Rick Smead is Managing Director, Advisory Services, for RBN Energy LLC, a globally prominent oil, gas, and NGL market analytics firm, providing consulting and testimony services to entities in the natural gas industry. As an industry leader both as a consultant and in various prior senior management positions, his expertise spans all aspects of commercial and regulatory issues in the natural gas supply industry, including interstate pipelines, LNG import and export, and the reality and implications of shale-driven natural gas abundance—particularly the development of demand options such as power generation.
From 2004 to 2013, Mr. Smead was a Director for Navigant Consulting Inc., responsible for managing Navigant’s consulting business in the upstream and midstream natural gas industry. He was responsible for multiple engagements involving supply assessment, potential acquisitions, policy analysis, litigation support, expert testimony, market initiatives, and strategic advice with respect to gas pipelines and regulatory issues. In 2008, he co-authored and managed the North American Natural Gas Supply Assessment for the American Clean Skies Foundation, a ground-breaking analysis that first unveiled the size of the U.S. shale gas potential. Otherwise, a significant concentration of his practice has involved the market and infrastructure issues affecting gas supply projects, major users such as power generators, and outlets such as LNG export or gas-to-liquids projects.
He has represented over 60 clients including interstate gas pipeline companies, midstream natural gas companies, major producing companies, gas distribution companies, industry trade associations and foundations across all sectors, national oil companies, and U.S. government agencies. His work has spanned dozens of disparate subject-matter areas, ranging from traditional rate-case issues such as rate of return and rate design, to energy market policy around power generation and LNG exports. Mr. Smead has testified over twenty-five times before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, other regulatory and taxing agencies, and various civil courts. He has been active in the
international arena, advising various non-US entities as to the design of a privately owned pipeline industry, and advising national oil companies and non-U.S. corporations regarding the U.S. pipeline infrastructure and market dynamics relevant to LNG projects—first with regard to imports, then with regard to exports. Prior to joining Navigant, Mr. Smead held various senior management positions in the interstate natural gas pipeline industry, including Vice President, Regulatory Policy for the El Paso Pipeline Group, Senior Vice President,
Regulatory Affairs and Tax for Colorado Interstate Gas Company, and Senior Vice President Regulatory Affairs for ANR Pipeline Company. Until 1988, he was Director of Rates for the Tenneco Gas Group. Overall, his management responsibilities included over a dozen major natural gas pipeline companies owned by these entities, spanning the United States. He was active and instrumental in the overall industry restructuring under Order No. 636, filed and resolved 27 major pipeline rate cases, and led multiple industry policy initiatives. Prior to joining Tenneco in 1980, Mr. Smead held various positions with Washington Gas Light Company, a large urban local distribution company in
Washington, D.C. Mr. Smead has served as chairman of the INGAA Rate Committee and of various ad hoc task groups focused on specific issues. He served as chairman of the American Gas Association (AGA) Rate Committee from 1988 to 1991 and earlier as chairman of the joint AGA/Edison Electric Institute Depreciation Committee. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the North American Energy Standards Board, where he served as vice chair of the gas-electric interaction task force.
Mr. Smead holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland and a Juris Doctor degree from George Washington University. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the Energy Bar Association (EBA), where he served as Chairman of the Natural Gas Regulation Committee from 2006 to 2008, as a co-chair of the Program and Meetings Committee in 2008-09, and as President of the Foundation of the Energy Law Journal (FELJ) in 2012-13. He currently serves as a member of the board of directors of the Charitable Foundation of the Energy Bar Association (CFEBA) and of the Houston Chapter of EBA, as treasurer of both organizations, and as one of the four Primer Deans of the EBA Energy Primer program.
He is a frequent speaker and author on gas industry matters.