In their quest for immediate returns, investors may force US shale drillers to scale back expansion plans, limiting their ability to capitalize on the current oil price rally that may have resulted in heftier payouts for shareholders in the long term. Shale players such as Anadarko Petroleum and Pioneer Natural Resources have seen their market values rise after announcing higher dividends this year, while the shares of companies that so far failed to improve returns have plunged at least 19% in the past 12 months.
An open season for Plains All American's Cactus II pipeline has ended, with the company securing long-term shipper contracts totaling 525,000 barrels per day -- representing about 90% of the system's initial capacity of 585,000 barrels per day. The 515-mile pipeline system from the Permian Basin to Corpus Christi, Texas, should become operational in the third quarter of 2019.
US crude stockpiles fell by 1.6 million barrels last week, beating analyst expectations for a 1.8-million-barrel increase, according to the Energy Information Administration. Gasoline supplies climbed by 261,000 barrels, while distillate inventories were down by 2.4 million barrels.
Energy Transfer Partners is exploring opportunities to develop a new crude oil pipeline from the Permian Basin to Nederland, Texas, a company executive said, without providing additional details. ETP also announced that the first phase of its Permian Express 3 pipeline entered service in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Permian Basin shale producers including Encana and Devon Energy are pioneering a new drilling technique called cube development, which involves drilling at least a dozen wells off the same pad that simultaneously tap the multiple layers of shale rock beneath a driller's acreage. Supporters say this approach can save money in the long term thanks to improved resource recovery, but other Permian drillers are not as keen to adopt this technique, citing logistical challenges, high initial costs and difficulties in diagnosing wells.
Santee Cooper plans to preserve the equipment at the site of the halted V.C. Summer nuclear power plant expansion project in South Carolina with the hopes of someday selling or relaunching the project. The utility says it will pay about $16 million annually to maintain the unfinished reactors and about $3 million annually for storage warehouses.
FirstEnergy President and CEO Chuck Jones told investors that the company's plants, such as Perry and Davis-Besse nuclear power plants in Ohio, would likely close unless lawmakers made energy regulations that would help plants remain financially viable. A spokeswoman said Jones wasn't specifically referring to Perry and Davis-Besse, but all plants operated by subsidiary FirstEnergy Solutions.
During the current maintenance outage, Exelon Generation employees will use an internet-based mapping interface where they can view radiological surveys and live video at Exelon's LaSalle nuclear power plant in Illinois to plan for the work they do on-site. "This technology will help our people to work safer and smarter because they can get more data and information about their tasks before they even enter the plant," LaSalle Station Site Vice President Bill Trafton said.
A bill that would provide up to $300 million in support to Public Service Enterprise Group from ratepayers to ensure the company can continue operating its nuclear power plants has moved out of committee in the New Jersey Legislature. The full Senate is expected to vote on the bill Monday.
Boost your staff's confidence by treating them with respect and telling them failure is a learning tool, not a measure of their competence, writes Dan Rockwell. "When you help someone believe they matter, you expand potential, theirs, yours, and the team's," he writes.
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