Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Neil Chatterjee said today that the agency is creating a new division in its Office of Energy Projects to accommodate the growing number and complexity of applications to site, build and operate liquefied natural gas export terminals.
The new Division of LNG Facility Review & Inspection (DLNG) will consist of 20 existing LNG staff members in Washington, D.C., and eight additional full-time staffers recruited in the Houston area and 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 in a statement. “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.’”
As recently as April 2018, FERC had 13 staff dedicated to working on LNG engineering and review issues. That number has since grown to 20 staffers whose efforts are critical to completing engineering reviews, coordinating safety reviews with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration at the Department of Transportation, and preparing engineering analyses for inclusion in environmental documents. The creation of DLNG and expansion in Houston will help prepare FERC for the additional work 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 coordinating with the General Services Administration on space requirements and office configuration in Houston. Postings seeking candidates for the additional staff, starting with the Division Director, will be made shortly.
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