Oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens, chairman of BP Capital Fund Advisors, announced that he's closing his commodity and energy stock hedge funds to focus on his declining health. Pickens, 89, who rose to prominence during his four-decade tenure at Mesa Petroleum, said he no longer finds oil trading as "intriguing" as it used to be.
All forms of renewables, including offshore wind and solar thermal, are expected to become cost-competitive with fossil fuels by 2020, according to International Renewable Energy Agency, citing technological advances and competitive bidding processes. "Turning to renewables for new power generation is not simply an environmentally conscious decision, it is now overwhelmingly a smart economic one," said Director-General Adnan Amin.
The number of US oil and natural gas rigs jumped by 10 and five, respectively, to a combined total of 939 last week, marking the biggest increase in the rig count since May, according to Baker Hughes. New Mexico, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Colorado led the gains, while Texas lost two rigs.
Technological advances, cooperation and decades of experience have made offshore energy development safer than ever, writes American Petroleum Institute Director of Upstream and Industry Operations Erik Milito. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement's recently proposed changes to some offshore drilling safety rules have been misjudged as regulatory rollbacks but are really technical adjustments designed to ensure compliance with industry standards, Milito writes.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday dismissed a request from Williams Cos. to overrule the state of New York's denial of a water permit for the Constitution natural gas pipeline. Williams said it would seek a rehearing and even file an appeal if necessary.
TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline is facing renewed setbacks as Nebraska landowners challenge in state appeals court the Nebraska Public Service Commission's decision to approve an alternative route for the project through the state.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is seeking input on its draft "design envelope" for offshore wind development in the US, which calls for a more flexible permitting process. "The outer continental shelf's offshore wind potential is a tremendous asset and part of the administration's America First Energy plan to make it easier for industry to do business here," Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said.
The Maryland Energy Administration has named the recipients of two grants designed to prepare local businesses and workers for two offshore wind projects slated. "Maryland will be home to the first commercial scale offshore wind farm in America," said MEA Director Mary Beth Tung.
Town leaders in Waterford, Vt., have unanimously voted in favor of signing a memorandum of understanding with Granite State Power Link to host a section of the line. The project is expected to carry wind energy from Canada into Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
Predictive software from Uptake Technologies has helped MidAmerican Energy realize significant cost savings, according to CEO Adam Wright, who added that MidAmerican plans to install the tool across its 2,200-turbine fleet. "These types of predictive insights are just going to become commonplace in the next decade," said Sonny Garg, chief of global solutions for Uptake.
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