Headlines of other energy stories

** The Biden administration on Monday declined to appeal a January court decision that invalidated oil and gas leases it sold last year. In a new court filing, the administration said it would not appeal the ruling.

** Duke Energy Carolinas will close a small peaker unit at its W.S. Lee plant in South Carolina on March 31, more than eight years ahead of schedule and just seven years after it started operating on natural gas.

** Exxon Mobil Corp said on Wednesday it expects to reach as much as $9 billion in annual savings by 2023, $3 billion more than a previous target, helping the top U.S. oil producer boost returns by doubling earnings and cash flow.

** Exxon Mobil Corp. on Tuesday said it plans a hydrogen production plant and a carbon capture and storage (CCS) project at its Baytown refinery near Houston, Texas, an effort to reduce its carbon footprint while earning a profit.

** Chevron Corp Chief Executive Officer Michael Wirth on Tuesday expressed concern over the “tragic situation” unfolding in Ukraine, forcing oil companies to make “very difficult decisions” on continued operations in Russia.

** Three-quarters of Americans believe the U.S. ought to participate in international efforts to address climate change, but a majority remain pessimistic about those efforts according to a Pew Research Center poll published Tuesday. It found that 53 percent of those surveyed didn’t think the world would avoid climate change’s worst impacts.

** Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser filed a lawsuit this week against Du Pont and 14 manufacturers of a firefighting foam that contains toxic chemicals and contaminated water throughout the state, Weiser’s office announced in a news release.

** The Energy Information Administration reports that in  2021, the average nominal retail electricity price paid by U.S. residential electric customers rose at the fastest rate since 2008, increasing 4.3% from 2020 to 13.72 cents per kilowatthour (kWh). This increase is similar to the change in the U.S. Consumer Price Index, which was 4.7% in 2021.

** The cost of natural gas delivered to U.S. power plants in 2021 averaged $4.98 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), more than double the $2.32/MMBtu average recorded in 2020 according to the EIA.


** The International Energy Agency’s 31 member countries agreed Tuesday to release 60 million barrels of oil from their strategic reserves — half of that from the United States — “to send a strong message to oil markets” that supplies won’t fall short after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

** A Ukrainian cyber guerrilla warfare group plans to launch digital sabotage attacks against critical Russian infrastructure such as railways and the electricity grid, to strike back at Moscow over its invasion, a hacker team coordinator told Reuters.

** The Swiss-based company behind the Nord Stream 2 pipeline denied on Wednesday that it filed for bankruptcy but confirmed it terminated employee contracts.

** Deadly with extreme weather now, climate change is about to get so much worse. It is likely going to make the world sicker, hungrier, poorer, gloomier and way more dangerous in the next 18 years with an “unavoidable” increase in risks, a new United Nations science report says.

** The increase in OPEC’s oil output in February exceeded the rise planned under a deal with allies for the first time since September, a Reuters survey found, as higher Saudi Arabian and Iraqi supply combined with fewer outages in smaller producers.