“Badly needed energy infrastructure is being held back by special-interest groups, entrenched bureaucracies and radical activists.” That statement this week from President Trump is bound to elicit more than a few “amens” from oil and gas pipeline developers.
The president announced two sweeping executive orders aimed at jump-starting projects stalled by adverse court rulings and state permitting delays. One would rein in state governments’ power to use Section 401 of the Clean Water Act to deny construction permits. It would also direct US agencies to loosen regulation on shipping LNG by rail and truck, seek measures to limit shareholders’ ability to alter companies’ environmental policies and challenge ESG focused retirement funds on the grounds they’re neglecting fiduciary responsibility.
We’re watching closely for any sign of revived activity at delayed natural gas projects such as the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline, as well as challenged oil pipes like Enbridge Inc’s (TSX: ENB, NYSE: ENB) upgrades of Line 3 in Minnesota and Line 5 in Michigan.
The conventional wisdom is the MLP sector is dead money. That’s a mistake for several reasons.
We still smell investor panic in the air. But the trading action of the past couple days is nonetheless encouraging, as the stock market has reversed big intra-day selloffs to finish higher.
Antero Midstream Partners' (NYSE: AM) merger with its general partner is the latest "simplification deal in the MLP sector.
Dominion Energy's (NYSE: D) offer could do a lot to resolve uncertainty surrounding Dominion Midstream Partners LP's (NYSE: DM) future.
Last week, two more members of our Energy and Income Advisor Endangered Dividends List cut distributions. We strongly suspect they won’t be the last to do so before second quarter earnings reporting season is over.
Amerigas Partners’ (NYSE: APU) merger terms with general partner UGI Corp (NYSE: UGI) imply a roughly 83 percent cut in the dividend when the deal closes. That eventuality has been known by investors for two weeks and is therefore baked into the price. Therefore, while we do advise moving on from Amerigas, the MLP is now off the Endangered Dividends List.
In most sectors of the stock market, mergers and acquisitions are almost always viewed as investor friendly: An opportunity to realize a windfall gain, or at least to hook onto a stronger company that will generate better long-term returns.
In the master limited partnership world, however, M&A has recently taken on a darker connotation.
Two years ago, Keystone XL was the only major pipeline project blocked by federal regulators. Today, even projects supported by both the US government and the affected states face the prospect of delays and even derailment in the courts.
American Midstream Partners (NYSE: AMID) has received its likely best and final takeover offer from general partner ArcLight Capital Partners LLC. ArcLight last year bid $6.10 per share in cash for AMID units, before cutting it to $4.50 in the wake of disappointing operating results. The newly agreed on offer of $5.25 per unit in cash appears likely to win needed approvals and to close in coming weeks.
Change in the US energy industry has been dramatic over the past decade. Sentiment has shifted from a culture of energy scarcity to one of abundance and the US overtook Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer. And, not long ago, you would have been laughed out of a room for predicting that the US would ever export meaningful quantities of oil.
Elliott and Roger on Apr. 24, 2019
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