Overview

Our Oil & Gas lawyers have been advising clients in the oil, natural gas, LNG and power industries for decades. They have an in-depth understanding of the risks and industry-specific issues that are unique to the energy industry. Mayer Brown has an excellent track record in representing clients in oil and gas matters almost everywhere in the world where oil or gas is found.

Experienced international oil and gas lawyers in our offices in Beijing, Houston, Hong Kong, London, Mexico City, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Singapore and Tokyo allow us to staff oil and gas projects anywhere in the world with lawyers who are highly-skilled and fluent in the local language and customs in the region where a project is located.

Our Oil & Gas lawyers regularly advise national and international oil companies, E&P independents, energy services companies, natural gas and liquids pipeline companies, LNG project developers, petrochemical companies and refiners, as well as lenders and investors in a wide range of industry matters:

  • Exploration and production operations
  • Contracts with drillers, service providers and equipment contractor suppliers
  • Construction contracts
  • Joint operating agreements, foreign concessions and production sharing contracts
  • Upstream and midstream development
  • LNG project development and financing
  • Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs)
  • We advise on industry matters both domestically, in the many jurisdictions in which we are located, as well as on cross-border matters. We regularly act in jurisdictions as diverse as the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, South and Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, Central and Southeast Asia and the Middle East. 

Adding Value at Each Level of the Value Chain

  • Upstream. We have extensive experience in the development and operation of projects for the exploration and production of oil and natural gas, including the negotiation of exploration and production leases, licenses, production payments, net profit interests, concessions and participation agreements with governments and state-owned natural resources companies. Our lawyers have experience in many of the major operating basins of the United States, the North Sea, the Middle East and Western Africa as well as in Southeast Asia, Russia, the Caspian and other areas of the former Soviet Union.
  • Oil and Gas Contracts. We are experienced with the types of contractual arrangements that are unique to the oil and gas industry. With this background, we are able to advise our clients on their most complex issues, such as concession contracts, production sharing agreements, participation agreements, royalty agreements, joint bidding agreements, farmouts, field unitization agreements, JOAs, LNG projects, turnkey and other construction contracts, contracts for the construction of FPSOs, semi-submersible and other rigs, refining contracts, local content arrangements, equipment and service purchase contracts, and other matters that require wide-ranging multi-disciplinary experience.
  • Liquefied Natural Gas. We have represented host governments and the sponsors of LNG liquefaction projects and the developers and users of land-based and floating regasification terminals. We have represented the purchasers and sellers of LNG under long-term supply contracts and in the spot market; owners, charterers and lenders in the acquisition, chartering, construction and financing of LNG vessels, FSRUs and FSUs; lenders in the financing of LNG projects; and buyers and sellers in the acquisition and disposition of interests in LNG projects. The number of firms with broad proficiency in the LNG industry is limited, and we believe that our experience puts us in the very top tier of firms which are able to serve the LNG industry efficiently and effectively anywhere in the world.
  • Shale Plays. We have substantial experience in unconventional oil and gas shale projects. We regularly represent industry participants in the acquisition, disposition and operation of shale assets, with a particular emphasis on these transactions in the United States, where shale activity has been most mature. Our lawyers have worked on some of the largest shale-based joint ventures, and in particular on foreign investors seeking to participate in the US market opportunity. We represented the largest private mineral owner in the State of California to review and revise its form of lease agreement (equivalent to the concession/ granting instrument in some foreign jurisdictions) to make it suitable for shale gas developments in California.. We have a lengthy resume of experience representing producers in the major US shale gas and oil areas of the US.
  • Oil Field Services and Equipment. Our lawyers are regularly called upon to assist clients involved in the service and supply side of the industry. From the drafting and negotiation of complicated drilling service and supply agreements to arbitration of contentious disputes, our lawyers have worked extensively with oil field services and equipment companies on some of the most challenging engagements worldwide.
  • Midstream and Transportation. We have experience in representing pipeline companies and others involved in midstream transportation and the processing of natural gas and liquids. We are involved in everything from the construction and regulatory proceeding stage to the financing and sale and/or acquisition of natural gas pipelines and crude oil pipelines, gas storage facilities, gas processing and fractionation plants, and gas gathering systems around the world. 

We regularly represent clients in fuel supply agreements, construction related, operation and maintenance and transportation agreements and with environmental regulation, project development, project finance and merger and acquisitions. We are experienced in the use of master limited partnerships in acquisition and investment opportunities, and the tax issues that these entail.

  • Petrochemical and Refining. We have assisted in the design, construction, commissioning and operation stages of multi-million dollar petrochemical and refining projects in the USA, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. We have advised local and international lenders and borrowers in relation to the various government regulations, including requirements on both environmental regulatory compliance as well as licensing requirements.

Praxis

Select Global Oil & Gas Experience

Angola

  • Represented participants in the Angola LNG Project, the first LNG project in Angola, which has been pursued to eliminate the flaring of associated natural gas produced with Angola’s off-shore oil production by monetizing the natural gas for the benefit of the project sponsors and the government of Angola. While at other firms, lawyers who are now part of Mayer Brown’s LNG team collectively represented all of the major participants in the project, including acting as lead project counsel; representing Sonangol, the Angolan national oil company in its role as the concessionaire of all oil and gas rights in Angola; representing Sonangol’s subsidiary, Sonangol Gas Natural in its role as a 22.8 percent investor in the project; and representing the Government of Angola in respect of the project.
  • Represented Cameron International in relation to structuring their business operations in Angola regarding a tender for a US $2 billion subsea project offshore Angola.*
  • Represented Sonangol E.P., the national oil company of Angola, in the $1.3 billion acquisition of the Luanda Refinery and related exploration and production assets.*

Australia

  • Representing a major LNG transporter on its bid for an LNG import project in Australia.

Azerbaijan

  • Represented Axpo Trading AG in connection with agreements establishing the TAP consortium for Shah Deniz II.

Brunei

  • Represented a Japanese trading house in the acquisition of two upstream blocks in offshore Brunei.

Brazil

  • Represented China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) on its successful bid as a member of the consortium that was awarded the production sharing contract for the development of the Libra pre-salt oil discovery in the Santos Basin offshore Brazil, with total investment commitments in excess to US$200 billion.*
  • Represented Total S.A. in a complex cross-border operation involving the acquisition of two fully operational natural gas power plants and several oil and gas assets from Petrobras, in the amount of approximately US$2.2 billion.* 
  • Acted for the sponsor, Odebrecht S.A., on the $1.5 billion financing of two deep sea drilling vessels for operation off the coast of Brazil.*
  • Represented SK Energy Co., Ltd. in the $2.4 billion sale of its Brazilian upstream oil and gas subsidiary to Maersk Oil.*

Canada

  • Advised TransCanada Corporation in its sale of Gas Transmission Northwest LLC (GTN) and Bison PipeLine LLC to TC PipeLines, LP, its MLP subsidiary.
  • Represented Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA) on the CAN$257 million acquisition of TUSK Energy Corporation, a Canada-based oil and gas exploration company, by Polar Star Canadian Oil and Gas, Inc., a venture indirectly owned by TIAA. 

Chile

  • Represented two Chilean mining companies in the negotiation and drafting of a terminal use agreement for the Mejillones LNG regasification terminal in northern Chile.
  • Represented an electric generation company as lead counsel in the development of an LNG terminal in central Chile with a Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) and the procurement of LNG.
  • Represented Empresa Nacional del Petróleo (ENAP) in connection with a transaction with PetroMagallanes to secure a 100% interest in the Brotula and Caupolican oil & gas blocks located in the southern Magallanes región of Chile.
  • Representing a Chilean company in the development of an integrated LNG regasification and power generation project in Chile. 

China

  • Advising the largest Chinese State-owned oil company over a petroleum contract dispute with the claim of $1.8 billion.
  • Represented Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. and China Shipping Development Company Ltd. in relation to a project for the acquisition, financing and long-term time charter of four liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers with a combined value of up to $1 billion to be built by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation.
  • Represented Beijing Enterprises Holdings on the acquisition of a 22.01% interest for approximately US$1.1 billion in China Gas Holdings from its state-owned parent company. 

Colombia

  • Advised Ecopetrol S.A. in the negotiation of a joint venture with Anadarko for the joint exploration and development of Fuerte Norte, Fuerte Sur and other oil and gas blocks offshore Colombia.
  • Represented Ecopetrol in the negotiation of operating agreements for two oil and gas E&P unconventional blocks in Colombia.
  • Represented Ecopetrol as international counsel in connection with the $3.3 billion project for the modernization and expansion of the Barrancabermeja Refinery, Colombia's largest refinery.
  • Represented consortium, Termobarranquilla S.A. E.S.P., Termocandelaria S.C.A. E.S.P. and Zona Franca Celsia S.A. E.S.P. on the drafting and negotiation of LNG regasification services agreements for the first-ever LNG Regasification Terminal in Colombia.

Dominican Republic

  • Representing a major US power generation company in the development of an LNG receiving terminal and the construction of an associated pipeline to serve power plants and industrial customers in the San Pedro de Marcoris area.

Ecuador

  • Represented Petroamazonas EP, in negotiating risk service contracts for optimization, secondary and enhanced recovery services on 16 mature fields in Ecuador, with estimated investments of over $2 billion.
  • Represented Repsol Ecuador S.A., in the sale of 100% of its ownership interest in Amodaimi Oil Company, Ltd. to Tiptop Energy Ltd, subsidiary of Sinopec (China).
  • Represented Noble Energy in its $97 million disposition of its assets in Ecuador, consisting of the Amistad natural gas field in the Gulf of Guayaquil and the Machala Power electric generation concession and associated assets, to the Republic of Ecuador.

Egypt

  • Representing a consortium of lenders in a $7.3 billion naptha-based petrochemical project in Egypt.
  • Advised International Finance Corporation in connection with the limited recourse financing of the Qarun oil and gas concession development in the Western desert of Egypt.

Equatorial Guinea

  • Represented PetroSA in relation to the negotiation and execution of PSC agreements with Equatorial Guinea.*

Gabon

  • Represented Harvest Natural Resources, Inc., in the divestment of its participating interest in Dussafu Marin oil and gas license offshore Gabon.

Germany

  • Advised Klesch & Company Limited on the acquisition of Shell’s oil refinery business and assets in Heide, Germany. 

Indonesia

  • Representing a leading trading house on its proposed provision of ship management services to a large scale LNG-to-power project.

Iraq

  • Advised Genel Energy International on the $4.2 billion merger with Vallares PLC creating a London-listed oil and gas champion focused on the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

Mexico

  • Advised Pemex in connection with the negotiations of the 2012 International Treaty between Mexico and the United States for the joint development of cross-border hydrocarbons resources in the Gulf of Mexico.

Mozambique

  • Represented Petronas in the negotiation of a Petroleum Exploration and Production Contract in the Mozambique Rovuma basin.*
  • Represented Sasol on various legal issues dealing with the utilization of the Mozambique-South Africa pipeline.*
  • Representing a project sponsor in connection with its interest in the Rovuma Basin Area 4 Offshore Block and the Mozambique LNG Project.

Nigeria

  • Advised Canaccord Genuity in connection with its role as nominated adviser and broker on the admission to AIM of Eland Oil & Gas and an associated equity placement to enable it to acquire oil mineral lease (OML)40 in the Niger Delta from Shell, Total and ENI.
  • Represented Petrobras Nigeria in relation to the development of the Engina Project field with participating parties Total Upstream Nigeria in partnership with CNOOC and Sapetro and Petrobras.*
  • Represented Halliburton Company on an asset sale of lift boat operations in Nigeria to Hercules Offshore Inc. for approximately $55 million in cash.
  • Represented Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation in the drafting of the Biofuels Law for Nigeria.

Nicaragua

  • Represented Noble Energy in the negotiation and drafting of two farm out agreements and the operating agreement for two hydrocarbon concessions offshore Nicaragua.

Panama

  • Represented Petroleos Delta, an affiliate of Banco General (Panama), in the acquisition of various gas stations in Panama and Costa Rica owned by Royal Dutch Shell. Petroleos Delta is the leading Panamanian fuel distributor in the country with 115 service stations.

Peru

  • Represented Pluspetrol in connection with its sale of all of its 12.38% equity interest in Transportadora de Gas del Perú S.A. (“TGP”). TGP owns and operates Peru’s largest natural gas and natural gas liquids transportation infrastructure, connecting the Camisea fields to industrial centers of Lima and Pisco.
  • Representing Korea National Oil Corporation and Ecopetrol in connection with matters related to their investment in Savia Peru, an oil and gas joint venture focused on exploration, production and development activities in offshore Peru.

Saudi Arabia

  • Advised BP and subsequent sponsors on the $4.5 billion project development of a downstream petrochemicals facility in Saudi Arabia.

Sierra Leone

  • Advised an international oil company in evaluating a farm-in opportunity offshore Sierra Leone.

South Africa

  • Advised Chevron Corporation on its gas-to-liquids joint venture with Sasol Limited (South Africa) to convert natural hydrocarbon gas to liquid fuels.

Tanzania

  • Represented a major oil company as co-sponsor of an LNG project in Tanzania in collaboration with the owners of multiple deep water blocks. The role included advising on the terms of a Host Government Agreement between the host government, the national oil company, and the international oil companies.

United Kingdom

  • Represented ATP Oil and Gas Corporation and its wholly owned subsidiary, ATP Oil & Gas (UK) Limited on its novel “pre-packaged” restructuring and sale of the entity under UK insolvency laws to Alpha Petroleum (UK) Limited for US$1.3 billion.
  • Represented Gulf Oil in its $1.045 billion acquisition of Houghton International Inc., a leading international supplier of metal finish fluids and industrial lubricants, from AEA Investors LP.

United States

  • Represented TransCanada Corporation on its US$13 billion acquisition of Columbia Pipeline Group, Inc., a US company that operates a network of interstate natural gas pipelines from New York to the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Advised Sinochem Group on its $1.7 billion acquisition of oil and natural gas leasehold acres held by Pioneer Natural Resources Company in the horizontal Wolfcamp shale play in west Texas.
  • Acted as lead bankruptcy counsel to debtor, ATP Oil and Gas Corporation in one of the largest bankruptcy filings of an offshore exploration and production company in recent years.
  • Represented Ecopetrol America Inc., a US subsidiary of the Colombia-based Ecopetrol S.A., the Colombian national oil company, in the acquisition of an interest in the K2 Field in the US Gulf of Mexico from MCX Gulf of Mexico LLC, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi.
  • Advised Talos Energy in its acquisition of Energy Resource Technology GOM, Inc. from Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. 
  • Represented Rosetta Resources, Inc. in the $200 million divestiture of its Sacramento Basin oil and gas assets in California to Vintage Petroleum LLC.
  • Represented a Canadian oil and gas company in respect of its acquisition and development of oil and gas properties in the Uintah Basin. 

Venezuela

  • Represented the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Harvest Natural Resources, Inc. on the sale by Harvest’s wholly-owned subsidiary, HNR Energia B.V., of its 51 percent interest in Harvest-Vinccler Dutch Holding BV, which owned Harvest's Venezuelan oil and gas interests, to CT Energy Holding SRL.

Vietnam

  • Represented a Japanese multinational conglomerate on a potential acquisition of interests owned by ConocoPhillips, consisting of its stake in two Vietnam offshore oil fields and the Nam Con Son gas pipeline.

 

* Transaction led by Mayer Brown’s associated firm in Brazil, Tauil & Chequer Advogados.