Energy headlines

** The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has sent shale oil producer Pioneer Natural Resources and Exxon Mobil a second request for more information on their $60 billion takeover deal, Pioneer said on Tuesday. The companies are working with the FTC and continue to expect that the deal will be completed in the first half of 2024, Pioneer said in a regulatory filing.

** Exxon Mobil Corp. plans to raise share buybacks 14% as the oil giant accelerates crude production in the US Permian Basin, boosted by its $60 billion acquisition of Pioneer Natural Resources Co.

** Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump pledged to expand oil and gas drilling in remote areas of Alaska as a way to pay for Social Security benefits, a trade-off that is unlikely to pass muster with Congressional budget scorekeepers.

** Electric vehicles have 79% more problems than other vehicles, according to Consumer Reports’ latest annual auto reliability survey. But the problem isn’t really because they’re electric, said Jake Fisher, director of the group’s auto testing center.

** Construction of an offshore wind farm by Orsted that had the potential to power more than a half-million homes was canceled in late October, and a famously bad federal shipping regulation seems to be the prime culprit. Some are quietly blaming the Jones Act, the century-old law that effectively bans foreign-built ships from operating between American ports, and that subsequently drives up the cost of shipbuilding and shipping in the United States.

** The Wisconsin Department of Transportation said the state may be at risk of losing more than $78 million slated to build a network of high speed electric vehicle charging stations if lawmakers don’t update an old law on the books. Current state law prohibits the sale of electricity by the kilowatt-hour by anyone other than a public utility.

** The proposed $12 billion high-speed rail project backed by Fortress Investment Group connecting Las Vegas to Southern California has won a $3 billion federal grant from the bipartisan infrastructure law.


** Asian crude buyers are likely to turn more to the spot market for cargoes after Saudi Arabia reduced pricing of its key grade by only half the amount forecast in a Bloomberg survey.

** Billions of dollars, not millions, are needed to address the ongoing climate crisis. That message came from Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate at the COP28 summit.

** Countries at the COP28 climate talks need to stop posturing, aim high and agree on a way to end the “fossil fuel era as we know it”, U.N. climate chief Simon Stiell said on Wednesday, as tension over the future of coal, oil and gas came to the fore.

** Canadian oil producers are bracing for further potential delays to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion (TMX) that could cost them millions of dollars in lost revenues in coming months after they ramped up production ready to fill the expanded line, meant to unlock access to Asia.