LNG: Process Safety and Regulatory Challenges
Jack Chosnek, Process Safety Consultant
With the abundance of natural gas the production of LNG in the U.S. is increasing in spite of a downturn in the world’s economy and falling oil prices. The change from importing LNG which requires only gasification, to exporting it which requires natural gas liquefaction, has had a significant impact on the way LNG is regulated and brought also additional process safety considerations in the design and operation of LNG liquefaction plants. The regulatory process is coordinated by the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission (FERC) for onshore and near-shore facilities and by the Maritime Administration (MARAD) for offshore facilities. The process safety aspects and the regulatory impact, which can involve up to 15 federal agencies besides some state agencies, will be discussed.
Jack Chosnek has over 40 years of experience with involvement in process safety in the majority of them, in both management and staff positions. He has consulted for companies in the chemical, refining, oil and gas, offshore, LNG, waste management and mining industries, developing policies and implementing process safety management systems, facilitating PHAs and LOPA/SIL studies, conducting incident investigations and conducting process safety audits and gap analyses. He has developed software for PHA facilitation, Management of Change (MOC) and a Hazards Register. In the last four years he has been the principal risk engineer in three multi-billion dollar projects, two FEED projects - coal to gasoline and LNG, and one LNG EPC project.
Jack has a BS and MS from the Technion—Israel Institute of Technology, and a PhD from the University of Missouri at Rolla. He is a Licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Texas. He has been the chair of the STS PSM Workshops since 2003 and is the chair of the Technical Advisory Committee of the Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center.
Opportunities for Chemical Engineers
Victor H. (Vic) Edwards, PhD, PE(TX)
Older STS members will remember the disastrous employment situation of the 1980s when oil prices dropped, the government Synfuels Projects were cancelled, and there was also a recession.
STS developed an office called Chemical Engineering Opportunities, that inspired the title of our workshop today. Brown and Root, the predecessor of KBR, provided an office with a telephone and a computer that could be used by STS volunteers to identify and post job opportunities, as well as by STS members seeking new employment opportunities.
During that period, many chemical engineers embarked on new careers with new employers.
Here in Houston, we usually have a robust market for chemical engineers in petrochemicals, engineering design, and energy. In addition to employment agencies and executive recruiters, AIChE maintains a well-organized guide for job seekers with a searchable database of positions throughout the US. There are currently 878 opportunities listed at http://careerengineer.aiche.org/jobseeker/search/results/
There are many other industries, such as agricultural products, environmental services, fine chemicals, food processing, forest products, semiconductor products, sustainable development, and pharmaceuticals, where chemical engineers are making important contributions. In addition, chemical engineering is also a great background for business management, law, medicine, and biomedical engineering, to name a few.
During the first half hour, I will share my experience from a fifty-year career on how to get and keep a good job.
Then we will open up the workshop for a group discussion of how we can do better.
Vic retired in 2013 after 30 years with IHI E&C and predecessor companies. His experience includes chemical process design, process safety management including LNG, hydrometallurgal processes, and offshore projects, and process and environmental technologies. He received five DuPont Awards for Safety, Health, and Environmental Excellence. In 1998, he was Employee of the Year. He received the 2002 Service Award from the Process Safety Center at Texas A & M University. In 2007, Vic received the HSE Excellence in Design Award. In 2015, he received the Walton-Miller Award from the Safety and Health Division of AIChE.
Earlier in his 50-year career, Vic held faculty positions at Cornell University and Rice University and served at the National Science Foundation on leave from Cornell. He also held positions at Merck, Fluor, and United Energy Resources.
Dr. Edwards is a Registered Professional Engineer. He earned a PhD degree in chemical engineering from UC Berkeley and a bachelor’s degree from Rice. He is an AIChE Fellow. He has published more than 70 technical articles and several book chapters; he has one U. S. patent. Vic edited section 10 of the 8th and 9th Editions of Perry’s Chemical Engineers’ Handbook. Edwards chaired the 9th Global Congress on Process Safety in 2013. Vic serves on the Editorial Board of Chemical Processing and the Technical Advisory Committee of the Process Safety Center at Texas A & M. He is a member of AAAS, ACS, NFPA, NSPE, and the New York Academy of Sciences.
Vic now enjoys an active retirement of consulting, editing, and writing, while treasuring more time for family and friends.