By Roberta Rampton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama is considering naming nuclear physicist Ernest Moniz, who is one of his science and energy advisers, as the next energy secretary, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.

Moniz, who was undersecretary at the Energy Department during the Clinton administration, is a familiar figure on Capitol Hill, where he has often talked to lawmakers about how abundant supplies of U.S. natural gas will gradually replace coal as a source of electricity.

Moniz is director of MIT's Energy Initiative, a research group that gets funding from industry heavyweights including BP, Chevron, and Saudi Aramco for academic work on projects aimed at reducing climate-changing greenhouse gases.

(This story is refiled to correct to show Moniz was undersecretary, not deputy secretary.)

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton and Jeff Mason; Editing by Paul Simao)