2024 LNG Symposium Recap

The 2024 LNG Symposium, held June 10 in Houston, brought together industry leaders, policymakers, and stakeholders for insightful discussions and knowledge sharing. The event provided a platform for experts to explore current trends, challenges, and opportunities in the LNG market. This recap highlights three key sessions from the symposium:

Mitigating Risk in US Liquefied Natural Gas Contracts

Tom Kruse, a seasoned legal expert in the LNG industry, covered the legal and policy challenges impacting LNG contracts. He discussed the implications of the Biden-Harris administration’s export pause, emphasizing the importance of considering economic and environmental impacts in current authorizations. Kruse highlighted the trend toward longer-term contracts for stability and addressed legal uncertainties, construction challenges and geopolitical influences. The session also covered risk mitigation strategies in contractual agreements, including damage clauses, jurisdiction considerations and arbitration. Key takeaways included the need for meticulous contract management, prompt legal analysis, and staying updated on regulatory changes.

FERC Presentation

James Danly, head of Skadden’s Energy Regulatory Group, provided an in-depth analysis of the U.S. regulatory compact and its impact on the natural gas industry. Emphasizing the need for regulatory certainty to attract investment, he discussed historical and current regulatory regimes, highlighting their implications for the LNG sector.

Key points included the importance of presenting comprehensive environmental information to decision-makers and the potential expansion of environmental analysis scope due to the pending Supreme Court case, Seven County Infrastructure Coalition. Mr. Danly also discussed the growing body of case law enhancing the enforcement of pipeline mitigation measures.

The session explored the environmental review process in revisiting DOE analyses, specifically materials previously avoided in Sierra Club v. DOE, and the complexities of the rehearing request process. Mr. Danly emphasized the need for strong industry representation and the uncertainties surrounding future regulatory actions.

Additionally, the public interest implications of natural gas export were discussed, balancing economic benefits with environmental concerns. The role of Congress in shaping natural gas export policy was also highlighted.

Overall, Mr. Danly stressed the importance of understanding the evolving regulatory landscape and its impact on the LNG industry.

LNG Operator Roundtable

The symposium’s final session was an operator roundtable discussion moderated by Andrew Park and panel members. The discussion kicked off by focusing on LNG transport ships and the lack of current infrastructure in the United States to build LNG transport ships domestically. Aspects of the Jones Act were discussed in detail, focusing on how LNG gets delivered to the northeastern region of the United States.

The 2024 LNG Symposium successfully brought to light the complexities and opportunities within the LNG industry. From regulatory insights to contract management strategies and operational challenges, the event provided a comprehensive overview of LNG’s current state and future prospects. Attendees left with a deeper understanding of the critical issues facing the industry and the collaborative efforts needed to navigate them. The Southern Gas Association looks forward to continuing these vital discussions and fostering innovation and growth in the LNG sector.