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David L. Wochner

Practice Area Leader - Policy / Regulatory
Fax +1.202.778.9100

Mr. Wochner advises, represents and advocates on behalf of a wide range of energy industry clients, focusing on natural gas, LNG and oil related matters, as well as offshore energy infrastructure development.  With nearly 25 years in Washington, D.C., he regularly advises clients on critical federal regulatory and policy issues that impact energy infrastructure and commodities.  Over the years, he has appeared regularly on behalf of clients before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC); the Departments of Energy, the Interior, and Transportation; EPA; and on Capitol Hill. In 2010-2011, he served as lead Washington counsel on behalf of a major international drilling company in multiple Congressional and federal agency investigations and hearings related to the Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon oil spill, including House Committees on Energy and Commerce, Natural Resources and the Judiciary, and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and its predecessor agencies. 

Mr. Wochner’s clients include natural gas and LNG marketers, importers, exporters and project developers; financial institutions and hedge funds; offshore energy project developers; oil and gas pipelines and shippers; oil and gas drilling companies; and state and provincial government officials.

His experience includes counseling and representing clients in matters concerning:

  • U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports and imports.
  • Interstate natural gas, oil and oil product pipelines’ operations and policies before FERC.
  • Natural gas trading operations, including NAESB agreements, interstate transportation capacity, and asset management arrangements.
  • U.S. federal, state and local authorities’ roles in the development of energy infrastructure.
  • Safety regulations under the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) Part 193, applicable to pipelines and LNG facilities.
  • Congressional investigations into oil and natural gas related matters, including oil spills.
  • Minerals Management Service (MMS) and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) leasing issues associated with offshore energy facilities, including LNG terminals, wind and hydrokinetic power facilities, and natural gas pipelines.
  • Development of stakeholder engagement strategies for energy infrastructure projects.

Additionally, Mr. Wochner serves as co-Practice Area Leader for K&L Gates’ global Policy & Regulatory Practice.


  • Selected as one of The Best Lawyers in America for work in Energy Regulatory Law by Best Lawyers (2017, 2018, 2019)
  • Selected as a “Rising Star” in Energy by the 2013-2015 editions of Super Lawyers
  • Recipient, 2007 Burton Award for Legal Achievement for “Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Litigation After the Energy Policy Act of 2005,” Energy Law Journal (November 14, 2006)

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Chair, Georgetown University Law Center National Law Alumni Board
  • Member, Energy Bar Association

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, “Making American Energy Great Again? The Trump Administration’s Use of Regulation and Policy to Impact Global Energy Markets,” World Energy Engineering Conference, Charlotte, NC, (October 18, 2018)
  • Speaker, “The U.S. Offshore: Outstanding Opportunity or Onerous Obstacle,” “Issues of Offshore Wind Power Generation: Key Issues for Offshore Wind Power”, Japan Overseas Institute, Tokyo, (September 13, 2018)
  • Speaker, “LNG and U.S. Trade Developments,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Teleconference, (April 20, 2018)
  • Speaker, “Contracts and Offtake Agreements: A Legal View,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch U.S. LNG Prospects Conference, New York, (March 9, 2018)
  • Speaker, “US Infrastructure Cooperation | US Energy / Infrastructure Investment Opportunities Analysis,” Beijing, (April 18, 2017)
  • Speaker, “New Administration Policies: How to Maximize Your Business for Growth,” OCTANe - Orange County, CA (January 19, 2017)
  • Speaker, “Winter is Coming: The Regulatory Onslaught Against Oil & Gas Midstream Infrastructure,” Credit Suisse Restructuring Mini-Conference - Houston, Texas (February 1, 2016)
  • Speaker, “U.S. Environmental Standards and Regulations for Shale Gas Development,” U.S.-China Shale Gas Training Program, Environmental Policy and Technology for Shale Gas Development - Beijing, China (December 3-4, 2015)
  • Speaker, “Developments in North American Oil, Gas and LNG,” Australian Institute of Energy - Perth (September 29, 2015)
  • Speaker, “Developments in North American Oil, Gas and LNG,” K&L Gates - Singapore (March 26, 2015)
  • Speaker, “Regulatory Risk Factors for US LNG Export Projects,” Hart Energy North American LNG Exports Conference (November 20, 2014)
  • Speaker, Seoul LNG Seminar (March 25, 2014)
  • Speaker, “U.S. LNG Exports:  Consideration of the ‘Public Interest,’” 4th Annual North American LNG Exports Conference (December 11, 2013)
  • Speaker, Tokyo LNG Seminar (September 10, 2013)
  • Speaker, “Responsible Shale Development - Industry Perspectives,” K&L Gates Second Annual Alaska Oil & Gas Conference, (July 10, 2013)
  • Speaker, “U.S. LNG Exports: Policy and Political Issues,” LNG Export Forum North America (May 16-18, 2012)
  • Speaker, “Obtaining Permits for LNG Export,” 2nd Annual North American LNG Exports Conference (December 1, 2011)
  • Leader, Workshop: “Addressing the Impact of Legal & Regulatory Issues on the Shale Gas Industry,” World Shale Gas Conference 2011 (November 7-11, 2011)
  • Speaker, “Federal Agency Jeopardy: An Insider’s Guide to the Federal Regulation of Energy Companies and Commodities,” ACC 2011 Annual Meeting (October 23–26, 2011)
  • Moderator, “Key Policy Developments and their Impact on Offshore Wind,” Offshore Wind Power North America - Boston, MA (February 1-2, 2011)
  • Speaker, “Issues for Obtaining Liquefaction and Export Authority,” Prospects for North American LNG Exports Program (November 11, 2010)
  • Co-Leader, “Shale Gas Legal and Regulatory Issues Master Class,” World Shale Gas Conference and Exhibition (November 3-5, 2010)
  • Speaker, “Managing Regulatory Hurdles in Offshore Wind Projects,” EUEC 2010 – 13th Annual Energy & Environment Conference (February 2, 2010)
  • Speaker, “U.S. Climate Change Regulation: A Framework for Business Planning For a Sustainable Midstream Industry,” Gas Processors Association – Houston Chapter Annual Conference (October 13, 2009)
  • Panel Moderator, Platts Gas Interchangeability and Quality Forum, Washington, DC (November 19–20, 2008)
  • Speaker, “Improving Stakeholders Perception of LNG,” 15th International Conference and Exhibit on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG 15) - Barcelona, Spain (April 25, 2007)
  • Speaker, “Regulating Gas Composition: The U.S. Regulatory System and Its Impact on the Globalization of LNG,” Gas Technology Institute Global LNG Interchangeability Conference (September 11–12, 2006)
  • Speaker, “LNG Market Outlook,” Valve Manufacturers Association’s Annual Market Outlook Workshop (August 18, 2005)

Additional Information

  • Co-author, “Antitrust: A New Line Of Attack Against Pipelines,” Energy Law 360 (February 13, 2017)
  • Co-author, “Antitrust Claims: A Novel Line of Attack by Groups Opposing Natural Gas Infrastructure Projects,” The Override (January 2017)
  • Co-author, "Paris Agreement to Enter into Force: Implications for Enforcement in the United States and Internationally," The National Law Review (October 25, 2016)
  • Co-author, "K&L Gates: How will the U.S. Presidential Election Affect the Energy Landscape," Caijing (September 23, 2016)
  • Author, "The Implications of Final Rule Regulating Arctic OCS Drilling," Alaska Journal of Commerce (September 18, 2016)
  • Co-author, "Federal Court Upholds FERC’s Approach on LNG Environmental Permitting and Shifts Focus to Challenges to DOE’s Environmental Review," Pratt’s Energy Law Report (September 2016)
  • Quoted, “For Energy Projects, GHG Scrutiny Now A Fact of Life,” Energy Law 360 (April 2, 2014)
  • Co-author, “FERC's Jurisdiction Now Reaches Ethane Pipelines Too,” Energy Law 360 (February 27, 2014)
  • Quoted, “Panel to Obama: Overhaul 1970s energy policies,” Politico (January 28, 2014)
  • Quoted, "Freeport won’t likely appeal ‘bogus’ DOE order: CEO," Platts Gas Daily (December 12, 2013)
  • Quoted, “US LNG export ‘sweet spot’ may be elusive: officials,” Platts LNG Daily (December 11, 2013)
  • Quoted, “Industrial energy group calls US LNG export policy unfair, but opponents claim argument misleads,” Inside FERC (November 11, 2013)
  • Quoted, "Shutdown Will Grind New Energy Projects To A Halt," Energy Law 360 (October 1, 2013)
  • Quoted, “Analysis: Companies may turn to courts on U.S. natural gas export push,” Reuters (June 18, 2013)
  • Quoted, "DOE Seen Delaying LNG Export Licenses Next Year," Argus Media (December 14, 2012)
  • Co-author, “The Development of U.S. Shale Gas Resources: Regulation and Litigation,” Managing Power Magazine (September 1, 2011)
  • Commentator, “Pro-drilling GOPer wins Va. governor’s race, fueling push for 2011 lease sale,” Inside Energy (November 9, 2009)
  • Commentator, “MMS issues rules for renewable projects on the OCS, eases way for offshore wind,” Inside FERC (April 24, 2009)
  • Co-author, “LNG Importer Focus Turns to US Interchangeability Rules,” LNG Journal (November/December 2007)
  • Co-author, “Reviewing LNG Regulations,” Pipeline and Gas Technology (November 2007)
  • Author, “Middle Eastern Oil and Gas,” CQ Press (2007)
  • Co-author, “European LNG Developers Face Complex Commercial Landscape,” Oil & Gas Journal (April 9, 2007)
  • Co-author, “Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Litigation After the Energy Policy Act of 2005,” Energy Law Journal (November 14, 2006)
  • Co-author, “Florida’s Gas Composition Decision Offers Preliminary Guidelines for US LNG Imports,” LNG Journal (May 2006)
  • Co-author, "LNG’s Final Hurdle," Public Utilities Fortnightly (March 2006)
  • Co-author, “Sandia LNG Study Changes Landscape for Terminal Siting,” LNG Observer (April–June 2005)
  • Serve as lead regulatory and policy counsel on behalf of Australian-based Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd. in efforts to develop the 8 mtpa Magnolia LNG export facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana, including representing the client before FERC, DOE, PHMSA and the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • Serve as lead federal regulatory and policy counsel for Texas LNG Brownsville LLC in the development of the 4 mtpa LNG export terminal in Brownsville, Texas, including representing the client before FERC and the Department of Energy.
  • Advise multiple investment banks and hedge funds on U.S. LNG export issues, including development of strategies to address political and policy issues at DOE and FERC.
  • Advise and represent large global oil and gas trading company on FERC regulatory matters, including the transfer of natural gas supply and transportation contracts, verification of compliance with FERC regulations and policies, and representation before FERC in applications for waivers of FERC’s tying prohibition to effectuate the sale and purchase.
  • Advise and negotiate on behalf of a major Asian NOC on regulatory and commercial matters associated with acquisition of LNG export capacity at a U.S. East Coast LNG terminal. 
  • Advise and negotiate on behalf a major IOC in all regulatory and commercial matters associated with acquisition of LNG export and pipeline transportation capacity at the Elba Island LNG terminal.
  • Advise dozens of clients on all aspects of FERC-regulated interstate natural gas transportation capacity, including acquisition of capacity, open season obligations, asset management arrangements, capacity release provisions, and negotiated rate agreements.
  • Negotiate dozens of interstate pipeline precedent agreements for natural gas marketers, LNG exporters and utilities to facilitate transportation of new unconventional gas supplies to consuming markets.
  • Advise clients, including large electric cooperative and several industrials on negotiation of NAESB gas supply agreements.
  • Advise clients on PHMSA-related compliance matters.
  • Represent start-up company involved in natural gas vehicles industry in advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill related to passage of the NATGAS Act, encouraging use of natural gas as a transportation fuel.
  • Serve as lead regulatory counsel and negotiator for a natural gas producer regarding the acquisition of multiple pipeline assets in the Marcellus Shale production area.
  • Represent and advise the Government of the Province of New Brunswick, Canada, on LNG and natural gas matters, including participation in proceedings at FERC and PHMSA related terminal and pipeline safety issues.
  • Serve as lead regulatory counsel on behalf of a major international LNG importer in natural gas interchangeability proceedings on multiple interstate pipelines and in defense against allegations of infrastructure harm.
  • Serve as lead regulatory counsel on behalf of international LNG importers and project developers for the analysis of all federal regulatory issues affecting LNG imports, including Natural Gas Act Section 3 and 7 issues, Hackberry policy issues, and jurisdiction and preemption issues arising from other federally required approvals.
  • Advise and represent a European off­shore wind project developer bidding in a U.S. BOEM lease sale off the coast of Maryland, including advice on the regulatory process and competition rules applicable to bidding.
  • Advise large offshore energy company with regard to BOEM leasing and BSEE enforcement matters related to offshore drilling activities.
  • Advise multiple energy infrastructure developers on regulatory and policy issues associated with the Deepwater Port Act, including Governors’ veto authority, interagency dispute resolution, and obtaining offshore leases from MMS for associated pipelines and cables.
  • Advise major European oil and gas company on regulatory requirements related to the abandonment of pipeline on the U.S. outer continental shelf (OCS).
  • Counsel and represent a major international drilling company in multiple Congressional investigations and hearings related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
  • Draft written testimony and prepare senior executive of major international drilling company for oral testimony before the United Kingdom House of Commons Select Committee on Energy and Climate Change related to offshore drilling issues after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon oil spill.