FERC establishes new LNG division, opens Houston office
The United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has created a new division to accommodate the growing number of applications to site, build, and operate LNG export terminals.
FERC said on Tuesday that the new division would be a part of its Office of Energy Projects.
The need stems not only from the growing number of applications but also from the complexity of those applications.
The new Division of LNG Facility Review & Inspection (DLNG) will consist of 20 existing LNG staff members in Washington, and eight additional full-time staffers recruited in the Houston area and based in a new Houston regional office.
FERC Chairman Neil 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 Washington headquarters.”
In April 2018, FERC had 13 staff dedicated to working on LNG engineering and review issues. That number has since grown to 20 staffers.
Those staff members complete engineering reviews, coordinating safety reviews with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration at the Department of Transportation, and prepare engineering analyses for inclusion in environmental documents.
According to FERC, the creation of DLNG and expansion in Houston will help prepare the Commission for the additional work necessary once LNG project applicants make final investment decisions and move toward construction.