Happy Friday! It's also the date that Stevie Nicks released "Bella Donna" in 1981, so she'll carry us into the weekend...
BP is buying most of BHP Billiton's U.S. onshore holdings in a $10.5 billion deal that vastly bolsters its presence in the booming shale patch — an area where BP previously had a limited portfolio.
Why it matters: The deal "transforms BP’s U.S. business" and will immediately raise its U.S. production by nearly a fifth, with room to grow from there, Wood Mackenzie analyst Maxim Petrov said in a note Friday.
By the numbers: BP is acquiring 470,000 acres spread across the Eagle Ford and Permian basins in Texas — which are major oil producing regions — and the gas-rich Haynesville basin in Texas and Louisiana.
Go deeper: Read the full story in the Axios stream.
ExxonMobil and Chevron, the two largest U.S.-based multinational oil giants, both reported higher second-quarter profits Friday as the industry benefits from the rebound in oil prices.
But both reports fell short of analysts expectations and their stock prices are down in early trading.
Why it matters for Exxon: The Texas-based multinational oil giant has been falling short of Wall Street expectations in recent years, and its strategy right now is about making big investments in future production in Guyana and elsewhere.
By the numbers, for Exxon:
What's next: The company, in a statement Friday, sought to show that it's taking a longer view. “Key projects in Guyana, the U.S. Permian Basin, Brazil, Mozambique and Papua New Guinea are positioning us well to meet the objectives we outlined in our long-term earnings growth plans," Exxon CEO Darren Woods said.
Chevron: The company reported $3.4 billion ($1.78/share) in second-quarter profits, up from $1.5 billion ($0.77/share) from the same period a year ago.
Rep. Ted Deutch (D.-Fla.). Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Axios' Amy Harder reports ... Divisions are surfacing between the bipartisan leaders of a House caucus on climate change.
Driving the news: Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch told Axios in an interview yesterday that carbon tax legislation introduced this week by GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo, along with two other Republicans, is a “missed opportunity” to pursue a bipartisan measure.
The intrigue: Deutch expressed frustration about the state of play of a bipartisan caucus on climate change that the two Florida lawmakers founded together in 2016. Deutch said he’s been working for several months with Republican offices on different legislation that prices carbon, and that Curbelo choosing to go in his own direction muddies the waters.
For the record: A Curbelo spokesperson said the congressman's bill has support across the political spectrum.
The big picture: Any type of bill pricing carbon emissions is very unlikely to get far in the foreseeable future, due to conservative opposition by most Republicans and interest groups. But Curbelo’s bill, introduced Monday, is still politically significant because it’s the first substantive measure on climate change authored by a Republican in nearly a decade.
Read more in the Axios stream.
Yamal LNG plant in the town of Sabetta, in Arctic Russia. Photo: Vladimir Smirnov/TASS via Getty Images
Eurasia Group CEO Robert Johnston writes for our Axios Expert Voices ... Gas has loomed large in President Trump’s recent diplomatic dealings: In his meeting with NATO heads of state in Brussels, Trump called Germany “captive” to Russian gas, and in his Helsinki summit with Vladimir Putin, he made the unusual move of fielding regulatory proposals from the Russian president to prevent plummeting prices in the international gas markets.
Why it matters: For better or worse, U.S. foreign policy is contributing to uncertainty among the three countries with the largest gas reserves — Iran, Russia and Qatar — raising alarm among major Asian and European gas importers looking for secure supply sources.
Following the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, the Trump administration has promised to reimpose energy-sector sanctions on Iran, effectively freezing investment on new developments in the market with the world’s largest gas reserves. A third gas giant, Qatar, waits in vain for a U.S.–brokered end to its economic blockade by neighboring Saudi Arabia and UAE.
The Trump administration’s trade policy has added to the unease in global gas markets. American liquefied natural gas (LNG) could be subject to 25% tariffs from Beijing in the next round of tit-for-tat escalation. That would create a strong headwind for U.S. LNG exporters keen to profit from the world’s fastest-growing LNG importer.
Go deeper: Read the full story in the Axios stream.
Plans for a huge 2,000-megawatt wind farm in Oklahoma are on the rocks.
What's happening: The Texas Public Utility Commission yesterday rejected utility giant American Electric Power's $4.5 billion project on the grounds that it does not provide ratepayers enough benefits, per Bloomberg and others.
Why it matters: The proposed Wind Catcher project — which requires regulatory approvals in both states — was slated to be the country's largest wind energy project, according to multiple reports.
What they're saying: Glenrock Associates analyst Paul Patterson tells Bloomberg that it “[l]ooks like curtains to me.”
AEP said it's evaluating its options. “We’re extremely disappointed in today’s Public Utility Commission of Texas’ decision rejecting our Wind Catcher proposal,” the company said in a statement.
Policy: Via the Washington Post, EPA "reversed course late Thursday and announced it would enforce stricter pollution controls on freight trucks known as 'gliders,' which emit dozens of times more soot and contaminants compared to those with new diesel engines."
Technology: The Wall Street Journal has an interesting look at digital and automated tech that's enabling the use of unmanned offshore oil production platforms, which cut industry costs. The story focuses on an Equinor project.
Politics: The Tampa Bay Times looks at oil-and-gas industry support for Florida GOP Gov. Rick Scott in that state's competitive Senate race.
International: In the Axios stream, Barak Ravid of Israel's Channel 10 News scoops ... The U.S. is pressing Israel to implement a deal it signed several years ago with Jordan for building the Red-Dead joint project — a pipeline that connects the Red Sea and the Dead Sea
A Pew Research Center poll released this week explores public opinion about federal agencies, including the EPA, and shows...
"There has been a 24-percentage-point decline in the share of Democrats with a favorable opinion of the agency since shortly before Trump took office (77% then, 53% today)."
Why it matters: The steep decline is a likely manifestation, at least in part, of the Trump administration's u-turn on several Obama-era climate and environmental policies.
What's next: Acting EPA chief Andrew Wheeler is pursuing largely the same policies, but absent the ethics controversies that trailed Pruitt for months. So we'll be watching for the next poll to see whether that affects public perception of the agency.