R.J. Colwell

Associate, Houston



R.J. represents companies in the energy industry in transactional and regulatory matters. He has advised clients on a wide range of domestic and international transactions involving the production, gathering, transportation, and storage of natural gas, carbon dioxide, and biomethane; the transportation, terminaling, and storage of liquid hydrocarbons; and the sale, acquisition, or marketing of natural gas, oil, and electric power commodities and assets.

R.J. has counseled clients in pursuing applicable authorizations from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Department of Energy, and the Texas Railroad Commission. 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 ratemaking proceedings before FERC and the Texas Railroad Commission.

Prior to entering private practice, R.J. served as an Honors Attorney and then as an Attorney-Adviser at the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. As an Attorney-Adviser, he provided legal counsel to the Office of Fossil Energy on a broad array of transactional, operation, regulatory, and policy issues and matters involving natural gas, liquid hydrocarbons, coal, and other fossil fuels. R.J. also represented the Department's National Laboratories and National Security Sites in administrative litigation before state public service commissions across the country.

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. currently serves as a board member for the Energy Bar Association’s Texas Chapter. R.J. is also actively involved in a number of veterans organizations and initiatives, including the Houston Bar Association’s Military and Veterans Committee.

Bars and Courts
Texas State Bar
Colorado State Bar
District of Columbia Bar
University of Denver Sturm College of Law
University of Wisconsin–Madison


Representation of independent natural gas and oil company in more than 400 proceedings before FERC involving rate and non-rate tariff filings by interstate pipeline companies.*

Representation of investment fund in its $3.3 billion acquisition of a controlling interest in interstate natural gas pipeline.*

Representation of LNG terminal operator in connection with its FERC certificate application to construct, modify and operate certain import facilities.*

Representation of renewable natural gas company in its negotiation of purchase and sale agreements for biomethane with various counterparties.*

Representation of chemicals company in its negotiation of commercial agreements with a major midstream company for the transportation and storage of ethylene.*

Representation of private equity firm in its negotiation of a master midstream services agreement related to its $100 million investment in an independent Argentine oil and gas gathering and processing-focused midstream company.*

Representation of global energy and commodities firm in connection with identifying and mitigating potential compliance risks under FERC’s Standards of Conduct triggered by its acquisition and operation of various storage facilities.*

Representation of private exploration and production companies in their successful defeat of claims by a former midstream services provider in federal bankruptcy proceeding that the 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.*

Representation of U.S. Department of Energy in authorizing the import and export of LNG and natural gas.*

Representation of U.S. Department of Energy in the 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.*

* Matters prior to joining White & Case

Speaking Engagements

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


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)]