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David L. Wochner

Practice Area Leader - Policy / Regulatory
Fax +1.202.778.9100

Mr. Wochner has advised, represented and advocated on behalf of clients on natural gas, LNG and oil related matters, including natural gas and oil commodity and pipeline transportation issues, LNG imports and exports, and natural gas as a transportation fuel, before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Departments of Energy, Transportation and the Interior, EPA and on Capitol Hill. 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 2010 Gulf of Mexico Macondo oil spill, including House Committees on Energy and Commerce 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; natural gas and oil 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 pipelines operations and policies before the 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, including pipelines and LNG terminal siting.
  • FERC regulation of interstate oil and oil products pipelines.
  • Safety regulations under the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) Part 193, applicable to LNG storage facilities and LNG transfer pipelines.
  • Congressional investigations into oil and natural gas related matters, including oil spills.
  • Global gas quality and interchangeability issues for LNG traders.
  • Development of stakeholder engagement strategies for energy infrastructure projects.
  • BSEE 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.


  • Selected as a “Rising Star” in Energy by the 2013, 2014 editions of Super Lawyers
  • Selected as one of the Best LGBT Attorneys Under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association (2010)
  • 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

  • Member, National Law Alumni Board, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Past Co-chair, Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund Campaign Board

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, “Political and Regulatory Realities - What Comes Next?” New York, (June 22, 2016)
  • 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, “House of Lords Discussion - From Arab Oil Embargo to Crimean Sanctions: Energy Security or Insecurity?,” Windsor Energy Group - London (June 19, 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, “Regulatory and Legal Issues Affecting Shale Gas Development,” ACC Energy Practice Group Luncheon (September 15, 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)
  • Serve as lead regulatory and policy counsel on behalf of Australian-based Liquefied Natural Gas Limited in efforts to develop the Magnolia LNG export facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana, including representing the client before FERC, the Department of Energy and the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • Advise multiple investment banks and hedge funds on U.S. LNG exports, including development of strategies to address political and policy issues at the Department of Energy and FERC.
  • Serve as lead regulatory counsel for Texas LNG for the siting and development of the proposed 4 mtpa LNG export facility in Brownsville, Texas
  • 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.
  • Advise large energy trading companies in acquisition of natural gas trading books, including review of key commercial provisions, 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 clients, including large electric cooperative and several industrials on negotiation of NAESB gas supply agreements.
  • Counsel and represent a major international drilling company in multiple Congressional investigations and hearings related to the Gulf of Mexico Macondo 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 Gulf of Mexico Macondo oil spill.
  • 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.
  • 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 clients on PHMSA related compliance matters for oil, NGLs, and natural gas pipelines.
  • 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 several LNG importers and capacity holders in terminal-use agreement negotiations on operational issues, including third-party access and gas composition, for European and U.S. regasification facilities.
  • 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.
  • Counsel two IOCs on development of stakeholder engagement strategies and plans for prospective LNG terminal sites, including state and local engagement.
  • 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.
  • Advise a major international energy trading company regarding a potential offshore U.S. LNG terminal, including all associated issues with the U.S. Maritime Administration and the MMS.