GDF Suez signs a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation with Pemex

PARIS -- On the occasion of the visit of a French government delegation to Mexico, Gerard Mestrallet, Chairman and CEO of GDF Suez, signed a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation with Emilio Lozoya, Chairman and CEO of Pemex, to develop natural gas and other energy projects in Mexico.Mexican and French Presidents Enrique Pena Nieto and Francois Hollande were present at the signing.

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Anadarko $5 billion settlement clears explorer for growth

The $5 billion settlement of a long-running pollution case will free Anadarko Petroleum to rival the world's biggest energy companies and pursue global ambitions from Mozambique to the Gulf of Mexico.

That is, if they don't get bought first.

Built for a potential sale by former chief executive officer James Hackett, a renowned dealmaker, Anadarko may have outgrown all but a few possible suitors.

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Ukraine Standoff Escalates, Could South Stream be in Doubt?

When completed, the South Stream pipeline will run from Russia, underneath the Black Sea to Bulgaria, and on to Western Europe. It will carry Russian natural gas to Europe while bypassing Russia’s neighbor Ukraine. Russia clearly finds this pipeline to be strategically important – the Kremlin would be able to operate with greater freedom when using natural gas to bully Ukraine, and it wouldn’t have to worry about angering its large customer base in Western Europe.

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The Absurdity of US Natural Gas Exports

Quiz:1. How much natural gas is the United States currently extracting? (a) Barely enough to meet its own needs(b) Enough to allow lots of exports(c) Enough to allow a bit of exports(d) The United States is a natural gas importerAnswer: (d) The United States is a natural gas importer, and has been for many years. The EIA is forecasting that by 2017, we will finally be able to meet our own natural gas needs. Figure 1.

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Fiscal break-even oil prices for major OPEC members

One of the key drivers of the oil markets is the price at which principal OPEC producers balance their government accounts – better known as fiscal break-even oil prices. By monitoring the fluctuations of these break-even prices in major oil-producing countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and the UAE, we can assess potential changes in OPEC’s desired level of global oil prices.

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NRC lets Constellation transfer nuke licenses

SCRIBA, N.Y. (AP) — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved the direct transfer of operating licenses for five commercial nuclear power reactors, including three in upstate New York.

The licenses for the Nine Mile Point and Ginna nuclear power plants on Lake Ontario, along with two at Calvert Cliffs in Maryland, will be transferred from Constellation Energy to Exelon.

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How Crimea Hurts Russia

Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, slowly but surely NATO added members in Eastern Europe. Likewise, the European Union opened up its doors to its eastern neighbors formerly in Moscow’s orbit. Russia saw this as a threat, and upon the downfall of Viktor Yanukovych, Russia saw the loss of Ukraine as something that it could not tolerate. From this perspective, Vladimir Putin likely feels that by seizing Crimea he stopped the expansion of a NATO-backed plan to expand eastwards.

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Economists: Texas economy strong, getting stronger

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The $1.3 billion Texas economy has completely recovered from the Great Recession and is getting stronger, official and independent economists told state lawmakers Thursday.

Texas and New York are the only two states to have restored all of the jobs lost when the recession hit in 2007, said John Heleman, chief revenue estimator in the Texas comptroller's office.

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Canadian International Oil Corp. Announces Completed Private Placement, Partnership With Riverstone Holdings

Canadian International Oil Corp. ("CIOC") announced an equity commitment of C$200 million from energy private equity firm Riverstone Holdings LLC ("Riverstone"). The Riverstone commitment comprises C$133 million from Riverstone Global Energy and Power Fund V ("Fund V") and C$67 million from Riverstone Energy Limited ("REL"). This investment will be used to fund CIOC's development program in the Western Canadian Deep Basin.

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Iowa Senate backs clean energy tax credits

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Senate has advanced a pair of proposals intended to move the state forward with solar power and other forms of clean energy.

The Democratic-led Senate unanimously voted Thursday in favor of two bills meant to expand the production of clean energy in Iowa.

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NY, fed agencies do 2nd oil train inspection blitz

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — State and federal inspectors have completed a second round of safety checks of train tracks and oil tanker cars in an effort to prevent disastrous derailments and spills of volatile crude from North Dakota's Bakken region.

The inspection blitz, which generally found only minor and easily correctable defects, is part of a proactive safety effort launched in January after several severe accidents across the U.S. and Canada, Gov.

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SDG&E;, Southern California Edison, Consumer Advocates Reach Settlement On San Onofre Plant Closure Costs

SAN DIEGO, March 27, 2014 /PRNewswire

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E;) today executed a joint settlement with Southern California Edison (SCE), The Utility Reform Network (TURN) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Office of Ratepayer Advocates (ORA) which, if approved, would resolve the CPUC's current inquiry into the June 2013 retirement of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS).

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SMUD names new CEO from its corporate ranks

Mar 27 - McClatchy-Tribune Regional News - Claudia Buck The Sacramento Bee

Following a lengthy nationwide search, SMUD's general counsel Arlen Orchard has been named to succeed John Di Stasio as CEO and general manager, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District announced Wednesday.

Orchard, SMUD's top lawyer and a 24-year company veteran, will start April 12.

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PGE Resource Plan Lays Groundwork for Energy Future

PORTLAND, Ore., Mar 27, 2014 -- BUSINESS WIRE

Portland General Electric (NYSE:POR) today filed a new integrated resource plan with the Oregon Public Utility Commission, building on its current plan but calling for no major new power plants in the near term beyond those the company now has under construction.

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Here's an Unexpected Vote For Coal

There's a lot of money to be made spotting market bottoms in commodities. Buying producers and projects at ultra-low valuations, before the inevitable uptick in a sector.Market commentaries are a key indicator in this regard. With bottoms usually being marked by "irrational apathy"--illogical reasoning from market bears who've simply been spooked by falling valuations in unloved sectors.There's been a lot of such sentiment lately in coal.I was particularly struck by one comment the last few weeks. From a high-profile market analyst, who noted that…

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Duke Energy Florida to sell unused nuclear fuel assemblies from retired Crystal River Nuclear Plant

Duke Energy Florida announced it will sell 76 unused nuclear fuel assemblies from its retired Crystal River Nuclear Plant north of Tampa through a request for proposals (RFP) process.

Selling and transferring nuclear fuel assemblies is safe and heavily regulated in the U.S.

Federally licensed U.S. nuclear power plants and nuclear fuel fabricators are the only entities receiving Duke Energy Florida's RFP to buy the nuclear fuel assemblies.

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FirstEnergy receives EPRI awards

FirstEnergy has been recognized in several areas by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), an independent, nonprofit organization for energy and environmental research. EPRI's Leadership and Technology Transfer awards recognize contributions in 2013 by utility employees for technology leadership or for successfully applying technology solutions supported by EPRI research to benefit the electric power industry.

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House rejects Senate plan for Kansas energy

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas House members have rejected a Senate plan to end the state's renewable energy standards despite concerns that the policies are leading to higher utility rates for businesses and residents.

The chamber voted 77-42 on Wednesday to reject an attempt to place the bill in a conference committee, where House and Senate members could negotiate a compromise.

The standards require utility companies to provide 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

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Shell Nigeria calls "force majeure" for exports

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Shell Nigeria is declaring "force majeure" on exports from its Forcados crude oil terminal that stopped operating on March 4 because of a leak in its undersea pipeline.

A statement blames thieves for the leak eight meters (26 feet) underwater in the Gulf of Guinea.

The announcement of "superior force" effective from 9 a.m.

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Senate hears pleas for more natural gas exports

WASHINGTON (AP) — Calls to increase U.S. natural gas exports to counter Russian influence across Europe grew louder Tuesday amid concerns that Russia will move deeper into Ukraine.

Lithuania's energy minister, Jaroslav Neverovic, pleaded in emotional terms for U.S. help, saying his country is "100 percent" dependent on Russia for natural gas and has to pay 30 percent higher prices for it than other countries in Europe.

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Agency seeks greater Hudson oil terminal scrutiny

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — State regulators are seeking more information from a Massachusetts company that plans to expand its Hudson River facilities routing rail shipments of crude oil from North Dakota and western Canada to coastal refineries.

The Department of Environmental Conservation sent letters to Global Partners, based in Waltham, Mass., on Monday, requesting more information about emergency response plans, community impact, and other aspects of a rail terminal planned in New Windsor, just north of West Point.

The agency also said it's extending the deadline for public comments on Global's Albany expansion plans from April 2 to ...

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GOP candidate Kashkari proposes tax breaks

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A 10-year corporate tax credit for companies that move to California and create more than 100 new jobs, diverting nearly $10 billion in high-speed rail bond money to water storage projects and promoting fracking for oil and natural gas are among the policy proposals released Tuesday by Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari.

The proposals read like a wish list of proposals Republican lawmakers in the state Legislature have pushed over the last decade.

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Energy Department Invests $17 Million in Small Businesses to Accelerate Clean Energy Innovation

Building on President Obama's Climate Action Plan to continue U.S. leadership in clean energy innovation, the Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) awarded $17 million in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) projects to help small businesses in 13 states develop prototype technologies that could improve manufacturing energy efficiency, reduce the cost of installing clean energy projects, and generate electricity from renewable energy sources.

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Oil back above $100 on Russia, Libya supply risks

The price of oil fell edged above $100 a barrel Monday as Russia's annexation of Crimea and Libya's continued difficulties to stabilize its oil industry worried investors.

Russia is a key supplier of crude oil and natural gas to Europe while Libya's production of crude, valued by refiners for its high quality, has yet to recover fully since the 2011 civil war which ousted Moammar Gadhafi.

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City of Hanford Expected to Save Over $30 Million with Chevron Energy Solutions Project

The Hanford City Council has approved a Chevron Energy Solutions project that is expected to save the city over $30 million in energy costs over its life, or almost $17 million after paying all expenses.

The project, which includes 2.3 MW of solar generation, conversion of lighting at city buildings, parks and traffic intersections to energy-efficient LED lighting, and other energy efficiency improvements, is expected to reduce the county's annual energy costs by 35% and eliminate over 5 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually, or the equivalent of taking approximately 829 cars off the road.

This will ...

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NextEra Energy recognized as a World's Most Ethical Company® for seventh time

NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE) has been named a 2014 World's Most Ethical Company® by the Ethisphere Institute, an independent center of research promoting best practices in corporate ethics and governance. It is the seventh time NextEra Energy has received this recognition. This year, just 144 companies worldwide were selected across 41 industries, including only four other U.S. energy and utility companies.

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In the public eye

Chris Faulkner, Breitling Energy Corp, explains why the biggest challenge facing the shale industry is negative PR caused by a failure to relate to the public.

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Retail gasoline prices jump 8 cents across Texas

IRVING, Texas (AP) — Retail gasoline prices have jumped 8 cents this week across Texas.

AAA Texas on Thursday reported the average price per gallon has reached $3.34.

Gasoline prices are up 3 cents nationally, reaching an average $3.53 per gallon.

The association survey found San Antonio has the cheapest gasoline statewide at $3.24 per gallon.

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The Dakota Access Bakken Crude Gateway to the Gulf

No sooner had we finished up our analysis of the divergent fates of two North Dakota crude oil pipeline projects - the Enbridge Sandpiper (going ahead after a successful second open season) and the Koch Dakota Express (cancelled in January) – then we learned that competitor Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) had launched a binding open season for a third pipeline proposal following basically the same route.

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Crack in pipeline leaked oil in Ohio preserve

CINCINNATI (AP) — Officials say a 4-inch pipeline crack caused more than 10,000 gallons of crude oil to leak into a southwestern Ohio nature preserve.

Sunoco Logistics Partners is the primary owner of the pipeline that leaked at the Oak Glen Nature Preserve west of Cincinnati.

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Gulf of Mexico oil and gas lease sales booming

Oil and gas lease sales for federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico have garnered more than $872 million in high bids on 329 tracts covering 1,707,358 acres, as the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) offered nearly 40 million acres covering tracts in the Central and Eastern planning areas of the Gulf of Mexico, and opened bids from previously offered acreage in the Western planning area.

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Oil slips as Crimea tensions ease, dollar rises

The price of oil slipped back slightly on Thursday as concerns waned over the Ukrainian crisis and the economic slowdown in emerging markets.

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark U.S. crude for April delivery was down 35 cents to $100.02 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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Sempra U.S. Gas & Power and Consolidated Edison Development Partner in Additional Solar Projects

Sempra U.S. Gas & Power and Consolidated Edison Development (ConEdison Development) announced agreements to partner in five solar projects in Nevada and California.

The projects include Sempra U.S. Gas & Power's 250-megawatt (MW) Copper Mountain Solar 3 project near Las Vegas, and Consolidated Edison Development's CED California Holdings, LLC portfolio: the 50-MW Alpaugh 50, 20-MW Alpaugh North and 20-MW White River 1 facilities in Tulare County, and the 20-MW Corcoran 1 facility in Kings County. The renewable power from all of the projects has been sold under long-term contracts.

Upon finalization of the agreements, Sempra U.S. Gas ...

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