US refiners have transitioned to summer-blend gasoline several weeks earlier than usual as they rush to take advantage of stronger profit margins for contracts due in June and July. However, some traders warned that the early switch could inflate inventories, putting a lid on prices.
Xcel Energy has secured approval from the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission to move forward with a pair of wind farms valued at $1.6 billion proposed for the New Mexico-Texas line. Regulators in Texas are expected to make a decision in the near future.
The largest US auction of offshore oil and natural gas drilling rights attracted limited interest from companies, which submitted $124.76 million in winning bids that accounted for just 1% of the 77 million acres made available in the Gulf of Mexico. The average bid per acre was $153, down 35% from last year's levels, with critics partly blaming the bad timing of the auction for the weak results.
US crude stockpiles dropped by 2.6 million barrels last week, beating analyst forecasts for a 2.6-million-barrel increase, according to the Energy Information Administration. Gasoline and distillate supplies were also down by 1.7 million barrels and 2 million barrels, respectively.
Tellurian is assessing shipper support for its proposed Permian Global Access Pipeline, which would carry 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from the Permian Basin to southwest Louisiana once it comes online by 2022. The $3.7 billion, 625-mile pipeline would supply gas to Tellurian's Driftwood liquefied natural gas export terminal.
Magellan Midstream Partners has decided to abandon plans for a 375-mile pipeline that would have transported up to 600,000 barrels per day of crude oil and condensate from the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale to Corpus Christi, Texas, and the Houston Ship Channel. "The open season closed on March 1, and we have not received adequate commitments to proceed with the project at this time," said Magellan spokesman Bruce Heine.
Congress' fiscal 2018 spending bill, released Wednesday, does not contain proposed funding cuts for the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Department. Under the bill, the EPA would keep the same $8.1 billion in funding that it received the previous fiscal year, and the Energy Department would receive $3.77 billion more than fiscal 2017, with $34.5 billion.
Renewables like wind and solar are among the cheapest energy sources in the country, yet weak policies continue to impede the broader adoption of the energy sources, write Energy Innovation Electricity Policy Manager Michael O'Boyle and Communications Director Silvio Marcacci. "Since utilities are still overwhelmingly planning for a lower-carbon more distributed grid, we must reconsider and reform the institutions impeding a high-renewables, low-cost, reliable grid," they write.
The advocacy of Georgetown, Texas, Mayor Dale Ross has spurred the development of renewables and, in 2017, made it the biggest city in the country in terms of population to source 100% of its electricity from renewable energy, writes Dan Solomon. "You think of climate change and renewable energy, from a political standpoint, on the left-hand side of the spectrum, and what I've done is toss all those partisan political thoughts aside," said Ross, touting renewables for their ability to deliver low-cost electricity.
Vattenfall has won a permit to develop the Hollandse Kust Zuid offshore wind farm off the coast of the Netherlands and is expected to bring the 700 to 750 megawatt project online in 2022, according to the nation's government. The project is expected to be the first of its kind worldwide to be built without any support mechanisms.
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