ukraine war, but when it comes to gas, they have increasingly substituted the country's pipeline supplies with its liquefied natural gas (LNG). A Reuters analysis of data found more than a tenth of the Russian gas formerly shipped by pipeline to the European Union has been replaced by LNG delivered into EU ports.

Apr 03 - White House open to ending LNG export pause in push for Ukraine aid, sources
U.S. officials are open to ending President Joe Biden's pause on approvals of liquefied natural gas exports to get a Ukraine aide package passed in Congress but want to wait to see the entire proposal before making any decisions, two White House sources said on Tuesday. Biden, a Democrat, in late January had paused approvals for pending and future applications to export the supercooled fuel after protests about the booming industry from activists concerned about its impact on climate change.


Apr 02 - Dutch court hears Shell's appeal against landmark climate ruling
A Dutch court will on Tuesday hear Shell's appeal against a landmark climate ruling which ordered it to drastically deepen planned greenhouse gas emission cuts. The district court in The Hague in 2021 ordered the oil and gas giant to reduce its planet warming carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 from 2019 levels.

Apr 02 - US March LNG exports flat as Freeport plant woes continue
U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) fell slightly in March to 7.61 million metric tons (MT) from 7.73 MT in February as production of the superchilled gas from the country's second largest exporter remained constrained, preliminary data from financial firm LSEG showed on Monday. But the U.S. was the largest exporter of LNG last year with exports rising 12% over 2022 to average 11.9 billion cubic feet per day.


Apr 01 - Poland power firms burn less coal but still lift output: Maguire
Poland's power producers - Europe's most coal-dependent - have managed to boost total electricity generation levels while cutting emissions so far in 2024, thanks to lower coal use in power stations and higher wind output. Coal-fired electricity generation over the first two months of the year dropped by 9.2% from the same period in 2023, but total electricity output climbed by nearly 2%, data from energy think tank Ember shows.

Apr 01 - Japan's JERA suspends output at 4 gas-fired power plants to secure LNG stocks

Japan's biggest power generator JERA said on Friday it has suspended production at four of its gas-fired power stations and curtailed output at another plant from Wednesday to Friday to secure sufficient liquefied natural gas (LNG) inventory. The move comes as a recent drop in temperatures in the Tokyo area boosted power demand while stormy weather caused delays in the arrival of LNG cargoes, causing a drop in LNG stock levels, a JERA spokesperson said.


Mar 28 - New US rules seek to curb methane from oil and gas on public lands
The Biden administration on Wednesday said it had finalized rules aimed at limiting methane leaks from oil and gas drilling on public lands. The policy complements efforts at other federal agencies to reduce emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that tends to leak from drill sites and pipelines and contributes to climate change.

Mar 28 - Big Oil's climate planning not good enough, investor group says
The current low-carbon transition plans of 10 of Europe's and North America's biggest listed oil and gas companies are not good enough to assess the risks involved, the world's leading investor climate action group said on Wednesday. Climate Action 100+ said the companies including Exxon Mobil, Shell and Chevron were assessed using its sector-specific Net Zero Standard for Oil & Gas framework by the independent Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI) Centre.


Mar 27 - Baltimore bridge collapse halts coal shipments
Coal exports from the busy U.S. port of Baltimore have been disrupted following the collapse of a bridge that was struck by a massive cargo ship early Tuesday morning, rail and coal companies said. Rail company CSX on Tuesday said its existing coal customers should expect "potential shipment delays" after the accident, for which the U.S. Coast Guard is still conducting search and rescue operations.

Mar 27 - Enbridge to form natural gas supply venture connecting Permian and Gulf coast
Canadian pipeline operator Enbridge said on Tuesday it would form a venture with I Squared Capital and pipeline firms WhiteWater and MPLX to connect Permian supplies to the U.S. Gulf Coast to tap into strong LNG demand for exports. Enbridge will have a 19% stake, WhiteWater and I Squared a combined 50.6% stake while MPLX will hold 30.4% in the venture. The deal is expected to close in second quarter.


Mar 26 - Europe's clean power sources on a record roll in early 2024: Maguire
A record 60% of Europe's electricity was powered by clean energy sources in the opening two months of 2024, driven by strong year-on-year growth in hydro, solar and wind generation and a rebound in nuclear power production. Total clean electricity generation was a record 516.5 terawatt hours in January and February, up 12% from the same period in 2023, data from energy think tank Ember shows.

Mar 26 - Exxon warns Australia faces sharp drop in gas supply, calls for policy stability
Exxon Mobil Corp on Tuesday gave a dire warning about the outlook of Australia's domestic gas supply, joining other gas producers in calling for policy stability and more investment in the sector. There is an urgent need for new investment in domestic gas supply and infrastructure to provide energy security and affordability for households and businesses, ExxonMobil Australia's Commercial Director David Berman said in a speech to the Australian Domestic Gas Outlook (ADGO) conference in Sydney.


Mar 25 - CERAWEEK-US gas producers shrug off low prices, bet on LNG boom
Energy executives say they are looking past current ultra-cheap gas prices and betting on a coming wave of new liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants to lift demand - and prices - for the fuel. Natural gas prices have fallen by one-third this year, undercut by a warmer winter, outages at LNG facilities and higher-than-expected output. The growth in solar and wind power and a pause on new U.S. LNG export permit reviews also have clouded the outlook for future gas demand.

Mar 25 - GLOBAL LNG-Asia spot LNG gains on supply concerns, steady demand
Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices edged up this week to a six-week high amid supply concerns and following some spot demand pickup from buyers. The average LNG price for May delivery into north-east Asia rose 8% from the previous week to $9.40 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), its highest level since February 9, industry sources estimated.


Mar 22 - CERAWEEK-Exxon ahead of schedule on doubling LNG portfolio, exec says
Exxon Mobil is ahead of schedule with its plan to double the size of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) portfolio to 40 million tons per annum (mtpa) by 2030 and will focus on selling its own gas rather than trading that of third parties, the company's LNG chief said on Thursday. Exxon is revamping its LNG trading strategy amid growing production of the fuel and as part of a wider corporate reorganization that began in 2022.

Mar 22 - Biden's softer climate regulation shows big US bet on subsidies to decarbonize
The Biden administration says its recent decision to scale back new climate regulations meant to force emissions cuts from cars and power plants will have a negligible impact on its overarching goal to halve greenhouse gas pollution this decade. But whether that is true hinges on whether the U.S. succeeds in its parallel strategy - to use lucrative taxpayer subsidies to fuel a massive deployment of solar, wind and other renewable energy installations that Biden hopes will ultimately power America’s fleet of electric vehicles, along with its homes and businesses, according to researchers.


Mar 21 - Lower LNG prices trigger surge in Asian spot market purchases
Price-sensitive liquefied natural gas buyers from China, India and parts of Southeast Asia are snapping up more spot shipments of the fuel to power industries and generate electricity after prices have fallen to the lowest level in nearly three years. The price-led demand revival could push LNG imports by the world's top buyer China beyond its record volume of 78.8 million

Mar 21 - Northern Hemisphere's record winter warmth slashes gas consumption: Kemp
The northern hemisphere has experienced the warmest winter on record, with the unusual warmth concentrated around the Atlantic Basin, which has produced an enormous surplus of gas and slump in prices since October. Surface temperatures on land were +2.65°C above the 20th century average between December and February, according to data compiled by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).


Mar 20 - Solar panel prices to remain low for up to two years, says industry exec
Prices of solar panels, which nearly halved over the last 12 months, will remain at current levels for up to two years, a Malaysian industry executive said on Tuesday. Manufacturers in Malaysia, the world's third largest producer of solar photovoltaic modules (PV), are slowing down expansion plans to adjust for lower demand and prices, Davis Chong, President of the Malaysian Photovoltaic Industry Association, told Reuters.

Mar 20 - European coal-to-gas fuel switching set to continue this year
The fall of European wholesale gas prices to levels from before the Ukraine war and greater use of renewable energy is encouraging more electricity utilities to ditch heavily polluting coal, further pushing coal out of the power mix. European gas prices soared in 2022 and early 2023 in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, prompting many utilities to switch back to relatively cheaper coal, right when the region was trying to phase it out to meet climate targets.


Mar 19 - CERAWEEK-Lower LNG prices should boost gas demand, executives say
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices have fallen about a third over the past nine months, propping up demand, which should tighten the LNG market in the near-term, executives said on Monday at the CERAWeek energy conference. LNG prices have tumbled as supplies have swelled. LNG for April delivery into northeast Asia was at $8.60 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) last week, its lowest since April 2021.

Mar 19 - CERAWEEK-Big Oil executives push back against calls for fast energy transition
Top oil executives took to the stage of a major energy conference on Monday to vocally oppose calls for a quick move away from fossil fuels, saying society would pay a steep cost to replace oil and gas. Big oil companies including BP and Equinor have written down renewable energy projects and others have been forced to push back their greenhouse gas reduction targets due to greater uncertainties with the transition to clean fuels.


Mar 18 - China's Jan-Feb coal output slips 4% on high stockpiles, weak price forecasts
China's coal production in January and February fell 4% from the previous year as high stockpiles and forecast lower prices up a damper on mining output. China, the world's largest producer, mined 705.27 million metric tons of coal in the first two months of the year, the National Bureau of Statistics said, down from 734.23 million in the corresponding 2023 period.

Mar 18 - Germany reports $2.5 billion power trade deficit in 2023 - newspaper
Germany had a 2.29 billion euro international electricity trade deficit last year, driven by the closure of its last nuclear power plant and imports of cheaper foreign power, Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper reported. Germany imported electricity at a cost of 5.7 billion euros in 2023, offset by export revenues of 3.5 billion euros, pushing Europe's largest economy into a negative electricity trade balance for the first time in years, the newspaper reported, citing data by the Federal Network Agency.

Mar 15 - Shell weakens climate targets with growing bet on gas
Shell weakened a 2030 carbon reduction target and scrapped a "perilous" 2035 objective, citing expectations for strong gas demand and uncertainty in the energy transition even as it affirmed a plan to cut emissions to net zero by 2050. Shell's retreat follows a similar move by rival BP last year as many governments around the world slowed down the roll out of climate policies and delayed targets amid soaring energy costs and supply concerns.

Mar 15 - Brazil diversifies clean power sources away from hydro: Maguire
Brazil's electricity producers have reduced their reliance on the country's mammoth system of hydro dams by sharply increasing output from solar and wind farms since 2018, data from energy think tank Ember shows. The share of electricity generated by hydro sources has dropped from 74% in 2018 to 67% in 2023, while solar and wind sites have increased their combined share of Brazil's electricity generation pie from 9% to 22% over the same period.

Mar 14 - Methane emissions from energy sector rose in 2023 despite climate pledges
Methane emissions from the energy sector remained near a record high in 2023 despite commitments from the sector to plug leaking infrastructure in a bid to combat climate change, a report by the International Energy Agency said on Wednesday. Methane emissions from human activities such as oil and natural gas production, agriculture, and landfills are short-lived in the atmosphere but many times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. They have driven about a third of the rise in global temperatures since the industrial revolution.

Mar 14 - Yellen says Biden tax credits boost clean energy investment in coal country
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Wednesday clean energy investments in parts of the U.S. historically relianton fossil fuels have more than doubled to $4.5 billion per month due to Biden administration tax credits targeting such communities. Yellen said in remarks in central Kentucky that Treasury Department research using Rhodium Group data also shows clean energy investment in other communities has risen to $3.5 billion per month - a $1 billion increase - thanks to the incentives in the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).


Mar 13 - Softer spot LNG prices see demand gain, contrast with contract pain: Russell
Lower spot prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Asia have yet to drive a significant boost in demand for the super-chilled fuel, although there is an increase in appetite from price-sensitive buyers such as India and China. Asia's imports of LNG are estimated at 22.59 million metric tons for March by commodity analysts Kpler, slightly below the 22.69 million recorded for February.

Mar 13 - US natgas output to decline in 2024 while demand rises to record high, EIA says
U.S. natural gas production will decline in 2024 while demand will rise to a record high, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO) on Tuesday. EIA projected dry gas production will ease from a record 103.79 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in 2023 to 103.35 bcfd in 2024 as several producers reduce their drilling activities after prices fell to a 3-1/2-year low in February.


Mar 12 - US carbon pipeline company pledges no oil recovery, but Bakken drillers want it
Summit Carbon Solutions, which is trying to build the biggest carbon dioxide capture pipeline in the United States to transport and bury greenhouse gases, has repeatedly pledged its project will not be used by drillers to boost output from oil fields. But Summit has a different message for prospective clients, including North Dakota’s oil sector, according to a Reuters review of state regulatory filings and recordings of public appearances by company executives: if you want to use our project for enhanced oil recovery (EOR), where gas is pumped into oil fields to increase production, just write a check.

Mar 12 - EQT to buy Equitrans Midstream in bid to boost natural gas margins
Top U.S. natural gas producer EQT Corp on Monday said it agreed to buy Equitrans Midstream in an all-stock deal that values its former pipeline unit at about $14 billion including debt, as companies look to navigate decade-low prices for the commodity. Merger activity in U.S. shale oil and gas has soared in pursuit of greater scale and cost efficiencies amid volatile prices, with $250 billion in deals in the oil and gas industry in 2023.


Mar 11 - Japan boosts reliance on allies Australia, US for long-term LNG
Resource-scarce Japan is shoring up long-term supplies of liquefied natural gas from close allies Australia and the United States as key contracts from providers including Russia are set to expire by the early 2030s. Japan's biggest power generator JERA last month agreed to buy a 15.1% stake in Woodside Energy's Scarborough project in Australia.

Mar 11 - US natural gas pipeline accidents pose big, unreported climate threat
Pipeline mishaps unintentionally released nearly 9.7 billion cubic feet of gas into the atmosphere between 2019 and late 2023, according to a Reuters examination of incident report data maintained by the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). That is the climate equivalent of running four average-sized coal-fired power plants for a year, according to an Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) online calculator.


Mar 08 - China coal imports seen flat in 2024, state-run utility says
China's coal imports are expected to be little changed in 2024, despite expectations for an increase of 4% in demand for the polluting fuel, a senior executive of a state-run utility said on Friday. Tepid growth in shipments by the world's top importer of the fuel could suppress global prices and worsen fears of oversupply, with Indonesia, the world's top exporter of coal, expected to further boost exports from record levels.

Mar 08 - Europe's mild winter leaves gas stocks at record high: Kemp
Europe is on track to end the winter with a record volume of gas in storage, which has pushed futures prices back to pre-crisis levels once inflation is taken into account. The supply picture has been transformed from two years ago, when traders and policymakers were worried about possible gas shortages following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Mar 07 - Mexico's Pemex, Carlos Slim team met to discuss deepwater gas project
Mexican state energy company Pemex and billionaire investor Carlos Slim's team are discussing ways to revive development of the country's first deepwater natural gas field that was shelved twice before, two sources told Reuters. The sources, both with direct knowledge of the matter, said executives of companies controlled by the Slim family met with Pemex on Tuesday to discuss the Gulf of Mexico gas field. One of the sources said the parties had agreed to meet again.

Mar 07 - Saudi Aramco, UAE's ADNOC in talks to invest in US LNG projects
Gulf oil giants Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) are in talks to invest in U.S. liquefied natural gas projects, as they step up competition with oil majors and regional rival Qatar in the booming super-chilled gas market, sources aware of the matter said. The two energy giants are trying to exploit their fossil fuel resources while they can and with demand for the chilled fuel expected to grow by 50% by 2030, they are tapping opportunities in the United States which has become the world's biggest exporter of LNG as it sends record volumes to Europe.


Mar 06 - US solar installations to benefit from Inflation Reduction Act in 2024, report says
The U.S. solar industry is expected to continue its momentum in 2024 after accounting for over 50% of new electricity capacity additions to the grid last year, according to a report published by Wood Mackenzie and the Solar Energy Industries Association on Wednesday. Companies and residents have aimed to capitalize on U.S. President Joe Biden's Inflation Reduction Act, which provides generous tax credits for EVs and clean energy technologies such as wind and solar farms.

Mar 06 - Biden's scaled-back power rule raises doubts over US climate target
The Biden administration’s decision to exclude the existing U.S. fleet of natural gas power plants from upcoming carbon emissions regulations raises questions over the nation's ability to meet its climate goals, according to researchers. Cleaning up the U.S. power industry, source of about a quarter of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions, has been a central plank of President Joe Biden’s strategy to decarbonize the nation’s economy by 2050 to counter global warming.

Mar 05 - China sets tougher 2024 energy efficiency goal after missing 2023 target
China set more stringent energy intensity targets for 2024, despite missing last year's goal, as the world's biggest energy consumer tries to keep from falling further behind on its consumption targets under the five-year plan through 2025. China is aiming to cut its energy intensity, or the amount of energy used per unit of economic growth, by 2.5% in 2024, higher than last year's missed 2% goal, the National Development and Reform Commission said in a report released at the opening of the annual National People's Congress.

Mar 05 - EU wants fossil fuel sector to help pay to combat climate change, draft shows
The European Union is set to call for the fossil fuel industry to help pay for fighting climate change in poorer countries under a United Nations target, a draft document shows, as nations prepare for talks this year on a global finance goal. This year's U.N. climate negotiations in Baku, Azerbaijan, in November, are the deadline for countries to agree a new goal of how much wealthy, industrialised nations should pay poorer ones to adjust to the most severe impacts of a hotter world.


Mar 04 - Energy firms boost gas exploration in Southeast Asia to meet growing demand
Energy companies are ramping up exploration activities in Southeast Asia to boost natural gas output and meet long-term demand growth, drawn by recent discoveries and improved investment policies, company executives and analysts said. Malaysia and Indonesia have recently seen successful upstream discoveries, including a major discovery by Mubadala Energy in the South Andaman Block, following years of underinvestment in the sector since the 2015 oil price crash.

Mar 04 - US LNG exports fall in February on outage and fewer calendar days
A month-long closure at Freeport LNG plant in Texas and fewer days in the month pushed February U.S. liquefied natural gas exports 7% lower than in January, preliminary date from financial firm LSEG showed on Friday. The drop followed record shipments last year that propelled the U.S. to the world's largest exporter, above Qatar and Australia, a rank it is expected to retain this year.


Mar 01 - Russian pipeline gas exports to Europe rise 4% in February m/m - Reuters calculations
Average daily natural gas supplies to Europe by Russian energy giant Gazprom were up 4% in February from average January levels and rose by almost 26% from the same month of 2023, Reuters calculations showed on Thursday. The calculations, based on data from the European gas transmission group Entsog and Gazprom's daily reports on gas transit via Ukraine, showed that average daily pipeline exports of Russian gas to Europe rose to 84.9 million cubic metres (mcm) last month from 81.6 mcm in January.

Mar 01 - US EPA removes existing natgas plants from proposed carbon rule
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday said it will exclude existing natural gas power plants from its proposed carbon regulations that it plans to finalize in April, narrowing the scope of the initial proposal that would have required stringent controls on those facilities. The electric sector had questioned whether the EPA had authority to force use of technologies that the sector said are not economically or technically feasible for widespread use.


Feb 29 - Russia diverts LNG supplies for Asia around Africa to avoid Red Sea, LSEG data shows
Russia is diverting China-bound cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) on a longer route via the Cape of Good Hope due to the heightened risk of attacks by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group, LSEG data showed. Global fuel producers, including Russia, were forced to change the way they deliver to Asia and go around Africa to avoid Houthi attacks in the Red Sea despite the Suez canal being the shortest route between Asia and Europe.

Feb 29 - New US sanctions more likely to curb Indian imports of Russian coal, traders say
New U.S. sanctions on Moscow are more likely than previous ones to cut Indian imports of thermal coal from Russia because they specifically cite top exporters SUEK and Mechel, three major traders of Russian coal said. Russia, historically a minor exporter of the fuel to India, began boosting shipments to the south Asian country after Western sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.


Feb 28 - India's thermal coal imports seen falling for first time since pandemic
India's thermal coal imports are expected to fall for the first time this year since the COVID-19 pandemic due to increasing domestic output and record high inventories, industry officials said on Tuesday. Out of eleven coal traders Reuters spoke with at the Coaltrans India conference in the western state of Goa, eight expected shipments of the fuel to decrease this year, while the others foresaw flat imports or marginal growth.

Feb 28 - EU 2030 wind target within reach thanks to investment, improved permitting, industry body says
The European Union's wind power target for 2030 is within reach due to a rebound in investment and improved permitting procedures, an industry association report showed on Tuesday. In an outlook on the sector to 2030, WindEurope forecast that the EU will install an average of 29 gigawatts (GW) in wind capacity each year, increasing installed capacity to 393 GW. To meet the EU's climate targets, 33 GW a year needs to be installed.


Feb 27 - Qatar's new LNG expansion plans to squeeze out US, other rivals
Qatar's planned expansion of liquefied natural gas (LNG) production could see it control nearly 25% share of the global market by 2030 and squeeze out rival projects including in the United States where President Biden paused new export approvals, market experts say. Qatar, one of the world's top LNG exporters, plans an 85% expansion in LNG output from its North Field's current 77 million metric tons per year (mtpa) to 142 mtpa by 2030, from previously expected 126 mtpa.

Feb 27 - U.S. gas glut gets hedge funds ultra bearish: Kemp
Portfolio investors have become extremely bearish about the outlook for U.S. gas prices, even though prices have already fallen to their lowest level in real terms since futures began trading in 1990. Hedge funds and other money managers sold the equivalent of 399 billion cubic feet (bcf) in the two major futures and options contracts linked to prices at Henry Hub in Louisiana over the seven days ending on Feb. 20.


Feb 26 - Qatar plans new gas output boost amid global price collapse
Qatar will raise natural gas production despite a recent steep drop in global prices, in a long-term bet on rising demand for the less polluting fuel in Europe and Asia.  QatarEnergy chief Saad al-Kaabi said on Sunday a new expansion of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) production will add 16 million metric tons per year to its expansion plans, bringing total capacity to 142 million tons per year (tpy).

Feb 26 - At Saudi Aramco's Jafurah field, another 15 trln standard cubic feet of gas reserves proven
An additional 15 trillion standard cubic feet of gas have been proven at Saudi state oil company Aramco's Jafurah field, Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Sunday. Reserves at Jafurah have reached 229 trillion cubic feet of gas and 75 billion barrels of condensates, Prince Abdulaziz said in a statement on state news agency SPA.


Feb 23 - Denmark weighs CO2 tax options, alarm bells ring for pork industry (IHSmarkit)

- Expert committee outlines three options for CO2 tax for agriculture
- Pig industry leaders warn that high taxes would simply drive more production overseas
- Pork production in Denmark is already falling more rapidly than in other EU countries

Representatives of Denmark’s fast-shrinking pigmeat sector have warned that production could fall even further if the country opts to introduce a high CO2 tax for agriculture.

- After several delays, an expert committee this week submitted a report with various proposals on how a CO2 tax could be implemented.
The so-called Svarer Report outlined three models for CO2 tax, which it says could help Denmark meet its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030, with the longer-term goal of reaching climate neutrality by 2045.

- The three models each involve different levels of taxes, ranging from DKK250 (US$36) to DKK750 (US$109) per metric ton of CO2e, and combine these with deductions and subsidies that could be financed via restructuring of agricultural support.

"Which model you prefer will be a political choice. Deductions and subsidies can be interpreted as society's price for reducing the financial burden on agriculture and addressing the risk of leakage [of greenhouse gas emissions abroad]", says the chairman of the expert group, Michael Svarer.


Implications for industry

- The report suggests pigmeat production could fall by 11% if Denmark adopts the second model - involving a CO2 tax of DKK375 per metric ton - and by more than 17% if it opts for the harshest option of DKK750 per metric ton. Industry leaders warn that this high-tax option may do little to reduce emissions as production may simply move to other countries, where the absence of such policies would offer cost advantages.
“The aim must be to transform agricultural production so that we reach our climate goals without significantly reducing food production. If it is to succeed, it is crucial that the reform gives a carrot to the companies and farmers who are furthest ahead with climate action and green innovation,” said Jais Valeur, chief executive of Danish Crown, Denmark’s leading processor.

- On the eve of the report’s publication, Valeur said farmers would be unwilling to invest if they see profitability eroded by tax obligations not faced by rivals in other parts of Europe.
“That is why I am very pleased that the government has clearly stated… that the tax must maintain competitiveness and ensure that jobs are not moved out of the country,” he noted.
Next steps

- As a next stage, this week’s report will be considered by a grouping of organizations, including the Danish Agriculture and Food Council (L&F), Dansk Industri, the Danish Food F ederation and the Nature Conservation Association. Responding to this week’s publication, L&F chairman Søren Søndergaard says it is “obvious to most people that a high, uniform tax is not compatible with the government’s position”.
”Such a tax, which is imposed even on the most climate-efficient farmers, will be at odds with the ambition to secure jobs, competitiveness and green conversion of our strong Danish food production,” he notes.

- Pigmeat production in Denmark has fallen more rapidly than in any other EU country in recent months – dropping by more than 20% y/y in the first ten months of 2023. Pig numbers fell to 11.37 million head on 1 January 2024. Although this was 1.5% lower than in January last year, it was significantly higher than the totals recorded later on in 2023. With breeding sow numbers now starting to recover, Denmark’s overall pig herd appears to have bottomed out. However, large numbers of these animals are no longer being fattened in Denmark itself but are instead being exported at a young age, to then be fattened and slaughtered in Germany and Poland.


Feb 23 - Shell's LNG trading makes $2.4 bln in final 2023 quarter, sources say
Nearly a third of Shell's profit in the fourth quarter of 2023 came from the $2.4 billion it made in trading liquefied natural gas (LNG) as it captured strong demand ahead of winter, three sources close to the company told Reuters. Two of the sources said the quarterly profit from LNG trading was among the highest in Shell's history.

Feb 23 - Equinor gets key US approval for New York offshore wind farm
U.S. officials on Thursday gave Norway's Equinor approval to start building a massive offshore wind farm off the coast of New York, a positive milestone for a project that has faced soaring costs and does not have a power supply contract. The plan approved by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management includes construction and operation of both the Empire Wind 1 and Empire Wind 2 facilities, which could power more than 700,000 homes annually once built.


Feb 22 - Tumbling US natural gas prices prove unstoppable, hurting producers
For nearly a year, U.S. natural gas producers have slammed the brakes on production as prices fall. But relentless output gains including from oil companies that pump gas as an oil byproduct have unleashed record supplies.  In the oil versus gas contest, gas producers are losing out. Some are shutting in wells, canceling projects or selling themselves to rivals to avoid losses.

Feb 22 - China 2023 coal power approvals rose, putting climate targets at risk
China approved another 114 gigawatts (GW) of coal power capacity in 2023, up 10% from a year earlier, with the world's top carbon polluter now at risk of falling short on climate targets after sanctioning dozens of new plants, research showed. In an effort to bring climate-warming emissions to a peak by 2030, China has vowed to "strictly control" new coal-fired generation capacity, and has also connected record numbers of new wind and solar plants to its grid.


Feb 21 - Germany earmarks up to $3.8 bln for future green hydrogen imports
Germany will earmark up to $3.8 billion of public funds to procure green hydrogen and its derivatives between 2027 and 2036, the economy ministry said on Tuesday, as Berlin bets on the fuel to help decarbonise Europe's biggest economy. "The aim of the funding measure is to bring together supply and demand, both in terms of quantities and prices," the ministry said in a statement, adding that money will come from the government's Climate and Transformation Fund.

Feb 21 - Guyana's $1.9 billion gas-to-power project delayed to 2025
Guyana will delay until 2025 its biggest effort to capitalize on its energy bounty, a $1.9 billion gas-to-power project that was to start this year, using untapped gas to slash electricity costs, a Ministry of Natural Resources consultant said on Tuesday. The rising oil producing nation relies on imported fuels in its shaky electric grid and has promised to use its oil wealth to construct a 140-mile (225 km) pipeline, gas processing facility and up to 300 megawatt (MW) power plant.


Feb 20 - Slumping US gas prices cause hedge funds to despair: Kemp
Portfolio investors have become more bearish about the outlook for U.S. natural gas prices than at any time since the first wave of COVID-19 took hold in March 2020. Bearish positions betting on a further decline in prices accumulated even though prices were already at the lowest level in real terms since futures started trading in 1990.

Feb 20 - China's Sinopec strikes new shale gas in Sichuan basin
China's Sinopec Corp said on Monday it had produced 204,500 cubic metres of gas a day in a new exploration shale gas well in southwest China's Sichuan basin, potentially adding sizeable proven reserves to a recently discovered field. The drilling of the Dingye-11 well, located in the shallower reservoir at the rim of the Sichuan basin previously deemed uneconomic to develop, came following research and development on the rock formations of the gas-rich basin, Sinopec said.


Feb 19 - El Niño pushes real US gas prices to multi-decade low: Kemp
Inflation-adjusted U.S. gas prices have fallen to the lowest level for over 30 years as a mild winter and continued production growth leave the market carrying a growing surplus of inventories. Front-month futures for gas delivered at Henry Hub in Louisiana slumped to $1.58 per million British thermal units on Feb. 15, the lowest in real terms since the futures contract was launched in 1990.

Feb 19 - Japanese utilities would see impact if U.S. pause of LNG export permits becomes long term
Japanese electric utilities won't be affected in the short term by the United States' recent decision to pause liquefied natural gas export permits but if the move becomes long term it could affect global LNG supply, the head of their industry body said on Friday. U.S. President Joe Biden last month paused approvals for applications to export from new LNG projects to review the climate change and economic impact of such projects. Japan is the world's second-biggest LNG importer after China.


Feb 16 - US House passes bill to reverse Biden's LNG pause
A bill to strip the power of President Joe Biden's administration to freeze approvals of liquefied natural gas exports passed in the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday, but faces an uphill battle in the Senate. The House approved the bill sponsored by Representative August Pfluger of gas-producing Texas 224-200 on a mostly party-line vote.

Feb 16 - Shell's lofty ambitions for Asian LNG demand face price hurdle
Shell's forecast that global demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) will surge by more than 50% by 2040 is both bold and questionable, with some of the underlying assumptions not supported by current trends, especially in the key Asia markets. The oil major released its LNG market outlook on Wednesday in which it estimated LNG demand will reach 625-685 million metric tons per year in 2040.


Feb 15 - Shell expects 50% rise in global LNG demand by 2040
Global demand for liquefied natural gas is estimated to rise by more than 50% by 2040, as China and countries in South and Southeast Asia use LNG to support their economic growth, Shell said on Wednesday. The market remains "structurally tight", with prices and price volatility remaining above historic averages, constraining growth, the world's largest LNG trader said in its 2024 annual LNG market outlook.

Feb 15 - Falling power prices threaten debt-laden EDF's revival
Falling electricity prices are slowing EDF's negotiations with industrial customers for long-term contracts, four sources and experts say, threatening the debt-laden energy group's long-term finances and ability to keep its aging nuclear plants running. Financial results for 2023 on Friday will likely show progress in cutting some of EDF's $69.5 billion of debt and a rise in profits bolstered by soaring power prices following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022.


Feb 14 - Europe’s swollen gas stocks drive prices lower
Northwest Europe is roughly two-thirds of the way through the heating season, with a record volume of gas in storage for the time of year, which is putting downward pressure on gas prices. Gas inventories across the European Union and the United Kingdom stood at 771 terawatt-hours (TWh) on Feb. 10, according to data compiled by Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE).

Feb 14 - Asia's thermal coal imports slip from record as winter demand eases
Asia's imports of seaborne thermal coal eased from record highs in January as top buyers China and India saw arrivals ease. However, there was strength in Japan and South Korea, which helped drive some divergence in prices between the high-energy coal preferred by the third- and fourth-biggest importers in Asia, and the lower quality fuel sought by China and India.


Feb 13 - Global carbon markets value hit record $949 bln last year – LSEG
The value of traded global markets for carbon dioxide (CO2) permits reached a record 881 billion euros in 2023, marking a 2% increase on the previous year, analysts at LSEG said on Monday. Many countries and regions have launched emissions trading systems (ETS) to put a price on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and incentivise companies to invest in low carbon technology and help meet climate targets.

Feb 13 - US natgas price to average higher in 2024 and 2025 – EIA
The U.S. natural gas spot price is projected to average higher in 2024 and 2025 compared with last year but will remain below the $3.00-per-million British thermal units (MMBtu) mark, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Monday. "We forecast increases in natural gas prices as demand for natural gas grows faster than supply in 2024," the agency said.


Feb 12  - National Grid, Constellation Energy agree on LNG supply deal for Mass. facility
Britain's National Grid on Friday said it reached an agreement with gas-supplier Constellation Energy that would allow it to keep operating its Everett gas-import terminal for six years. The Everett, Massachusetts, facility supplies natural gas to power plants and other utilities across New England. It was set to close with the May retirement of Constellation's Mystic Generating Station, a gas-fired power plant.

Feb 12  - Brazil's hydro power adds to global gas surplus
Brazil's gas imports fell to their lowest level for two decades in 2023 as its brimming hydroelectric reservoirs and rapid wind and solar deployment hit thermal power demand. Imports were the lowest since 2003, National Agency for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels data shows, at 6.5 billion cubic metres (228 billion cubic feet) in 2023, from 9 billion cubic metres in 2022 and 16.9 billion cubic metres in 2021.


Feb 09 - Top Biden official at Senate hearing defends LNG pause
A top U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) official on Thursday defended President Joe Biden's pause on approvals of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports at a Senate hearing called by a fellow Democrat who said he will investigate the decision. Biden paused the approvals late last month so his administration can take a "hard look" at the environmental and economic impacts of the booming industry.

Feb 09 - Germany cranks gas-fired electricity output to 2-year highs: Maguire
German gas-fired electricity generation jumped to its highest levels in two years in January as power firms dialled up output to compensate for the closure of the country's nuclear reactors and meet higher heating demand during a cold snap last month. The 8.74 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity generated from gas-fired power stations was the highest since January 2022, according to think tank Ember, which was just before Russia's invasion of Ukraine led to the severing of gas pipeline flows to Europe's largest gas consumer and economy.


Feb 08 - Wind power giants find little shelter from sector troubles
The world's three biggest wind power groups - Siemens Energy, Orsted and Vestas - on Wednesday gave a sober view of the year ahead for an industry buffeted by project delays, equipment problems and inflation. Siemens Energy, the world's largest maker of offshore wind turbines, expects a 2024 loss before special items of around 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion) at Siemens Gamesa. The wind division has had to deal with the cost of addressing quality problems affecting some onshore models.

Feb 08 - Spain on a clean power roll as wind output swells: Maguire
Spain's electricity system hit a new clean milestone in 2023 as electricity generated from wind exceeded electricity output from fossil fuel sources for the first time. Wind power generated 61.09 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity in 2023, according to energy think tank Ember, exceeding the 61.04 TWh generated from all fossil fuel sources in Spain last year.


Feb 07 - Russia's Novatek sets up China office to market gas amid sanctions
Russian natural gas producer Novatek is building a new China-based team to explore marketing the fuel, sources familiar with the plans said, as U.S. sanctions thwart plans for exports from its new multi-billion-dollar Arctic project. The move illustrates Russian energy companies' continued pivot to Asia, especially China, after the Ukraine conflict cut off their access to markets in Europe.

Feb 07 - QatarEnergy and India's Petronet sign biggest LNG deal to date
QatarEnergy and India's Petronet LNG signed their biggest single deal for supplies of liquefied natural gas (LNG) on Tuesday, as India ramps up use of the fuel in a bid to curb emissions. The deal will see Qatar supply 7.5 million metric tons per year of LNG to Petronet LNG on a delivered ex-ship basis (DES) from 2028 to 2048, according to a Petronet LNG statement.


Feb 06 - Germany outlines $17 bln plan to subsidise gas-to-hydrogen shift
Germany's government has agreed plans to subsidise gas power plants that can switch to hydrogen, the economy ministry said on Monday, with a price tag of $17 billion in subsidies as part of efforts to supplement intermittent renewable energy and speed up the transition to low carbon generation. The announcement follows pressure from the industry, impatient for detail after the government had promised the strategy last year as Germany counts on hydrogen to help the country move away from gas and coal.

Feb 06 - US says allies 'reassured' LNG pause does not affect current exports
U.S. allies concerned about steady supplies of liquefied natural gas (LNG) are reassured when they understand President Joe Biden's pause on LNG export approvals does not affect currently permitted shipments, a U.S. State Department official said on Monday. "I've found that our allies who raise these issues with me, tend to be quickly reassured when you explain to them what this is, which is a pause," not a reversal, Geoffrey Pyatt, an assistant secretary for energy resources, told reporters in a call. "This policy will have no impact on currently permitted LNG exports."


Feb 05 - Asia LNG imports are robust, but record supply keeps spot prices muted: Russell
The spot price of liquefied natural gas (LNG) is continuing to meander at low levels amid ample supply from major exporters and signs that winter demand is easing in the top-importing regions of Asia and Europe. The spot price for LNG delivered to north Asia ended at $9.60 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) in the week to Feb. 2, up slightly from the seven-month low of $9.50 the previous week.

Feb 05 - US LNG export pause leaves EU, industry at odds over energy security
Europe will have enough gas supply for the next 10 years and thereafter despite a move by the U.S. administration to pause approvals on new liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants, EU energy officials and analysts said, dismissing industry's warnings. Gas companies - and lobby groups who learned of the move ahead of the decision and unsuccessfully opposed it according to documents seen by Reuters - warned it would compromise global energy security and efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.


Feb 02 - Timing opportune for European renewable power supply deals - PPA platform
Prices of European power purchase agreements (PPA) for green electricity fell 2% in the fourth quarter of 2023, making a case for buyers to strike new deals ahead of an expected rise in demand, price tracking platform LevelTen said on Thursday. PPAs, bilateral long-term agreements between corporate power users and wind and solar project developers, give consumers supply security and developers a guaranteed income stream, making it easier to arrange financing.

Feb 02 - US LNG exports fall in January on Arctic freeze, plant outages
Cold weather and outages at second-largest exporter Freeport LNG cut U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports last month below the December record, LSEG ship tracking data showed. U.S. producers exported 8.3 million metric tons (MT) of the superchilled gas, down nearly 5% from December's 8.7 MT, which cemented the U.S. role as 2023's largest LNG exporter, LSEG data showed.


Feb 01 - Czechs ask French, S.Korean firms for binding bids for up to 4 nuclear blocks
The Czech government said on Wednesday it would seek binding bids to build up to four nuclear power plant units instead of one, widening a long-running tender aimed at keeping nuclear power a big part of the country's energy mix in the coming decades. The government said it would invite the amended bids from South Korea's KHNP and France's EDF by April 15.

Feb 01 - Republican says US House to vote on reversing Biden's LNG exports pause -Bloomberg
The U.S. House of Representatives will vote next month on a measure to overturn the Biden administration's moratorium on approvals of new liquefied natural gas exports, Bloomberg reported, citing a Republican lawmaker. The measure will be voted on the week after next, the report said, citing Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.


Jan 31 - Germany needs to speed up offshore wind capacity expansion to hit targets
Germany raised installed offshore power wind capacity by 257 megawatts (MW) in 2023 to reach 8,465 MW but needs to step up the pace to meet a target of 30,000 MW by the end of 2030, industry groups said on Tuesday. Wind power is central to Germany's renewable energy transition as Berlin aims to generate at least 80% of electricity output by 2030 from green sources such as solar and wind compared with around 50% now.

Jan 31 - Holtec to get $1.5 bln loan to re-open Michigan nuclear power plant
Holtec International is set to get a $1.5 billion conditional loan in February from the U.S. Energy Department to help it restart the Palisades nuclear power plant in Michigan, a person with knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday. The loan from the Department of Energy's Loan Programs Office is likely to be announced in late February, the person said, declining to be identified as the information was not yet public.


Jan 30 - US pause on LNG exports raises pressure on Canada, BC to do same
U.S. President Joe Biden's decision to pause expansion of American liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports has raised pressure from environmental groups on the British Columbia and Canadian governments to do the same, although following suit may be politically difficult. British Columbia will hold an election in October, and its left-leaning New Democrat government is expected to decide late this year whether to approve Ksi Lisims' 12 million-metric ton export facility. It would become Canada's second-largest LNG terminal and also requires federal approval.

Jan 30 - QatarEnergy, Excelerate Energy sign 15-year supply LNG deal
QatarEnergy and U.S.-based Excelerate Energy signed on Monday a 15-year agreement to supply 1 million metric tons per year (mtpa) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to be delivered to Bangladesh for 15 years from January 2026. The deal is the latest in a series state-owned QatarEnergy has with European and Asian partners tied to its massive North Field expansion project, which is expected to lift Qatar's LNG production to 126 mtpa by 2027 from 77 mtpa now.


Jan 29 - Biden pauses LNG export approvals after pressure from climate activists
U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday paused approvals for pending and future applications to export liquefied natural gas from new projects, a move cheered by climate activists that could delay decisions on new plants until after the Nov. 5 election. The Department of Energy will conduct a review during the pause that will look at the economic and environmental impacts of projects seeking approval to export LNG to Europe and Asia where the fuel is in hot demand.

Jan 29 - EU assessing future Russian gas flows via Ukraine
A European Union official on Friday declined to speculate on whether a contract to import Russian gas via Ukraine will be extended beyond the end of 2024, but said the bloc was assessing all scenarios to ensure its preparedness. Russia slashed gas deliveries to Europe since its Feb. 2022 invasion of Ukraine, prompting a European drive to replace Russian fuel with alternative supplies and renewable energy.


Jan 26 - Offshore wind industry turns out for NY auction as BP and Equinor split
Offshore wind developers submitted revised bids to supply power to New York state on Thursday to cope with soaring costs, with industry heavyweights Equinor and BP saying they would no longer develop projects together. The closely watched New York solicitation, which allows companies to exit old contracts and re-offer projects at higher prices, comes as the nascent U.S. offshore wind industry warns it cannot complete projects profitably because of rocketing construction costs, high interest rates and supply chain snags.

Jan 26 - Qatar informs Spanish power utility Endesa of delay to LNG cargo
Qatar, one of the world's largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporters, has notified Spanish power utility Endesa of a delay to an LNG cargo due to the Red Sea conflict, two industry sources told Reuters. Attacks in the Red Sea by Iranian-backed Houthi militants on shipping vessels are disrupting the transport of goods and commodities to European countries.


Jan 25 - New Jersey approves two giant offshore wind power projects
New Jersey's utility regulator on Wednesday approved two offshore wind power projects with a combined capacity of 3,742-megawatts and whose backers include Invenergy and TotalEnergies. "Today's action moves New Jersey closer to achieving Governor Phil Murphy’s goal of reaching 100 percent clean energy by 2035," the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities said.

Jan 25 - Japan's 2023 preliminary LNG imports down 8% to lowest in 14 years
Japan's liquefied natural gas imports fell by 8% to 66.2 million metric tons last year to the lowest since 2009, preliminary data from the Ministry of Finance showed, following nuclear power restarts and increased use of renewable energy. As a result, last year Japan was no longer the world's biggest LNG importer and was overtaken by China.


Jan 24 - Analysts cut EU carbon price forecasts on weak industry, power sector demand
Analysts have lowered price forecasts for European Union carbon permits for 2024 to 2026, with weak demand from power plants and sluggish industrial demand set to weigh on the market. EU Allowances are forecast on average at 74.11 euros a metric tonne in 2024 and 83.31 euros in 2025, a Reuters survey of nine analysts showed.

Jan 24 - Woodside says Santos merger talks still at early stage as it forecasts higher production
Woodside Energy CEO Meg O'Neill said there was no recent precedent for sizable premiums in oil and gas deals as the producer reported it was still in the early stages of talks over a potential $52 billion merger with Santos. The company forecast a jump in 2024 production and reported a 3% sequential rise in fourth-quarter revenue on higher realised prices.


Jan 23 - Trinidad in talks with Europe to supply Venezuelan gas
Trinidad and Tobago has begun talks with some European countries on the supply of liquefied natural gas produced from Venezuelan gas, Prime Minister Keith Rowley said on Monday. Venezuela's government in December granted a 30-year license to Shell and Trinidad's National Gas Company for joint development of a promising offshore gas field near the maritime border between the two countries.

Jan 23 - Germany set for gas power plant expansion deal this week
German stakeholders are set to agree a deal on a much-anticipated roadmap for the construction of several new gas-fired power plants this week, three government and industry sources told Reuters on Monday. The plan, with an estimated cost of 40 billion euros, is part of Germany's attempts to prevent the phase-out of coal leading to power shortages caused by the intermittency of renewable generation.


Jan 22 - Qatar set to sign cheaper long-term LNG deal with India
Qatar Energy within weeks could sign a long-term deal to provide liquefied natural gas  to Indian buyers on cheaper and more flexible terms than existing contracts, trade sources said, as India seeks to meet a goal to increase the fuel's use. The Indian companies and Qatar Energy have agreed on terms and a contract could be signed by the end of this month or early in February, one of the sources said, adding the contract offering destination-flexible cargoes and lower pricing, would run until at least 2050, possibly longer.

Jan 22 - Biden administration taking heat from all sides over Louisiana LNG project

The Biden administration faces mounting pressure over whether to approve a massive new Louisiana LNG export project, with environmentalists saying the facility would undermine U.S. climate goals and business interests arguing it is essential for global energy security. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, a panel of three regulators, is expected to vote in weeks or months on approval of Venture Global's Calcasieu Pass 2, or CP2, liquefied natural gas terminal (CP2) project.


Jan 19 - US LNG feedgas cut by Arctic freeze, problems at Freeport LNG
The amount of natural gas flowing to U.S. liquefied natural gas export plants dropped to a one-year low this week as an Arctic freeze caused some energy firms to divert fuel to the domestic market and Freeport LNG's facility in Texas experienced mechanical problems. Gas flows to the seven big U.S. LNG export plants have fallen to an average of 13.9 billion cubic feet per day so far in January from a monthly record of 14.7 bcfd in December, according to data from financial firm LSEG.

Jan 19 - RWE plans further Japan offshore wind push after Niigata win, S.Korea in focus
German renewable energy company RWE plans further expansions into Japan's offshore wind sector after winning its first project last month, a senior executive told Reuters, and also considers South Korea a promising market. RWE, the world's second-biggest offshore wind company, won the right to build a 684-megawatt wind farm in Niigata prefecture in northern Japan in a consortium with Mitsui & Co and Osaka Gas as part of the second round of Japanese state auctions.


Jan 18 - Gas, LNG prices to remain relatively weak in 2024 amid subdued demand -WoodMac
Global prices of gas and liquefied natural gas are expected to remain relatively weak in 2024, with demand subdued due to high storage levels in Europe and Asia and a mild Northern Hemisphere winter, consultancy Wood Mackenzie said on Wednesday. "Wood Mackenzie has been forecasting lower 2024 prices for much of last year, especially compared to forward curves, amid weak market fundamental expectations," Massimo Di Odoardo, Vice President of Gas Research at Wood Mackenzie, said.

Jan 18 - Severe US cold snap prompts peak power and natural gas demand
Freezing temperatures in several U.S. regions triggered peak power demand in parts of the country on Wednesday, after homes and businesses consumed a record amount of natural gas for heating and power generation. The severe winter storm dumped snow across a broad part of the country this week, shutting a Gulf Coast refinery in Texas, triggering malfunctions at others, and halving North Dakota's oil production.


Jan 17 - China's 2023 coal output hits record high
China's coal output reached a record high in 2023, data from the statistics bureau showed on Wednesday, amid an ongoing focus on energy security and a rise in demand after pandemic-related restrictions eased. The world's biggest coal producer mined 4.66 billion metric tons of the fuel last year, up 2.9% from a year earlier, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

Jan 17 - Wind, solar to lead US power generation growth over next 2 years, EIA says
Wind and solar are set to lead U.S. power generation growth for the next two years following new renewable energy instillations, Energy Information Administration said on Tuesday. U.S. solar power generation is expected to grow 75% to 286 billion kilowatt hours in 2025 from 163 billion kWh in 2023 as more generation capacity comes online and amid favorable tax credit polices, the EIA said.


Jan 16 - Tankers carrying Qatari LNG resume course amid Red Sea tension
Four tankers used for shipments of Qatari liquefied natural gas have resumed course after pausing for several days amid maritime attacks by Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthis in the Red Sea, LSEG shiptracking data showed on Tuesday. The Houthi attacks, in what they call a bid to support Palestinians in the war with Israel, have disrupted trade on the main East-West route that makes up about 12% of global shipping traffic.

Jan 16 - Group of 27 Shell investors co-file new climate resolution
A group of 27 investors that own around 5% of Shell's shares has co-filed an independent resolution urging the energy company to set tighter climate targets, the biggest such drive to date. The resolution, led by activist shareholder Follow This, will be brought to a vote at Shell's annual general meeting later this year.


Jan 15 - France, ArcelorMittal agree on $2 bln investment to cut French plant emissions
France and steelmaker ArcelorMittal have agreed on a 1.8 billion-euro investment to cut greenhouse emissions at a steel plant in Dunkirk, northern France, finance ministry officials said on Sunday. The French government's subsidy package, which could be up to 850 million euros, had already been cleared by the European Commission and is part of President Emmanuel Macron's strategy to cut emissions at France's 50 most polluting sites.

Jan 15 - Australian court lets Santos build pipeline for $4.3 bln Barossa gas projectAustralia's Santos can proceed with construction of an undersea pipeline vital to its $4.3 billion Barossa gas project after a court on Monday ruled in favour of the oil and gas firm in a dispute with an Indigenous man looking to pause the work. Work on the pipeline, which will connect the Barossa gas field to a processing plant in the northern Australian city of Darwin, was paused by court order in November after a suit by a member of an Indigenous group regarded as traditional land owners from the nearby Tiwi Islands.m.Jan 15 - Frigid temps cut US natural gas supply as demand soars, Texas faces possible shortfallU.S. natural gas output fell to a preliminary 11-month low on Sunday as frigid weather froze wells across the country, while gas demand for heating and power generation was on track to hit record highs. In Texas the state's power grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, forecast electric demand on Tuesday would top last summer's all-time high and warned power supplies could fall short on both Monday and Tuesday.


Jan 12 - Chesapeake seeks US natgas crown with $7.4 bln deal for rival
Chesapeake Energy agreed to buy smaller rival Southwestern Energy in an all-stock transaction valued at $7.4 billion, a deal that will make it the largest independent U.S. natural gas producer. The deal disclosed on Thursday is a bet natural gas prices will stay off the multi-year lows they touched last year as demand from proposed new U.S. liquefied natural gas export terminals jumps in 2025.

Jan 12 - US power prices soar ahead of extreme cold and record natgas demand
Frigid weather moving into the central U.S. will boost natural gas demand to record highs early next week, according to analysts forecasts, putting power and gas prices on track to hit their highest levels since December 2022. In December 2022, a massive winter storm, known as Elliott, boosted gas use to an all-time high and nearly caused the collapse of some electric and gas systems in the eastern half of the country after dozens of power plants shut due in part to a lack of fuel.


Jan 11 - Renewable energy growth must accelerate to reach 2030 goal - IEA
Global renewable energy capacity is expected to grow by two and a half times by 2030 but governments need to go further to achieve a goal of tripling it by then agreed at United Nations' climate talks, the International Energy Agency said. In its annual renewable energy outlook report, the IEA said new capacity added last year increased by 50% from the previous year to 510 gigawatts.

Jan 11 - Oil, gas lobby group warns against US slowing LNG approvals
The head of the largest U.S. oil and gas lobby group on Wednesday said that if regulators slow down or stop approving liquefied natural gas exports, they will put allies in Europe and Asia at risk. American Petroleum Institute President Mike Sommers issued the warning in response to media reports this week that the administration of President Joe Biden, a Democrat, is considering whether to weigh climate change criteria in approvals for LNG terminals or expansions.


Jan 10 - Colombia awards Parex Resources license for geothermal project
Colombia has awarded its first-ever license for developing a geothermal energy project to produce electricity to Canada's Parex Resources, according to a government resolution seen by Reuters on Tuesday. Colombia has set its sights on developing renewable energy sources - such as solar, wind and geothermal - as part of President Gustavo Petro's goal to wean the major regional coal and oil producer off its dependence on fossil fuels.

Jan 10 - Portugal's Galp seeks to join formal complaint against US LNG exporter
Portugal oil and gas firm Galp has asked U.S. regulators to allow it to join BP and Shell's formal complaints against U.S. liquefied natural gas exporter Venture Global LNG, a filing showed on Tuesday. Shell and BP have asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to require Venture Global to disclose plant commissioning data to determine why commercial operation at Venture Global's Calcasieu Pass terminal is stalled.


Jan 09 - Shell signs 20-year purchase deal with Canadian Ksi Lisims LNG project
Global gas giant Shell has agreed to buy two million metric tons of liquefied natural gas per year from Ksi Lisims LNG, partners in the proposed Canadian project said on Monday. British Columbia's Pacific coast is close to Canada's vast Montney shale field and has a relatively short shipping distance to Asian markets.

Jan 09 - Norway's Statkraft to invest up to $6.6 bln in hydro, wind power
Norway's state-owned renewable power producer Statkraft on Monday said it plans to invest up to $6.56 billion to upgrade its domestic hydro and wind power facilities and to build new onshore wind farms. The plans would double Statkraft's current output from wind farms and boost the effect of the company's hydro power plants, adding some 3 terrawatt hours of additional electricity output, the company told a press conference in Oslo.

Jan 08 - Britain to invest 300 mln pounds in next-generation nuclear fuel programme
Britain said it plans to spend 300 million pounds on a new programme to produce advanced nuclear fuel suitable for the next generation of power-generating reactors, seeking to dislodge Russia as the main international supplier. Britain was one of over 20 countries - including the United States, France and South Korea - that recently signed a pledge to triple global nuclear capacity by 2050 as part of international efforts to cut climate-damaging carbon emissions.

Jan 08 - Asia's LNG imports hit record, but supply surge keeps price muted: Russell
Asia's imports of liquefied natural gas rose to a record in December, but spot prices remained subdued as shipments from top exporters Australia and the United States also hit all-time highs. Asia, the top buyer of the super-chilled fuel, saw imports reach 26.61 million metric tons in December, according to data compiled by commodity analysts Kpler.


Jan 05 - SolarEdge sees moderate growth in U.S. solar industry this year
The U.S. solar industry will experience modest growth in 2024, as electricity prices decline and support from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) rolls in, SolarEdge Chief Financial Officer Ronen Faier said on Thursday. "We've bottomed in the last two quarters," Faier told investors at a Goldman Sachs conference in Miami, Florida. Macroeconomic uncertainties in the back half of the year weighed on demand for solar products in the United States, he added.

Jan 05 - Germany's landmark year for clean power production masks drop in generation: Maguire
A record 56% of Germany's electricity was produced from clean sources in 2023, and total power sector emissions tumbled more than 20% from 2022's levels to the lowest in decades, data from think tank Ember shows. Coal-fired electricity generation dropped by nearly 30%, while electricity output from all fossil fuel sources shrank by over 20% to ensure that 2023 will enter the record books in terms of the clean power share of Europe's largest economy.


Jan 04 - Equinor, BP cancel contract to sell offshore wind power to New York
European energy firms Equinor and BP terminated their agreement to sell power to New York state from their proposed Empire Wind 2 offshore wind farm, citing rising inflation, higher borrowing costs, and supply chain issues. "This agreement reflects changed economic circumstances on an industry-wide scale and repositions an already mature project to continue development in anticipation of new offtake opportunities," Equinor said in a statement on Wednesday, in an apparent reference to a new offshore wind solicitation launched by New York in November.

Jan 04 - Shell backs BP in fight over Venture Global LNG exports
Shell PLC has joined BP PLC in its battle against Venture Global LNG, accusing the liquefied natural gas (LNG) producer of denying it and other customers access to supplies while exporting more than $18 billion worth of the superchilled gas, according to a filing with U.S. regulators.Venture Global's Calcasieu Pass export facility has been producing and selling LNG for more than 20 months while telling Shell, BP and others it cannot provide them with term-contract cargoes while the plant is undergoing a commissioning phase. The customers have complained that this lack of access has cost them billions of dollars in lost sales.


Jan 03 - US was top LNG exporter in 2023 as hit record levels
U.S. liquefied natural gas exports hit monthly and annual record highs in December, tanker tracking data showed, with analysts saying it positioned the United States to leapfrog Qatar and Australia to become the largest exporter of LNG in 2023. The U.S. was the stand out in global LNG supply growth in 2023, said Alex Munton, director of global gas and LNG research at consulting firm Rapidan Energy Group of the rise to 8.6 million metric tons leaving U.S. terminals in December.

Jan 03 - Russian LNG exports to Europe fell 1.9% in 2023 - LSEG data
Russian exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe fell 1.9% to 15.8 million metric tons in 2023, and LNG exports to Asia fell 11% to 14.9 million tons, LSEG data showed on Tuesday. Europe increased purchases of LNG from global producers in 2023 while sharply cutting its imports of Russian pipeline gas in response to the conflict in Ukraine.


Jan 02 - Germany's gas supply secure, but Mideast turmoil a risk - E.ON boss
Germany's gas supply situation is far better than it was after Russia cut off supply last winter but instability in the Middle East could still send energy prices soaring, the head of energy firm E.ON said. The sudden collapse of Germany's decades-old energy relationship with Russia after Moscow's Feb. 2021 invasion of Ukraine left Germany scrambling for supply and slowed Europe's largest economy, tipping it into recession last year.

Jan 02 - Uniper favours independence over possible state stake sale - Boersen-Zeitung
Energy firm Uniper, which was bailed out by Germany during Europe's energy crisis, would like to become independent again once Berlin decides how it will reduce its 99% stake, its chief executive told daily Boersen-Zeitung. "We have said that we consider an independent Uniper a good option. But the decision lies in the hands of the government," Michael Lewis said, when asked whether Uniper would prefer to return to the capital markets as a listed and independent entity, or whether Berlin should sell its stake to a new owner.

Jan 09 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- U.S. oil prices hit their highest since 2015 again as speculators bet on further price rises amid OPEC-led production cuts and a dip in American drilling activity, though some warned the rally could run out of steam.
- Gold prices inched down amid expectations for more U.S. interest rate hikes this year.
- London copper inched up in early trade as an advancing U.S. dollar lost steam, while Shanghai copper recovered from a drop in the previous session to trade marginally higher.
- Chicago wheat fell for a fourth consecutive session with prices pressured by improved weather conditions in the U.S. southern Plains although a lack of protective snow cover kept a floor under the market.
- The yen jumped after the Bank of Japan trimmed its buying of long-dated Japanese government bonds in market operations, helping to stoke speculation about a future exit from its massive stimulus policy.   
- As a result of tax reform, Visa is improving 401(k) benefits for its U.S.-based employees, according to a company spokeswoman. Visa will increase its 401(k) match beginning in February. Currently Visa contributes $2 for every $1 an employee contributes, up to 3% of base pay. Visa will raise that to 5% of base pay. The company is also "exploring other global employee benefits and investments...which [it] hope[s] to unveil in the near future," says a spokeswoman.
- Former lawmakers urged President Donald Trump to preserve Nafta, citing withdrawal from the trade agreement as the fastest way to undermine any tax benefits or regulatory relief farmers might otherwise see from his administration. As Mr. Trump addressed farmers at an annual meeting in Tennessee, former Senators Max Baucus (D., Mont.) and Richard Lugar (R., Ind.), now co-chairs of a non-profit organization advocating for free trade for farmers, warned that withdrawing from Nafta would be akin to levying a new tax on farmers. They cautioned that U.S. farmers would suffer retaliatory action if the U.S. imposes tariffs on its trading
partners and said American growers already are disadvantaged since Trump pulled the U.S. from a key Pacific trade agreement.
- President Trump used a speech to farmers to highlight benefits of the GOP's tax overhaul, tout his deregulatory agenda and sign executive orders aimed at improving broadband access across rural America. Addressing farmers at an annual convention of the American Farm Bureau Federation, Trump called the recently-passed tax cut "historic relief for farmers," saying family farms would be spared from a "deeply unfair estate tax," and told a welcoming crowd that he was "putting an end to the regulatory assault on your way of life." Signing two orders to expand internet connectivity in rural areas, he said: "You are going to have great, great broadband."
- United Natural Foods CFO Mike Zechmeister says the tax policy changes are impacting how it assesses returns on potential investments. The natural foods distributor saw a four percentage point difference in returns on a recent investment before and after the tax bill, for example. "The tax savings are real," Zechmeister tells investors gathered at the annual ICR Conference. "You could take a project that may be unattractive in the past or one you would have passed on, and it becomes a project you could go forward with."
- US auto industry stands to benefit from the recently passed tax legislation, which will likely boost earnings per share by an average of 5%-6%, Barclays estimates. The tax reforms are expected to cut nominal tax rates for most US auto manufacturers and parts suppliers, even though the reduction in actual taxes paid will be "slightly less impacted" due to widespread use of losses carried forward, Barclays says. Auto parts suppliers domiciled overseas for tax purposes, such as Adient, Aptiv and Delphi Technologies, won't gain much from lower US corporate tax rates, but also may face lower risk from another part of the tax legislation--a hike in levies targeting unremitted foreign earnings, it says.
- United Natural Foods, up more than 5% as its CFO outlines "significant" financial benefits from the tax bill. The Providence-based natural food distributor expects the taxes it pays overall to fall to around 28% in its 2019 fiscal year from 40% currently. CFO Mike Zechmeister tells investors gathered at the annual ICR Conference that the reduced corporate tax will result in around $17M in savings during its current fiscal year, and it will also benefit from a one-time boost on deferred liabilities. The company expects an aggregate rate reduction of as much as 17 percentage points this year, and 13 percentage points in 2019. "That is a meaningful increase to our free cash flow," Zechmeister says.
- Changes to the US tax code could help push Caterpillar's stock price to $200 by the end of the year, JPMorgan analyst Ann Duignan says. The recently passed federal tax law's provision allowing 100% depreciation on new and used equipment will likely prolong the replacement cycle in US construction, she says. That's in addition to a lower corporate tax rate that will boost free cash flow. "As a result of our analysis, we believe that the stock remains undervalued, despite the significant outperformance last year," she said in a note. Caterpillar stock was up about 70% in 2017. Caterpillar shares were up 2.6% to $166.13.
- USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue touted accomplishments of the Trump administration and his own agency ahead of a planned presidential address to farmers at an annual trade convention. Perdue listed what he sees as trade victories, including opening China to American beef and rice, for farmers worried about the fate of Nafta. Speaking at a meeting of the American Farm Bureau Federation, he said USDA has begun rolling back burdensome regulations, targeting 27 rules that will save $56M annually, and urged farmers to flag the "silliest, most onerous rules" they think should be ditched. As for farmers' tax burden, Perdue tells the crowd that thanks to Trump's recent tax overhaul, "Help is not only on the way. It's already here."
- The parent of Alaska Airlines, like Southwest Airlines, American Airline and JetBlue Airways before it, said it plans to award $1,000 bonuses later this month to 23,000 employees, in celebration of the new federal tax bill. The corporate tax-cut windfall will reduce the tax rate to 21% from 35%, effective this year, which should save millions in tax liabilities and allow airlines to invest more in planes, products and their employees, although some of the savings may also go toward share buybacks. Alaska Air shares are down 1% to $72.97.
- Former Navy acquisition chief and acting Navy secretary Sean Stackley joins L3 Technologies, complementing the deal-hungry defense company's M&A team and continuing the run of Obama-era Pentagon officials who've popped up on corporate boards and management teams. Former defense secretary Ash Carter joined the Delta Air Lines' board while his deputy, Bob Work, is now a Raytheon director. Ex-Air Force secretary Deborah Lee James is now on the Textron board while Leidos added former Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall to its director roster, with his deputy Katharina McFarland joining Engility.
- Eli Lilly (LLY) CEO David Ricks said the U.S. tax overhaul will cause American companies to make investments based more on business factors than taxes. "On the next decision you face it really re-balances the calculus on where to build a plant or make hires," he tells the WSJ on sidelines of JP Morgan healthcare conference in San Francisco. He expects Lilly to have "more infrastructure" in the US within the next 7 years as a result of the overhaul. In September the drug maker announced plans to cut 8% of its work force including many jobs in its home state of Indiana. Ricks also sees the mix of Lilly acquisition targets shifting to more US companies than foreign firms. Though Lilly already had a lower tax rate than the former top US corporate rate due to operations abroad, he sees Lilly's total tax bill coming down.
- J.P. Morgan says the introduction of the U.S. tax reform has done very little to lift the market's downbeat view of potential U.S. growth," which is expected to be smaller compared with other countries or areas around the world. This explains why the U.S. dollar hasn't benefited much from either the introduction of the tax reform or from good economic data, it says. "The global economic activity surprise index is at a post-GFC high," J.P. Morgan says, highlighting eurozone, as well as German growth, which for the first time ever "outpaced the U.S. for four consecutive years." J.P. Morgan adds: "This lack of economic exceptionalism ... is turning out to be more of a drag on the currency."