A Gulf of Mexico lease auction held Wednesday attracted $178 million worth of winning bids, up from the last sale's $125 million, signaling that confidence in the offshore sector has not completely faded. Some companies, including ExxonMobil and Equinor, bid on more remote acreage.
US crude inventories climbed by 6.8 million barrels last week, according to the Energy Information Administration, despite analyst expectations for a 2.4-million-barrel decline. Gasoline supplies slumped by 740,000 barrels, while distillate reserves gained 3.6 million barrels.
US District Judge Ed Kinkeade of Dallas ruled that a securities lawsuit accusing ExxonMobil and several executives, including former CEO and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, of deceiving investors and the public about the impact of climate change on the oil giant's business can move forward.
US refinery crude runs rose to an all-time high of 17.98 million barrels per day last week, while refinery utilization rates jumped to 98.1%, the highest since January 1999, according to the Energy Information Administration. US Gulf Coast refineries also broke records, processing 9.65 million barrels per day last week, up from a previous high of 9.47 million barrels per day.
The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to propose a replacement for the Obama-era Clean Power Plan in the near future. A review of part of the unpublished draft suggests the new rules would allow states to write their own, less-stringent climate regulations for power plants.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has received paperwork for FirstEnergy's certified used fuel training program at its Perry, Davis-Besse and Beaver Valley nuclear plants, a necessary decommissioning step. FirstEnergy is working with states to find a way to keep the plants operational, says company president Don Moul.
The lawyers representing South Carolina Electric & Gas customers have filed a motion to have the utility return around $452 million in payments received from ratepayers for financing the V.C. Summer project after the project had already been cancelled. SCE&G claims past rate hikes can't be clawed back.
The decommissioning of the Oyster Creek Generating Station would include casks that cut the processing time of moving used fuel from pools in half, says a Holtec International spokesperson during a meeting with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Exelon Generation's sale of the plant to Holtec is expected to be completed on Sept. 17.
As part of NextEra Energy's application for a 20-year license extension at its Seabrook nuclear plant, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission conducted an inspection of how it monitors alkali silica reactions. "No findings or violations of NRC requirements were identified," reports the NRC.
It was a mistake and "a loss" to let Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif handle the 2015 nuclear deal negotiations, says Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. "With the issue of the nuclear negotiations, I made a mistake in permitting our foreign minister to speak with them," he says.
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