Energy > Oil and Gas

For over 65 years, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has been at the forefront of representing domestic and international oil and gas leaders in their transactions. Through our integrated transactional, regulatory, policy and dispute resolution practices, we are able to provide top legal counsel globally to lenders, investment banks, private equity funds, underwriters, issuers, independent producers, major multinational and state-owned oil companies, national governments, energy service companies, processing, operations, transportation and pipeline companies and refining and petrochemical companies.

Our experience with the oil and gas industry spans the value chain from exploration and production activity through pipelines, LNG, refining and petrochemicals, with particular experience at the intersection of finance and commodities.

Upstream. Sustained high oil prices, shale gas and oil plays and sustained appetites by emerging markets for energy imports led to robust investment in the exploration and production (E&P) sector of the energy industry in recent years, including significant merger and acquisition activity. More recently we have been actively involved in a variety of transactions resulting from the steep drop in oil prices. Drawing on our experience in Houston, New York, Moscow, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Hong Kong, Beijing, Singapore and London, Akin Gump attorneys have been at the forefront of these developments as a transaction advisor to integrated and independent exploration and production companies, as well as to investment funds and venture capitalists. In addition, oil and gas field service and supply industry clients, which include contract drillers, engineers and equipment manufacturers and many master limited partnerships (MLPs), used this period to access the capital markets or use their shares as consideration with our assistance. Some of the domestic upstream energy representations in which our lawyers have been involved include the representation of:

  • an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company in the $1.55 billion formation of a joint venture to sell one-third of its shale properties to an international oil and gas company
  • one of the world’s largest independent oil and natural gas exploration and production companies in the $23 billion acquisition of an oil and natural gas exploration and production company and of a natural gas E&P company, as well as in a $5.5 billion senior notes offering and a $500 million senior notes offering
  • an independent E&P company in its $340 million initial public offering of common stock
  • a master limited partnership in its $182.4 million initial public offering of common units
  • a Chinese oil and gas company in connection with its agreements with the Brazilian subsidiary of a large European oil and gas company to subscribe for new shares comprising 40 percent of the subsidiary’s share capital for an aggregate base consideration of $7.109 billion
  • one of the world’s largest independent oil and natural gas exploration and production companies in the $350 million divestiture of its Qatar operations
  • one of the world’s leading vertically integrated oil and gas companies in its historic and comprehensive joint venture with one of the largest integrated energy companies in the United States, including significant oil terminal and related downstream matters related to finance, construction and operating agreements, as well as in the issuance of more than $900 million of convertible bonds and guaranteed notes and with the joint venture’s $4.5 billion multiproject credit facility
  • an independent oil and gas producer in the $946 million acquisition of oil and gas assets 
  • in Colorado, as well as in $300 million and $500 million senior notes offerings.

Midstream. Akin Gump has been project and general corporate counsel to many of the world’s largest pipeline projects, including the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline, the largest privately financed pipeline project in U.S. history, as well as the Joint North Slope Producers on the North Slope Natural Gas Pipeline. We have provided advice to cogeneration developers, end-users, intrastate pipelines and marketers and numerous MLP and other midstream players regarding the structure and implementation of sales, transportation and marketing transactions and the construction and operation of new natural gas transmission facilities, as well as assisted them in raising capital, whether via bank lending, the capital markets, private equity or other means. The presence of so much shale gas and associated natural gas liquids (NGLs) has led to particularly strong growth in the midstream sector, including the development of new petrochemical facilities in the United States, as well as projects to export NGLs and LNG. Some of our lawyers’ midstream energy representations include the representation of:

  • three MLP “drop down” transactions for the seller with an aggregate value of $2.4 billion
  • a buyer in numerous transactions:
    • joint venture to construct a deepwater Gulf of Mexico crude oil pipeline
    • acquisition of interest in Cameron Highway Oil Pipeline Company
    • acquisition of oil shipping operations
  • a master limited partnership in its $220 million initial public offering of common shares
  • a master limited partnership in its $73.5 million initial public offering of common units
  • a Special Committee of a board of directors in several transactions, including a $1.053 billion joint venture with an affiliate to finance and construct a North Louisiana expansion pipeline project 
  • a publicly traded energy partnership in the formation of a $1.5 billion joint venture 
  • a limited partnership focused on the midstream segment of the oil and gas industry in the Gulf Coast region in the acquisition of business assets valued at approximately $560 million and a $500 million credit facility
  • a consortium of industry players in the development of a proposed NGLs export project from the U.S. Gulf Coast
  • customers seeking U.S. gas supplies and LNG export capacity for industrial end use and marketing to Asian LNG buyers.

Downstream. Refiners, marketers and petrochemical companies are upgrading or building new facilities, expanding into new markets and adjusting their asset portfolios. Our lawyers have been heavily involved in this downstream activity as transaction advisors and as environmental and land use consultants. Akin Gump has been a leader in related domestic and cross-border corporate, securities and other transactions matters. Some of our lawyers’ downstream energy representations include the representation of:

  • a petrochemicals company in a $150 million senior secured notes offering 
  • a major oil multinational in the $1.4 billion sale of a petroleum refinery
  • a global petrochemical company in the formation of a large international joint venture with another chemical company that included production facilities in the United States, Colombia and Brazil—many of which were embedded in larger complexes—and other operations in four other countries
  • refiners and private equity buyers in connection with numerous proposed acquisitions of refining facilities
  • large multinational petrochemical companies in the development and project financing of multibillion-dollar petrochemical facilities in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Trinidad and Tobago and the United States.