United States Steel Corp. is postponing construction of an electric arc furnace (EAF) at its Fairfield Works in Birmingham, AL, "due to continued challenging market conditions in both the oil and gas and steel industries," the company said. "On Dec. 14, 2015 oil prices hit an eight-year low in the same week that rig counts dropped by another 28 to a 16-year low of 709. The company continues to feel the effect of these energy market conditions, along with low steel prices and continued high levels of imports. In order to combat these continued challenging global market conditions, U.S. Steel has made the decision to postpone the construction of the 1.6 million net ton EAF facility at Fairfield Works..."
Duke Energy's proposed acquisition of Piedmont Natural Gas has received early Federal Trade Commission antitrust clearance. The deal still requires approval by Piedmont shareholders and the North Carolina Utilities Commission. Duke Energy and Piedmont also are providing information regarding the acquisition to the Public Service Commission of South Carolina and the Tennessee Regulatory Authority. Closing of the $4.9 billion cash deal is expected by the end of 2016. It was announced in October (see Daily GPI, Oct. 26).