R.J. Colwell

Associate, Houston



R.J. advises stakeholders actively engaging or investing in the energy industry, with a particular focus on the midstream sector (natural gas, crude oil, liquids, biomethane, hydrogen, water, and CO2 pipelines; related processing, treatment, storage, and sequestration assets; and LNG and import/export facilities). R.J. routinely represents clients on a wide range of domestic and international transactions (mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, project finance, and commercial and operational matters) that span the energy industry, as well as related markets for carbon credits and other environmental attributes.

R.J. also counsels clients regarding compliance with applicable Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and other regulatory tariffs, regulations, orders, policy statements, and standards of conduct, including drafting compliance plans, conducting compliance trainings, and addressing any non-compliance events. R.J. drafts and prepares regulatory applications in support of obtaining federal and state authorizations for projects and transactions involving natural gas, LNG, crude oil, liquids, and power commodities and assets. He has also represented pipeline companies, liquefied natural gas exporters, storage operators, shippers, and owners of electric generation in administrative litigation before FERC, in FERC enforcement investigations, and in tariff and ratemaking proceedings before FERC and the Texas Railroad Commission.

R.J. leverages his broad background in and passion for energy law, in his role as co-chair of the Firm's global midstream strategic specialty area, where R.J. drives the development of the Firm's expertise and capabilities across all aspects of the midstream sector.

Prior to entering private practice, R.J. served as an Honors Attorney and then as an Attorney-Adviser at the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. As an Honors Attorney, R.J. received the Secretary's Achievement Award for his work on enforcing energy efficiency standards. As an Attorney-Adviser, R.J. provided legal counsel to the Office of Fossil Energy on a broad array of transactional, operational, regulatory, and policy issues and matters, with a specific focus on regulating natural gas and LNG imports and exports and advising DOE senior leadership on Strategic Petroleum Reserve and other energy security matters.

Before attending law school, R.J. served in the U.S. Army as a Field Artillery Officer, attaining the rank of Captain in three years. During his military service, R.J. deployed to Iraq and received several prestigious decorations, including the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Combat Action Badge.

R.J. is actively involved in a number of national and local veterans organizations and initiatives, including Impact A Hero, the PTSD Foundation of America's Camp Hope, and the Veteran Leadership Development Group.

Bars and Courts
District of Columbia
University of Denver Sturm College of Law
University of Wisconsin–Madison


Energy Transactions and Projects

  • Saudi Aramco, in its negotiation of certain natural gas gathering and processing agreements for a Saudi-based midstream project.
  • Oxy Low Carbon Ventures LLC, in its negotiation of CO2 transportation and sequestration agreements with various emitter counterparties and with a major midstream company.
  • 1PointFive LLC, in its negotiation of a CO2 removal purchase and prepayment agreement with an Amazon entity and a CO2 removal marketing agreement with a Swiss-based carbon finance consultancy.
  • IKAV Energy, in its negotiation of a CO2 transportation and offtake agreement with Kinder Morgan.
  • Occidental Energy Marketing, Inc., in its negotiation a net zero oil offtake agreement with an SK Trading International subsidiary.
  • Avantus LLC, in its affiliate's negotiation of a renewable PPA involving its 175 MW solar facility and co-located battery energy storage facility in California.
  • 1PointFive P1, LLC, in its negotiation of a zero-emission solar power purchase agreement, shared facilities agreement, and ground lease in support of developing its first large-scale direct air capture plant in Texas.
  • Captis Energy, in its negotiation of a renewable natural gas offtake agreement with NextEra Energy Marketing, LLC.
  • Devon Energy Corporation, in its negotiation of produced and recycled water midstream services agreements in connection with its formation of a midstream partnership in the Permian Basin with a major midstream water management company.

Mergers, Acquisitions, and Divestitures

  • Marathon Oil EF II LLC, in its $3 billion acquisition of Ensign Natural Resources' natural gas assets in the Eagle Ford Basin.
  • ExxonMobil Corporation, in its $848 million transaction to sell its offshore oil and gas assets (including leases, real property, facilities, and ownership in affiliates owning associated assets and pipelines) in California to Sable Offshore Corporation.
  • TC Energy Corporation, in its planned spin-off of its Liquids Pipelines business into two independent, investment-grade, publicly listed companies.
  • Tokyo Gas, in its acquisition of a minority stake in ARM Energy Trading LLC, one of the largest private physical gas marketers in North America.
  • JERA Americas, Inc., in its acquisition of a 1,633 megawatt thermal power portfolio in New England from Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners.

Regulatory Compliance

  • Sempra Energy, in connection with its affiliate's application for DOE authorization to export electricity to Mexico to provide station power to certain of its wind power projects.
  • Mubadala Investment Group, in connection with ensuring compliance with DOE regulations governing its and other lenders' investment in the Rio Grande LNG project.
  • Naturgy Servicios, S.A. de C.V., in its DOE applications for short- and long-term authorization to export natural gas to Mexico via pipeline.
  • Captis Energy, in identifying ongoing compliance obligations applicable to natural gas fuel use at small power production QFs.
  • Japan Petroleum Exploration, in connection with identifying regulatory requirements applicable to potential transactions involving upstream affiliates of Freeport LNG.

FERC and Bankruptcy Litigation; Arbitration

  • FirstEnergy Corporation and its subsidiaries, in connection with PJM capacity market reform proceedings before FERC.
  • FirstEnergy Pennsylvania Electric Company, in connection with its FERC application for market-based rate authority.
  • Kinder Morgan, Inc., in connection with its stalking horse bid for Ruby Pipeline L.L.C.
  • Antero Resources Corporation, in more than 400 proceedings before FERC involving rate and non-rate tariff filings by interstate pipeline companies.*
  • Nine Point Energy Holdings, Inc. and Nine Point Energy, LLC, in their successful defeat of claims by a former midstream services provider in federal bankruptcy proceeding that parties' contracts contained covenants running with the land that precluded rejection and entitled such provider to more than $150 million in senior secured liens on companies' oil and gas assets.*

Project Finance; Capital Markets

  • Calpine Corporation, in the closing of more than $1 billion in credit facilities to finance the development of a 680 MW battery energy storage complex in California that will be one of the largest battery storage systems in the US when completed.
  • TC Energy Corporation, in connection with a $2.3 billion senior term loan and revolving financing of its Mexican subsidiary, TC Energía Mexicana, S. de R.L. de C.V.
  • Samchully Asset Management, in connection with amendments to existing financing documents in support of providing $50 million incremental credit facility to Salt Creek Midstream subsidiaries.
  • Ormat Technologies, Inc., in its upsized $375 million green convertible senior note offering.
  • J.P. Morgan Securities, in connection with underwriting a hydrogen fuel cell company's initial public offering.

Government Service

  • U.S. Department of Energy, in connection with Secretarial authorizations for emergency exchange transactions from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in response to Hurricane Harvey.*
  • U.S. Department of Energy, in connection with authorization orders approving the export of LNG from various current and proposed LNG terminals to FTA and non-FTA countries.*
  • U.S. Department of Energy, in connection with the close-out of cooperative agreement related to the Kemper integrated gasification-combined cycle demonstration project.*
  • U.S. Department of Energy, in negotiations with Louisiana utility related to demand ratchet relief for electricity service to Strategic Petroleum Reserve sites.*
  • U.S. Department of Energy, in negotiation of a use permit with a wholesale electric-energy cooperative for the siting, construction, operation, and decommissioning of first-of-kind small modular nuclear reactors at the Idaho National Laboratory.*
  • U.S. Department of Energy, in litigation involving over 80 cases related to violations of energy efficiency standards.*

* Matters prior to joining White & Case

Speaking Engagements

Filling the Gap: Successful Mentoring Relationships in Modern Work Spaces, Houston Bar Association (Jan. 26, 2023)

Rumble in the Regulatory Jungle – Rockefeller v. Hart: A Comparison of the NGA and ICA, Energy Bar Association (Feb. 3, 2021)


Biden Administration Pauses Review of Non-FTA LNG Export Applications, White & Case LLP Client Alert (Jan. 30, 2024)

FERC Opens Inquiry into Investments by Financial Firms, White & Case LLP Client Alert (Dec. 20, 2023)

"Pivot Potential: A Deep Dive into Offshore Wind in the Gulf of Mexico," LexisNexis Pratt's Energy Law Report (Oct. 2022) (co-author)

FERC Overhauls Review of Natural Gas Infrastructure Projects, White & Case LLP Client Alert (Feb. 28, 2022)

Where 'Shale' We Go From Here: Opportunities and Challenges in Shale Plays Located Outside the USA, Journal of World Energy Law & Business (Oxford University Press) (June 14, 2017) [10 J. World Energy L. & Bus. 159 (2017)]