Roundup: Entergy refunds / Small business loans / Offshore tops onshore shale

Dollars and cents: Entergy customers in Louisiana will receive refunds on their power bills in January, February, and March after the Louisiana Public Service Commission won a lawsuit against the company. The PSC said in a release that for customers using roughly 1,300 kilowatt hours per month should get a refund of about $5.50. The PSC voted Wednesday to approve the refund plan, which totals some $58 million, over the next three months. Interest will be added to the bill credits for the refunds.

Shutdown ripples: The Small Business Administration has stopped approving routine small-business loans that the agency backs to ensure entrepreneurs have access to funds, halting their plans for expansion and repairs and forcing some owners to consider costlier sources of cash, The Wall Street Journal reports. An SBA official said the agency is still processing loans under its 504 lending program, which helps small businesses buy real estate and equipment, that were approved and obligated before the Dec. 22 shutdown. Read the full story.  

Switch flipped: Offshore spending will outgrow spending for onshore shale in 2019, analysts at energy research company Rystad Energy predict. With oil hovering around $50 per barrel, The Houston Chronicle reports that analysts project spending on land rigs, fracking and other services for the shale industry will likely stay flat in 2019, but the offshore market is expected to grow. While the offshore service market will feel the effects of the oil price slide, analysts forecast the sector to grow by 4% in 2019. Read the full story.

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