Oil & Gas | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
Oil & Gas
Oil & Gas

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

 

View all lawyers in Oil & Gas

 

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

"Their work is consistently high quality across the board - there are no weak links."
Chambers Global 2016, Band 1: Projects & Energy (eleventh consecutive year)

"Leading projects practice covering major project finance and construction mandates, and related disputes. Offers outstanding expertise in the oil and gas, power and mining sectors."
Chambers Europe 2016, Band 1: Projects & Energy

"'Flawless' group stands out for its 'high degree of industry knowledge', which covers a wide range of matters."
Legal 500 2016, Oil & Gas

Global Legal Adviser of the Year
IJ Global 2016

Global Law Firm of the Year
Project Finance International 2015

 

DEALS OF THE YEAR

Petrochemical Deal of the Year
US$6.4 billion LIWA Plastics
Project Finance International 2016

LNG Deal of the Year
US$900 million Bahrain LNG
Project Finance International 2016

Global Project Finance Deal of the Year Honoree
Jazan ASU
The American Lawyer 2016

Deals of the Year
Saudi Aramco $10bn PRCF
Trade Finance 2016

Deals of the Year
Freeport LNG Train 3
Trade Finance 2016

Experience

Freeport LNG
Representation of Freeport LNG with respect to more than $16 billion of cash equity, mezzanine debt, senior secured bank financings, and project bond issuances in respect of the first three trains of the Freeport LNG multi-train natural gas liquefaction facility at Quintana Island, Texas. The individual trains comprising the facility are separately owned and financed by subsidiaries of Freeport LNG.  To date, our representation has included: a $1.2 billion negotiated joint venture between Freeport LNG and Osaka Gas and Chubu Electric in respect of train 1; a $1.3 billion cash equity auction won by Industry Funds Management (IFM) in respect of train 2; a $0.925 billion mezzanine financing in lieu of equity in respect of train 3; a $4.369 billion export credit agency-supported debt financing in respect of train 1; a $4.025 billion mini-perm commercial bank financing in respect of train 2; a $3.64 billion mini-perm commercial bank financing in respect of train 3; and the issuance or private placement of $2.3 billion of investment grade project bonds to partially refinance the commercial bank financing of train 2.  In addition we represented Freeport LNG in the structuring and negotiation of the complex common project documents that underpin the development of the facility on a multi-owner basis.  Our work for Freeport LNG on this landmark transaction was recognized by the Financial Times in its 2015 North America Innovative Lawyers Report where our Firm won first place in the category of "Innovation in Legal Expertise: Enabling Clients' Business".

Cilicap Refinery
Representation of Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) on its Joint Venture Development Agreement with PT Pertamina (Persero) (Pertamina), Indonesia's state-owned oil and gas company, for the approximately US$5 billion upgrade of the Cilacap refinery in Indonesia.

Wintershall
Representation of Wintershall, a wholly-owned subsidiary of multi-national chemical company BASF, on its multi-billion Euro asset swap with Gazprom concerning their Russian and EU upstream and downstream business.  As part of the deal Wintershall, will exit gas trading and storage activities and further expand its production of oil and gas by acquiring a participation in natural gas and condensate fields in Western Siberia. In return, energy company Gazprom will increase its industrial presence in Western Europe by acquiring Wintershall's share of a natural gas trading and storage business that is currently jointly traded and a 50 percent share in activities of Wintershall Noordzee.

Major European Gas Buyers
Representation of several major European gas buyers in price reopener disputes with some of the largest suppliers of gas into Europe. Two of these have resulted in the largest settlements in European energy history, under long term contracts involving deliveries of approximately 20 bcm per year each. The amounts at stake in these gas price reopener disputes ranged from hundreds of millions to billions of euros. We advise these buyers during gas price reopener negotiations (which often last for six months or more), as well as in arbitration proceedings.

Samson Resources Company
In connection with the chapter 11 cases of Samson Resources Company and certain of its subsidiaries, we represented the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors.  Samson is an independent oil and gas company focused on the exploration, development, and production of natural gas and oil through its ownership interests in approximately 1.6 million net acres located across the United States.   As of the petition date, the Debtors reported approximately $4.9 billion in total liabilities.  Prior to the filing of the chapter 11 cases, Samson Resources was formed in connection with a $7.2 billion leveraged buyout of Samson Investment Company by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., L.P. and certain of its affiliates, Crestview Partners II GP, L.P. and certain of its affiliates, and ITOCHU Corporation and its affiliates.  In connection with the representation, we focused on identifying and preserving unencumbered value, identifying and evaluating certain avoidance claims, and developing and refining a valuation of the Debtors' assets.  We also worked extensively on negotiating the use of cash collateral, terminating the exclusive periods for the Debtors to file and solicit a chapter 11 plan, filing a chapter 11 plan on behalf of the Committee, and negotiating a global settlement among all creditor constituencies that provides for substantial recoveries to unsecured creditors.  The chapter 11 plan incorporating the global settlement has gone effective and we currently represent the settlement trust, which is pursuing, among other things, litigation with respect to the $7.2 billion leveraged buyout.

Los Ramones II Projects
Representation of BlackRock Inc. and First Reserve in acquiring a 45% equity interest in two natural gas pipelines in Mexico from PMI, a unit of state-owned oil and gas company Petróleos Mexicanos, or PEMEX. The two natural gas pipelines, Los Ramones Phase II North and Los Ramones Phase II South known as the Los Ramones II Projects were the first major PEMEX-sponsored midstream assets to be built in partnership with foreign capital since the approval of Mexico's Constitutional Energy Reform in 2013. We advised the same clients in their acquisition of 45 percent of TAG Norte Holding, a company incorporated as a joint venture between PEMEX and Sempra's Mexico unit (IEnova), which is currently developing the Ramones Phase II North Natural Gas Transportation System, which will comprise a new natural gas pipeline of circa 441 km in length and 42 inches in diameter.

ConocoPhillips
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.

Bahrain LNG
Representation of the sponsors, Gulf Investment Corporation, Samsung C&T Corporation and Teekay LNG Partners L.P, on the financial close of the US$990 million project financing of the Bahrain LNG import terminal. The build, own, operate and transfer project will consist of a floating storage unit (FSU), an offshore LNG receiving jetty and breakwater and an onshore gas receiving and nitrogen production facility. This transaction was named "2016 LNG Deal of the Year" by Project Finance International.

Bakken Shale
Representation of Global Infrastructure Partners in its entrance into a strategic joint venture with Hess Corporation through the US$2.675 billion acquisition of a 50% interest in the owner of Hess' midstream crude oil and natural gas infrastructure assets located primarily in the Bakken Shale.

PetroRabigh II
Representation of Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco), as a sponsor, in the US$9.9 billion financing and joint venture with Sumitomo Chemicals for the development and implementation of the world-scale petroleum refining and petrochemicals complex in Rabigh, Saudi Arabia, as well as on the development and financing for the US$8 billion expansion.  This transaction was named "2015 Middle East Petrochemical Deal of the Year" by Project Finance International.

NNPC/Chevron Financing
Representation of Standard Chartered Bank and a group of other international and Nigerian banks in connection with the US$1.2 billion financing for Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Chevron Nigeria Limited under the Accelerated Upstream Financing Programme to fund the drilling of 36 new onshore and offshore wells under a forward sale structure in Nigeria.

Odebrecht Offshore Drilling Finance Limited project bond offering
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.

Etileno XXI petrochemicals project in Mexico
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)
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
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.