FERC creates new liquid natural gas division, Houston office

Published on July 25, 2019 by Kevin Randolph

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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Neil Chatterjee announced Tuesday that the commission is creating a new Division of LNG Facility Review & Inspection (DLNG) in its Office of Energy Projects.

The DNLG will consist of 20 existing LNG staff members in Washington, D.C. and eight additional full-time staffers based in a new Houston Regional Office.

“As the demand for U.S. LNG and the number and complexity of project applications has grown, the Commission has experienced a similar growth in the need for FERC to expand its oversight in this program area,” Chatterjee said. “Much of the work related to these LNG projects, and the expertise it requires, is based in and around Houston, the so-called ‘Energy Capital of the World.’ For that reason, after careful research and evaluation, the Commission has determined we should direct our newest efforts to recruiting staff in the area to build upon the good work already being done on these issues at our D.C. headquarters.”

The number of staffers at FERC dedicated to LNG engineering and review issues has grown from 13 in April 2018 to 20 today. These staffers work to complete engineering reviews, coordinate safety reviews with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration at the Department of Transportation and prepare engineering analyses for inclusion in environmental documents.

FERC noted that creating the DLNG and the office in Houston will help the agency prepare for the additional work that will be necessary once LNG project applicants make final investment decisions and move toward construction.

The Office of Energy Projects and the Office of the Executive Director have begun working with the General Services Administration on space requirements and office configuration in Houston. Postings seeking candidates for the additional staff will be made shortly.