Steven P. Otillar

Partner, Houston


“brings a good level of knowledge” to transactions in the energy space...appreciated by his clients for delivering “very fast responses” while peers acknowledge him as “smart and good to work with.”
Chambers Global 2018


Acclaimed by respected professional directories as a leading figure in the energy field, Steven is a valued counsel to clients seeking to develop, finance, and execute acquisitions and divestitures of US domestic and emerging markets oil & gas projects, both onshore and offshore.

Steven's reputation is based on a track record of nearly 25 years, handling high-profile projects and transactions in territories across much of the globe under both Texas and English law. In the United States, his work includes asset-based acquisitions, divestitures and joint ventures for private equity-backed and publicly traded E&P companies and oil field services companies. Internationally, he has helped IOCs and NOCs develop upstream, midstream and downstream projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Prior to joining the firm, Steven was a partner at another Houston based law firm. He is the past President of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN) and currently serves on the Executive Committee for the Institute for Energy Law (IEL) in the Center for American and International Law, and is an editor of the Oil, Gas and Energy Law (OGEL) journal.

Bars and Courts
Texas State Bar
Solicitor of England and Wales
US District Court for the Western District of Texas
US District Court for the Southern District of Texas
Juris Doctor
University of Houston
Law Center
Bachelor of Arts
Southwestern University


Representation of Invenergy and its project subsidiary Energia del Pacifico (EDP) on the development and project financing of the 378 MW liquefied natural gas (LNG)-to-power infrastructure project at the Port of Acajutla in the Department of Sonsonate in El Salvador. In addition to the thermal power plant, project components include a marine terminal, consisting of a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) permanently moored through a modified spread mooring system for liquefied natural gas (LNG) delivery, storage and regasification, as well as a long-term LNG supply contract for the FSRU. The project also includes a natural gas pipeline that will run from the FSRU to the power plant and the construction of a 44-km, 230-kilovolt transmission line and related substations to connect the power plant to the electrical grid of El Salvador. The project will require an investment of approximately US$1 billion. It will be the largest foreign direct investment in El Salvador to date.

Representation of I Squared Capital in the acquisition of an equity interest in OCENSA, the operator of the largest crude oil pipeline in Colombia, transporting 75% of all produced oil.

Representation of Noble Energy with the negotiation of a cross border unitization project in West Africa.

Representation of E&P companies with acquisitions and divestitures across the United States valued in excess of $3 billion.*

Representation of a client regarding unitization matters in Mexico.*

Representation of several clients negotiating joint operating agreements with Petroleos Mexicanos, including a super major as well as a smaller independent.*

Representation of an independent oil and gas company with establishing a branch in Argentina and acquiring an unconventional exploration and production block in the Vaca Muerta.*

Representation of a major oilfield services company with the negotiation and structuring of a multi-billion dollar investment with PetroAmazonas in Ecuador.*

Representation of a downstream energy company with respect to the development and finance of a brownfield refinery in the Caribbean.*

Representation of the financial restructuring team regarding the restructuring of a major offshore drilling company, including the subsequent liquidation of dozens of drilling rigs and lift boats around the world.*

Representation of a Mexican governmental agency regarding the implementation of energy reforms for the country's first international oil and gas licensing round.*

Representation of a publicly traded company with the development of multiple onshore unconventional gas production sharing contracts in China.*

Representation of a large publicly traded oilfield services company with alternative vendor participation programs in multiple jurisdictions to acquire equity and participating interest shares of oil and gas exploration projects in Malaysia, including offshore and onshore distribution infrastructure.*


*Matters prior to joining White & Case

Speaking Engagements

"The new PSA", Institute for Energy Law 70th Annual Oil & Gas Law Conference, Houston, Texas, 2019

"Using Energy Reform as an Engine for Growth", Guyana Petroleum Summit, Houston, Texas 2019

"Special Considerations in Unitization Agreements", Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Houston, Texas, 2018

"International Expansion: Issues and Opportunities in Markets Abroad", Institute for Energy Law Oil Field Services Conference, Houston 2018

"International Deepwater vs Onshore – Considerations in the Decision Making Process", North America Prospect Exposition (NAPE), Global Business Conference, Houston, Texas, 2018

"Upstream Financing in Offshore Oil and Gas", Buenos Aires, 2018

"Human Rights & Environmental Disputes", AIPN/ICDR Dispute Resolution Conference, Mexico, 2017

"The Future of Oil and Gas", Rice AIPN, Houston, Texas, 2017

"Update on Mexico: Foreign Investments in Pemex", Texas Land Institute Conference, Houston, Texas, 2017

"Unitization Issues", International Oil & Gas Law, Contracts, and Negotiations Conference, Houston, Texas, 2017

"New Deals and Projects in Mexico's Energy Sector in 2017: US $100 Billion and Counting", IEL 4thMergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures Conference, Houston, Texas, 2017

CFO Roundtable: "Managing the Money, What Keeps You Up at Night?", AIPN International Petroleum Summit, Houston, Texas, 2017

"Deal-Making in a Changing Market", North America Prospect Exposition (NAPE), Global Business Conference, Houston, Houston, Texas, 2017

"Special Considerations in Unitization Agreements", Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Houston, Texas, 2016

"Promotion of Investments by the National Regulator", First Inter-American Hydrocarbon Regulators' Dialogue, Houston, Texas, 2016

"International Energy Series: Energy Law in Latin America", Houston College of Law, Houston, Texas, 2016

"Upstream Round 1: The Participants' Experience", Institute for Energy Law and ANADE Conference, Mexico City, Mexico, 2016

"Comparison of Key Civil and Common Law Concepts in Upstream Agreements", Shell in-house presentation, Houston, Texas, 2015

"Gateway to the Americas, Latin American Investment", Greater Houston Partnership, Houston, Texas, 2015

"Navigating Risks: Practical Cases and Comparative Analysis Impacting the Security of Investments in Hydrocarbon Projects", AIPN International Conference, Mexico City, Mexico, 2015

"Legal Strategies for Challenging Times", UTCLE International Upstream Energy Conference, Houston, Texas, 2015

"Distressed Asset Acquisitions and Divestitures in Sub-Saharan Africa: Strategies for dealing with the low oil price environment", 8th Annual Sub-Saharan Africa Oil & Gas Conference, Houston, Texas, 2015

"How to Keep your MOU From Becoming an IOU," ExxonMobil CLE training, Fairfax, Virginia & Houston, Texas, 2014

All day training sessions on International Joint Operating Agreement Transactions and Host Government Granting Instruments for Unconventional Resource Plays, International Law Institute, Washington, DC, 2014

"Latin American Legal Regimes for Unconventional Resource Development," ARPEL LATINVE&P Forum and Exposition, Lima, Peru, 2014

Multi-day training sessions on Host Government Granting Instruments, International Farmout Transactions and Negotiating Joint Operating Agreements, Comisíon Nacional de Hidrocarburos and SENER, Mexico City, Mexico, 2014

All day training sessions on International Farmout Transactions and Negotiating Joint Operating Agreements, International Law Institute, Washington, DC, 2013

UT International Upstream Energy Transactions Conference speaker, "Host Government Granting Instruments: Key Concerns with Unconventional Resource Development", Houston, Texas, 2013

"The importance of the Use of the AIPN Model Contacts Used Around the World in the Oil and Gas Industry," AIPN / ITAM, Mexico City, Mexico, 2013


"Private Equity in Upstream Oil & Gas Transactions: The Evolution of Purchase and Sale Agreements," Chapter 7, Seventieth Annual Institute on Oil & Gas Law

"Mexico's Round 3.1", White & Case Client Alert

"The New Natural Gas Age in Mexico", Project Finance International

Chapter 'United States' in the publication Oil and Gas Decommissioning: Law, Policy and Comparative Practice, Second Edition, published by Globe Law and Business.

"Optimism South of the Border", Project Finance International

"Mexico's Energy Industry: Midstream Regulations", Energy Law Report

"Yearbook 2015: Mexico's Energy Industry in Review", Mexico Business Publishing

"Master Limited Partnerships South of the Border: A New Financing Scheme to Fuel Mexico's Energy Infrastructure", Mexico Energy and Business Magazine

"The Future of Mexico's Energy Industry", The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel

"Lex Petrolea and the internationalization of petroleum agreements: focus on Host Government Contracts", Journal of World Energy Law & Business

Awards and Recognition

Selected as a Leading Lawyer in Energy by The Legal 500

Selected as Expert Guides' Guide to the World's Leading Energy Lawyer

Selected as Expert Guides' Guide to the World's Leading Lawyers - Best of the Best in Energy

Recognized as a leading practitioner in Latin America, Energy & Natural Resources by Chambers & Partner

Recognized as a leading practitioner in Latin American Investment by Chambers & Partners Global and Chambers USA

Named to The Legal 500's Mexico Private Practice Powerlist

Selected as a Leading Lawyer in Projects & Energy by The Legal 500 Latin America

Selected by Who's Who Legal as one of the world's leading oil and gas lawyers

Selected as "Who's Who in Energy" by the Houston Business Journal

"Member of the Year" and "President's Award Recipient" of AIPN

Named a "Rising Star" by Texas Lawyer