Good morning and welcome back! It's never a bad time for the insanely talented Prince (RIP).
A song just ending its run atop the Billboard charts in 1986 gets things going today . . .
U.K.-based global oil giant BP reported $2.6 billion in first quarter profits on the strength of higher oil prices and higher production — their biggest haul in 3 years and a rise of 71% from the same period in 2017.
Why it matters: BP is the latest super-major to report a jump in earnings as crude oil prices have been climbing. The total beat analysts' expectations, according to several reports.
Yes, but: Per Reuters, the company "saw its debt pile rise to $40 billion due to the settlement of more lawsuits over the deadly 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico which has cost it more than $65 billion."
Markets respond: The company's stock climbed slightly in pre-market trading.
Listen deeper: This new Wood Mackenzie podcast takes stock of the super-majors' earnings season, including a look at what's ailing Exxon.
ICYMI our scoop in the Axios stream yesterday, Amy Harder and I report...
The American Petroleum Institute plans to name Mike Sommers, a former high-level Capitol Hill aide, as its next president and CEO, according to multiple industry sources.
Why it matters: API is the largest and most influential lobbying group representing all types of oil and gas companies. Sommers will take over a surprisingly rocky relationship between President Trump and the industry, who have tangled over biofuels, trade restrictions, and how far to roll back regulations.
One level deeper: Sommers was previously a top aide to former House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio. Sommers served as his chief of staff, among other roles. He has been president and CEO of the American Investment Council, which represents private equity investors, since February 2016.
What's next: API's executive committee voted to select Sommers late last week, and an announcement is likely as soon as this week after the board approves him, according to multiple industry officials.
We're good: Grid operator PJM said in a report yesterday that planned retirement of 3 FirstEnergy Solutions nuclear plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania in the next few years won't threaten power reliability.
Quick take: Per Utility Dive, the finding "undercuts a key argument from FirstEnergy and its allies — that allowing at-risk coal and nuclear plants to retire in wholesale power markets would undercut the reliability and resilience of the grid."
The context: The finding comes a few weeks after FirstEnergy Solutions asked the Energy Department to make sweeping use of its emergency powers to ensure that economically struggling coal-fired and nuclear plants in the PJM region will continue operating. PJM is the grid operator that oversees parts of 13 states in the Midwest, Appalachia and the mid-Atlantic.
Yes, but: FirstEnergy, in a lengthy statement yesterday, criticized the PJM analysis.
A bit more on Marathon Petroleum's plan buy Andeavor to create the largest U.S. refiner by volume.
Making the case: The slide above is from the presentation where Marathon detailed its claim that the $23 billion deal would create $1 billion in "synergies."
Why it makes sense: Over in Bloomberg Gadfly, Liam Denning explains why marrying companies with very different refinery, pipeline and terminal locations is a deal of its time.
Pushback: Democratic Sen. Ed Markey is sending a letter to Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission officials today that's critical of the proposal.
Who's next: A piece in Forbes channels the thoughts of veteran oil analyst Andy Lipow about which other refiners could be acquisition targets.
Coal: An interesting Financial Times feature this morning reports that U.S. coal mining companies are seeing brighter days, but that White House moves to loosen regulations have little to do with it.
Renewables: Per Reuters, "Taiwan is becoming the next battleground for the world’s top offshore wind developers as they seek a foothold in Asia for a technology that has been expanding fast in Europe."
Carbon capture: The Energy Advance Center — a new and rather mysterious industry coalition working on CO2 capture and use — has brought on a second lobbying firm in addition to Hunton Andrews Kurth.
Not good: Via the Associated Press, "For decades America’s air was getting cleaner as levels of a key smog ingredient steadily dropped. That changed about seven years ago when pollution reductions leveled off, a new study found."