Oil and Gas Law | White & Case
Oil and Gas Law

Oil & Gas

We help private and public sector oil, gas and petrochemical industry participants around the world achieve efficient and innovative solutions to their legal, regulatory and structural challenges. A global network of integrated offices and decades of industry experience allow us to provide advice that builds upon and adapts successful practices to meet the commercial and legal requirements of today's market.

Our teams work on award-winning transactions, providing legal support to the largest and most cutting-edge and complex oil, gas, liquid natural gas (LNG) and petrochemical transactions around the globe, as well as the "nuts and bolts" daily operations of national and international oil and gas companies worldwide. Our sustained commitment to client service is reflected in our long-standing relationships as advisors to many of the world's leading oil and gas companies.

Full-service offering

Clients benefit from our ability to offer a full range of legal services around the globe with a significant depth of resources in multiple jurisdictions and practice areas. Our oil and gas lawyers are strategically located in areas that enable us to effectively serve the needs of the oil and gas industry and advise through the entire lifecycle of oil and gas investments.

Our experience includes strategic joint ventures, project development and financings, reserve-based lending, M&A, asset finance, Islamic finance, bank finance, product sales, intellectual property, capital markets, trade, competition law, real estate, dispute resolution and construction and engineering as matters arise across every stage of the oil and gas value chain.

Deep industry knowledge

We have a broad outlook in the sector. Our lawyers are able to handle all legal aspects of a project from inception to completion, including:

  • Obtaining or granting access to upstream acreage
  • Developing upstream bid rounds
  • Concluding oilfield service arrangements
  • Production Sharing Agreements
  • Assessing, implementing and financing field development
  • Concession agreements
  • Building and financing of pipelines
  • Developing proactive environmental programs
  • Developing and financing LNG projects, conventional and unconventional gas, refinery and petrochemical projects, gas-to-liquids (GTL) facilities and marine transportation
  • Growing and protecting intellectual property and brands
  • Assessing the impact of regulatory developments around the globe on all aspects of the industry
  • Innovating new reserve-based financing approaches
  • Securitizing producing assets
  • Product marketing and sales
  • Dispute resolution in every forum
  • Full range of agreements with contractors and third parties, including EPC and other construction agreements
  • Navigating global antitrust issues, including in the United States and EU
  • Accessing debt and equity markets
  • Developing and implementing tax efficient structures
  • Completing strategic acquisitions and divestitures
  • Joint venturing across the value chain
  • Anti-corruption and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) issues

 

AWARDS

"Highly respected for its work on oil and gas matters, both on major financings and advising leading petroleum companies on transactions and project development."
Chambers Global 2015

"Excellent, completely seamless co-operation—a great group of lawyers."
Chambers Global 2014

"Acclaimed for the depth and breadth of its global project finance practice."
"LNG and oil and gas are areas of particular strength for the team."
Chambers Global 2013

Band 1: Projects & Energy (tenth consecutive year)
Chambers Global 2015

Tier 1 in Projects, Energy & Natural Resources: Oil and Gas
The Legal 500 – United Kingdom 2015

Project Finance Practice Group of the Year
Law 360 2014

Law Firm of the Year: Projects & Energy
Chambers Global 2013

 

DEALS OF THE YEAR

Global Deal of the Year
Freeport LNG
IJ Global 2014

Middle East Petrochemical Deal of the year
Sadara Chemical Company
Project Finance International 2013

Infrastructure Deal of the Quarter Century
Odebrecht Norbe VIII and Norbe IX Bond Offering
LatinFinance 2013

Global M&A Deal of the Year: Middle East & Africa
Saudi Aramco—Yanbu
The American Lawyer 2013

Freeport LNG – 2014, 2015
Advised Freeport LNG with respect to over US$14 billion of third party cash equity, mezzanine debt, and senior secured debt financings for the first three liquefaction trains of the Freeport LNG multi-train natural gas liquefaction facility at Quintana Island in Texas. The individual liquefaction trains comprising the facility are separately owned and financed by wholly and partially-owned subsidiaries of Freeport LNG. The four transactions comprising the third party equity and senior secured debt financing of the first two liquefaction trains were the largest fully non-recourse project financing in history and were collectively named "2014 Global Deal of the Year" by IJGlobal, "2014 Americas Deal of the Year" by Project Finance International magazine, and one of the "2014 Americas Deals of the Year" by Trade Finance magazine. The mezzanine and senior secured debt financings of the third liquefaction train subsequently closed in April 2015. Additional details on the financing of the first two liquefaction trains may be found here. Additional details on the financing of the third liquefaction train may be found here.

Sadara petrochemical project, 2013
Representation of The Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco), the world's largest oil company, in connection with its joint venture with The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) to build and operate a US$20 billion world-scale integrated chemicals complex in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia. Our work started with advising the principal shareholder Saudi Aramco in connection with the joint venture arrangements to implement the project and we subsequently advised on all aspects of the project development and financing.

The financing arrangements included a US$2 billion sukuk issuance by Sadara Basic Services Company on behalf of Sadara, followed by a US$10.5 billion financing package with loans provided by a combination of the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, seven export credit agencies (ECAs) and a diverse range of commercial banks and Islamic financial institutions (participating in both wakala and procurement funding structures). The transaction is the largest-ever project financing in the chemicals sector and was selected as "2013 Global Finance Deal of the Year: Project Finance (Middle East)" by The American Lawyer; as "2013 Global Deal of the Year," "2013 Overall Middle Eastern Deal of the Year" and "2013 Middle Eastern Petrochemicals Deal of the Year" by Project Finance magazine; as "2013 Project Finance Deal of the Year (Middle East)" by International Financial Law Review; and as “2013 Middle East Petrochemical Deal of the Year” by Project Finance International magazine.

OML 30—One of the largest-ever oil asset acquisition finance transactions in Nigeria, 2012 and 2013
Representation of The Standard Bank of South Africa on a US$765 million bridge financing and guarantee facility for Shoreline Natural Resources Limited (SNRL), for its acquisition of a 45 percent interest in OML 30, a major onshore oil producing block in Nigeria together with a 45 percent interest in other assets under the joint operating agreement for OML 30, which includes a segment of the Trans Forcados pipeline. In 2013, we also advised the lenders on a new five-year US$500 million senior secured revolving reserve-based lending facility. This was the largest-ever upstream acquisition financing in Nigeria by international banks, and the deal was "Commended" in the financed category of the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Awards 2013.

Odebrecht Offshore Drilling Finance Limited project bond offering, 2013
Representation of the initial purchasers and the co-managers in a Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of US$1.7 billion of notes by Odebrecht Offshore Drilling Finance Limited, a Cayman Islands subsidiary of Odebrecht Óleo e Gás S.A. (OOG), the oil and gas division of the Odebrecht Group. According to Latin Lawyer, this transaction was the largest-ever project bond offering in Latin America. This transaction was selected as "2013 Latin America Oil & Gas Deal of the Year" by Project Finance International magazine and as "2013 Latin American Upstream Oil & Gas Deal of the Year" by Project Finance magazine.

Financing of Nigerian fertilizer complex, 2013
Representation of the lenders in the US$1.2 billion financing of Indorama's nitrogenous fertilizer complex in Rivers State, Nigeria, the largest fertilizer plant in Africa. The financing was provided by a diverse group of development finance institutions, international banks and leading Nigerian banks. International Finance Corporation, Stanbic IBTC Bank and Standard Chartered together played a leading role as the mandated lead arrangers. Upon completion in 2015, it will be the one of the largest fertilizer plants in the world. This transaction was selected as "2013 African Petrochemical Deal of the Year" by Project Finance International magazine and as "2013 African Petrochemicals Deal of the Year" by Project Finance magazine.

Saudi Aramco shipping merger, 2013
Representation of Saudi Aramco in the US$1.3 billion merger of the fleet and operations of its wholly owned subsidiary Vela International Marine Ltd. with The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri), to create one of the world’s largest shipping companies.

Etileno XXI petrochemicals project in Mexico, 2012
Representation of Braskem Idesa SAPI in the US$3.2 billion financing for the Etileno XXI petrochemicals project in Veracruz, Mexico. Seven governmental agencies and 10 commercial banks participated in the financing, the largest private sector investment in a single project ever in Mexico, and the largest project financing ever in the petrochemical industry in the Americas. This deal was selected as "2012 Overall Latin American Deal of the Year" and "2012 Latin American Petrochemicals Deal of the Year" by Project Finance magazine, "2012 Americas Petrochemical Deal of the Year" by Project Finance International magazine, as "2012 Project Finance Deal of the Year" by Latin Lawyer magazine, and as one of the "2012 Deals of the Year" by Trade Finance magazine.

Alfa-Access-Renova (AAR), 2012
Representation of AAR Consortium formed by three of Russia's leading investment, financial and industrial groups–Alfa Group, Access Industries and Renova–on the US$28 billion sale of its 50 percent stake in TNK- BP, a leading Russian oil company and one of the world's top ten privately-owned oil companies, to Rosneft, an oil and gas exploration and production company listed in Russia. The transaction, which was the largest M&A transaction in 2012 and the largest M&A transaction in Russia, was named "Global M&A Deal of the Year: Russia" by The American Lawyer 2013.

Nord Stream Pipeline, 2011
Representation of the joint venture project company Nord Stream AG and the sponsors in the approximately €9 billion construction and development of the Nord Stream Pipeline, two 1,220-km sub-sea offshore gas pipelines that extend from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea and the exclusive economic zones of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. This deal won five Deal of the Year awards across the globe including "2011 Europe Project Finance Deal of the Year" by International Financial Law Review. Due to our involvement, we were also selected as "2011 Infrastructure/Energy Team of the Year" by The Lawyer.

Barzan Gas Project, 2011
Representation of Qatar Petroleum and Exxon Mobil, as sponsors, in the successful closing of their US$10.3 billion Barzan Gas Project in Ras Laffan Industrial City, the largest single financing project ever undertaken in Qatar. The Export‑Import Bank of Korea was one of the many lenders involved. This deal was selected as "2011 Middle East and Africa Oil & Gas Deal of the Year" by Project Finance International magazine, as one of the "Best Deals of 2011" by Global Trade Review magazine and as "2011 Middle East Oil & Gas Deal of the Year" and "2011 Global Deal of the Year" by Project Finance magazine.

ConocoPhillips 2004–2011
Representation of ConocoPhillips in a lawsuit brought by 23 municipalities against several large natural gas companies that were members of the National Petroleum Counsel (NPC), an advisory committee to the US Department of Energy. The municipalities claimed that the defendants, by participating in certain NPC reports forecasting the availability and price of natural gas, agreed to inflate the price of natural gas (i.e., the allegedly fixed prices). The District Court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants and appellate and Supreme Court reviews have upheld the District Court's determination. This case is important because it confirms that a company is not subject to antitrust liability simply because it provided information and support for government-sponsored reports at the same time as its competitors.

European Gas Company
Representation of a European gas company on four potential arbitrations on price adjustments of gas sourcing contracts with one of the world's largest international gas producers. The primary market concerned was Southern Europe, with a price adjustment clause which referred also to Western Europe.

Oil & Gas
About

We help private and public sector oil, gas and petrochemical industry participants around the world achieve efficient and innovative solutions to their legal, regulatory and structural challenges. A global network of integrated offices and decades of industry experience allow us to provide advice that builds upon and adapts successful practices to meet the commercial and legal requirements of today's market.

Our teams work on award-winning transactions, providing legal support to the largest and most cutting-edge and complex oil, gas, liquid natural gas (LNG) and petrochemical transactions around the globe, as well as the "nuts and bolts" daily operations of national and international oil and gas companies worldwide. Our sustained commitment to client service is reflected in our long-standing relationships as advisors to many of the world's leading oil and gas companies.

Full-service offering

Clients benefit from our ability to offer a full range of legal services around the globe with a significant depth of resources in multiple jurisdictions and practice areas. Our oil and gas lawyers are strategically located in areas that enable us to effectively serve the needs of the oil and gas industry and advise through the entire lifecycle of oil and gas investments.

Our experience includes strategic joint ventures, project development and financings, reserve-based lending, M&A, asset finance, Islamic finance, bank finance, product sales, intellectual property, capital markets, trade, competition law, real estate, dispute resolution and construction and engineering as matters arise across every stage of the oil and gas value chain.

Deep industry knowledge

We have a broad outlook in the sector. Our lawyers are able to handle all legal aspects of a project from inception to completion, including:

  • Obtaining or granting access to upstream acreage
  • Developing upstream bid rounds
  • Concluding oilfield service arrangements
  • Production Sharing Agreements
  • Assessing, implementing and financing field development
  • Concession agreements
  • Building and financing of pipelines
  • Developing proactive environmental programs
  • Developing and financing LNG projects, conventional and unconventional gas, refinery and petrochemical projects, gas-to-liquids (GTL) facilities and marine transportation
  • Growing and protecting intellectual property and brands
  • Assessing the impact of regulatory developments around the globe on all aspects of the industry
  • Innovating new reserve-based financing approaches
  • Securitizing producing assets
  • Product marketing and sales
  • Dispute resolution in every forum
  • Full range of agreements with contractors and third parties, including EPC and other construction agreements
  • Navigating global antitrust issues, including in the United States and EU
  • Accessing debt and equity markets
  • Developing and implementing tax efficient structures
  • Completing strategic acquisitions and divestitures
  • Joint venturing across the value chain
  • Anti-corruption and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) issues

 

AWARDS

"Highly respected for its work on oil and gas matters, both on major financings and advising leading petroleum companies on transactions and project development."
Chambers Global 2015

"Excellent, completely seamless co-operation—a great group of lawyers."
Chambers Global 2014

"Acclaimed for the depth and breadth of its global project finance practice."
"LNG and oil and gas are areas of particular strength for the team."
Chambers Global 2013

Band 1: Projects & Energy (tenth consecutive year)
Chambers Global 2015

Tier 1 in Projects, Energy & Natural Resources: Oil and Gas
The Legal 500 – United Kingdom 2015

Project Finance Practice Group of the Year
Law 360 2014

Law Firm of the Year: Projects & Energy
Chambers Global 2013

 

DEALS OF THE YEAR

Global Deal of the Year
Freeport LNG
IJ Global 2014

Middle East Petrochemical Deal of the year
Sadara Chemical Company
Project Finance International 2013

Infrastructure Deal of the Quarter Century
Odebrecht Norbe VIII and Norbe IX Bond Offering
LatinFinance 2013

Global M&A Deal of the Year: Middle East & Africa
Saudi Aramco—Yanbu
The American Lawyer 2013

Experience

Freeport LNG – 2014, 2015
Advised Freeport LNG with respect to over US$14 billion of third party cash equity, mezzanine debt, and senior secured debt financings for the first three liquefaction trains of the Freeport LNG multi-train natural gas liquefaction facility at Quintana Island in Texas. The individual liquefaction trains comprising the facility are separately owned and financed by wholly and partially-owned subsidiaries of Freeport LNG. The four transactions comprising the third party equity and senior secured debt financing of the first two liquefaction trains were the largest fully non-recourse project financing in history and were collectively named "2014 Global Deal of the Year" by IJGlobal, "2014 Americas Deal of the Year" by Project Finance International magazine, and one of the "2014 Americas Deals of the Year" by Trade Finance magazine. The mezzanine and senior secured debt financings of the third liquefaction train subsequently closed in April 2015. Additional details on the financing of the first two liquefaction trains may be found here. Additional details on the financing of the third liquefaction train may be found here.

Sadara petrochemical project, 2013
Representation of The Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco), the world's largest oil company, in connection with its joint venture with The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) to build and operate a US$20 billion world-scale integrated chemicals complex in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia. Our work started with advising the principal shareholder Saudi Aramco in connection with the joint venture arrangements to implement the project and we subsequently advised on all aspects of the project development and financing.

The financing arrangements included a US$2 billion sukuk issuance by Sadara Basic Services Company on behalf of Sadara, followed by a US$10.5 billion financing package with loans provided by a combination of the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, seven export credit agencies (ECAs) and a diverse range of commercial banks and Islamic financial institutions (participating in both wakala and procurement funding structures). The transaction is the largest-ever project financing in the chemicals sector and was selected as "2013 Global Finance Deal of the Year: Project Finance (Middle East)" by The American Lawyer; as "2013 Global Deal of the Year," "2013 Overall Middle Eastern Deal of the Year" and "2013 Middle Eastern Petrochemicals Deal of the Year" by Project Finance magazine; as "2013 Project Finance Deal of the Year (Middle East)" by International Financial Law Review; and as “2013 Middle East Petrochemical Deal of the Year” by Project Finance International magazine.

OML 30—One of the largest-ever oil asset acquisition finance transactions in Nigeria, 2012 and 2013
Representation of The Standard Bank of South Africa on a US$765 million bridge financing and guarantee facility for Shoreline Natural Resources Limited (SNRL), for its acquisition of a 45 percent interest in OML 30, a major onshore oil producing block in Nigeria together with a 45 percent interest in other assets under the joint operating agreement for OML 30, which includes a segment of the Trans Forcados pipeline. In 2013, we also advised the lenders on a new five-year US$500 million senior secured revolving reserve-based lending facility. This was the largest-ever upstream acquisition financing in Nigeria by international banks, and the deal was "Commended" in the financed category of the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Awards 2013.

Odebrecht Offshore Drilling Finance Limited project bond offering, 2013
Representation of the initial purchasers and the co-managers in a Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of US$1.7 billion of notes by Odebrecht Offshore Drilling Finance Limited, a Cayman Islands subsidiary of Odebrecht Óleo e Gás S.A. (OOG), the oil and gas division of the Odebrecht Group. According to Latin Lawyer, this transaction was the largest-ever project bond offering in Latin America. This transaction was selected as "2013 Latin America Oil & Gas Deal of the Year" by Project Finance International magazine and as "2013 Latin American Upstream Oil & Gas Deal of the Year" by Project Finance magazine.

Financing of Nigerian fertilizer complex, 2013
Representation of the lenders in the US$1.2 billion financing of Indorama's nitrogenous fertilizer complex in Rivers State, Nigeria, the largest fertilizer plant in Africa. The financing was provided by a diverse group of development finance institutions, international banks and leading Nigerian banks. International Finance Corporation, Stanbic IBTC Bank and Standard Chartered together played a leading role as the mandated lead arrangers. Upon completion in 2015, it will be the one of the largest fertilizer plants in the world. This transaction was selected as "2013 African Petrochemical Deal of the Year" by Project Finance International magazine and as "2013 African Petrochemicals Deal of the Year" by Project Finance magazine.

Saudi Aramco shipping merger, 2013
Representation of Saudi Aramco in the US$1.3 billion merger of the fleet and operations of its wholly owned subsidiary Vela International Marine Ltd. with The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri), to create one of the world’s largest shipping companies.

Etileno XXI petrochemicals project in Mexico, 2012
Representation of Braskem Idesa SAPI in the US$3.2 billion financing for the Etileno XXI petrochemicals project in Veracruz, Mexico. Seven governmental agencies and 10 commercial banks participated in the financing, the largest private sector investment in a single project ever in Mexico, and the largest project financing ever in the petrochemical industry in the Americas. This deal was selected as "2012 Overall Latin American Deal of the Year" and "2012 Latin American Petrochemicals Deal of the Year" by Project Finance magazine, "2012 Americas Petrochemical Deal of the Year" by Project Finance International magazine, as "2012 Project Finance Deal of the Year" by Latin Lawyer magazine, and as one of the "2012 Deals of the Year" by Trade Finance magazine.

Alfa-Access-Renova (AAR), 2012
Representation of AAR Consortium formed by three of Russia's leading investment, financial and industrial groups–Alfa Group, Access Industries and Renova–on the US$28 billion sale of its 50 percent stake in TNK- BP, a leading Russian oil company and one of the world's top ten privately-owned oil companies, to Rosneft, an oil and gas exploration and production company listed in Russia. The transaction, which was the largest M&A transaction in 2012 and the largest M&A transaction in Russia, was named "Global M&A Deal of the Year: Russia" by The American Lawyer 2013.

Nord Stream Pipeline, 2011
Representation of the joint venture project company Nord Stream AG and the sponsors in the approximately €9 billion construction and development of the Nord Stream Pipeline, two 1,220-km sub-sea offshore gas pipelines that extend from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea and the exclusive economic zones of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. This deal won five Deal of the Year awards across the globe including "2011 Europe Project Finance Deal of the Year" by International Financial Law Review. Due to our involvement, we were also selected as "2011 Infrastructure/Energy Team of the Year" by The Lawyer.

Barzan Gas Project, 2011
Representation of Qatar Petroleum and Exxon Mobil, as sponsors, in the successful closing of their US$10.3 billion Barzan Gas Project in Ras Laffan Industrial City, the largest single financing project ever undertaken in Qatar. The Export‑Import Bank of Korea was one of the many lenders involved. This deal was selected as "2011 Middle East and Africa Oil & Gas Deal of the Year" by Project Finance International magazine, as one of the "Best Deals of 2011" by Global Trade Review magazine and as "2011 Middle East Oil & Gas Deal of the Year" and "2011 Global Deal of the Year" by Project Finance magazine.

ConocoPhillips 2004–2011
Representation of ConocoPhillips in a lawsuit brought by 23 municipalities against several large natural gas companies that were members of the National Petroleum Counsel (NPC), an advisory committee to the US Department of Energy. The municipalities claimed that the defendants, by participating in certain NPC reports forecasting the availability and price of natural gas, agreed to inflate the price of natural gas (i.e., the allegedly fixed prices). The District Court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants and appellate and Supreme Court reviews have upheld the District Court's determination. This case is important because it confirms that a company is not subject to antitrust liability simply because it provided information and support for government-sponsored reports at the same time as its competitors.

European Gas Company
Representation of a European gas company on four potential arbitrations on price adjustments of gas sourcing contracts with one of the world's largest international gas producers. The primary market concerned was Southern Europe, with a price adjustment clause which referred also to Western Europe.