David Sweeney’s practice includes advising clients on a broad range of oil and gas, coal, and other natural resource and infrastructure transactions including: mergers and acquisitions, project development and finance, service agreement suites and risk allocation schematics, procurement, and anti-corruption compliance matters.

Practice & Background

Mr. Sweeney’s experience includes the full natural resource value chain, from exploration, production, processing and infrastructure, to monetization. Over the past ten years, Mr. Sweeney has advised on energy related mergers and acquisitions with an aggregate transaction value of over US$60 billion and energy finance transactions with an aggregate transaction value of over US$2 billion, as well as U.S. and international operational matters and projects, including joint and unit operating agreements; joint development agreements; farmouts, farmins and other joint ventures and participation arrangements; and gathering, transportation, processing, production handling, and similar midstream and downstream agreements. He is a frequent author and speaker on oil and gas topics and has authored a comprehensive book on worldwide oil and gas operating agreements and another on worldwide farmout, participation, and similar agreements.

Representative Matters

Mergers and Acquisitions, Farmouts and Joint Ventures

  • Gulfport Energy Corporation in connection with the $1.85 billion acquisition of SCOOP exploration and production assets from Vitruvian Exploration
  • a large Alaska native corporation in connection with a Participation Agreement involving more than 442,000 acres on Alaska’s North Slope
  • a municipality in connection with the acquisition of Cook Inlet exploration and production assets from a major, integrated energy company for $152 million
  • a publicly-traded independent oil and gas company and a private joint venture partner in connection with the sale of substantially all of the shares of an exploration and production water management and logistics business for approximately $130 million
  • a major, integrated multinational energy company in connection with the acquisition of 618,000 net acres and 26,000 BOPD in the US Permian basin for $1.9 billion
  • the largest midstream company in North America in the negotiation of an Agreement and Plan of Merger for the acquisition of a publicly traded midstream and upstream company for approximately $38 billion in cash, stock, and assumption of debt
  • the largest midstream company in North America in the $7.15 billion sale of an exploration and production business unit, including offshore Brazilian assets, concessions in Egypt’s Western Desert, assets in the Eagle Ford Shale, Permian Basin, Haynesville Shale, Black Warrior Basin, Uintah Basin, Raton Basin, Powder River Basin, and Gulf of Mexico
  • a publicly-listed UK exploration and production company in connection with the negotiation of production sharing contracts in Cote d’Ivoire and Albania
  • a national oil company in connection with multiple farmout agreements, offshore Angola
  • a national oil company in connection with a Farmout Agreement, onshore Germany
  • a publicly traded Australian exploration and production company in connection with a Gulf of Mexico and onshore US farmin transaction
  • a leading global marine and subsea construction and oil and gas services contractor in the bid process acquisition of a European multinational service contractor’s deep-water diving assets, including two dynamically positioned multi-service support vessels, for approximately $100 million, and the negotiation of multi-year US domestic and non-US service agreements and related procurement procedures
  • a large, publicly traded independent energy company in the negotiation of a purchase and sale agreement related to the acquisition of exploration and production assets in Canada (Alberta and British Columbia), Texas, and Egypt from a major, integrated energy company for $7 billion
  • an independent international exploration and production company in the acquisition of a production license in the Dutch sector of the North Sea for unconventional resource exploitation
  • a major, integrated, former national oil company in the negotiation of a purchase and sale agreement, diligence, and post-closing matters related to the acquisition of Gulf of Mexico exploration and production assets for approximately $4.8 billion
  • an independent exploration and production company in the divestiture of substantially all of its assets in the US Permian Basin for $1 billion
  • a private landowner in connection with an Eagle Ford Shale oil and gas lease to a major, integrated energy company for $12 billion and a 25% royalty
  • an international exploration and production company in the acquisition of substantially all of the shares of a public company with assets in Morocco, Tunisia, the North Sea, and Poland
  • a US independent exploration and production company in the analysis of, and acquisition of indirect ownership in, oil and gas exploration licenses in the Po Valley, Italy
  • a major, integrated, former national oil company in connection with the sale of exploration and production assets to the upstream unit of a publicly traded midstream and downstream-focused company for approximately $230 million, including the negotiation of several deepwater and shelf joint operating agreements and related documents
  • the conflicts committee of a publicly traded upstream master limited partnership, in connection with the acquisition of assets from its affiliate for approximately $577 million
  • an independent exploration and production company in connection with multiple divestitures of Bakken Shale assets for over $200 million
  • an independent exploration and company in the acquisition of US Permian Basin assets from a large private US exploration and production company for approximately $350 million and the subsequent divestiture of non-core assets
  • a group of independent oil and gas companies in the sale of onshore exploration and production assets, including Haynesville Shale properties, to a publicly traded US independent exploration and production company for approximately $620 million
  • a major, integrated, former national oil company in connection with the acquisition of Barnett Shale exploration and production properties for $280 million, including the negotiation of an asset purchase agreement, joint development agreement, joint operating agreement, area of mutual interest agreement, and related agreements
  • a publicly traded US independent exploration and production company in connection with its 5-package bid divestiture of substantially all of its exploration and production assets located in the State of Texas for $105 million

Energy Finance and Capital

  • a private equity provider in connection with an equity investment in an independent exploration and production company with assets in the Permian Basin
  • a private equity provider in connection with an equity investment in an independent exploration and production company, an acquisition of oil and gas assets in the Permian Basin, and a related reserve-based loan credit facility in
  • a trustee in bankruptcy for an exploration and production company in connection with asset analysis and packaging, a 363 sale, and a plan of reorganization
  • a senior secured lender and administrative agent in connection with a reserved-based credit facility, workout, bankruptcy, and 363 sale of the borrower
  • a publicly traded exploration and production company in its going-private transaction, including a $315 million senior secured second lien term loan and an amended and restated $500 million revolving credit facility
  • a French bank in a multi-tranche $350+ million loan to an upstream master limited partnership with assets in 15 states
  • a private, US-based exploration and production company in connection with project financing for North Sea offshore unconventional resource development, including capital advisor and capital provider interviews, evaluations, and agreements
  • the Chinese Export-Import Bank in connection with a loan to an independent exploration and production company
  • a senior secured lender and administrative agent in a reserve-based loan, workout, and bankruptcy of an independent exploration and production company with assets in the Gulf of Mexico
  • an independent exploration and production company in a corporate reorganization and debt restructuring
  • a French bank in connection with the analysis of the proposed form of PEMEX integrated service contract in comparison to similar world petroleum arrangements, including 2009 and 2010 Iraqi Technical Service Contracts
  • a large underwriter in connection with an offering by an issuer with assets in Colombia
  • a large capital provider lender in connection with a term loan to an independent exploration and production company with assets in Belize
  • a large lender in connection with a $1 billion revolving senior credit facility to a Gulf of Mexico focused exploration and production company
  • a startup exploration and production company in connection with sourcing and documenting arrangements with respect to debt and equity capital
  • multiple mezzanine lenders and borrowers in connection with the financing of oil and gas exploration and production activities and coal mining ventures and the acquisition of overriding royalty interests and net profits interests, including a mezzanine loan to an exploration and production company with assets in the Fayetteville Shale and mezzanine loans and accompanying net profits interests for the acquisition of coal mines
  • lenders, borrowers, and bidders in connection with oil and gas and coal issues related to bankruptcies, workouts, and financial distress credits, including the acquisition of assets out of bankruptcy, DIP loans and alternative financing arrangements, and the preparation and analysis of "stalking-horse" bids

Joint Operating Agreements, Infrastructure, and Compliance

  • a large Alaska native corporation in the drafting and negotiation of multiple joint operating agreements covering oil and gas exploration and production operations on Alaska’s North Slope
  • an independent US exploration and production company in the unitization oil and gas field and negotiation of a unit operating agreement
  • a municipality in the negotiation of a unit operating agreement covering a large gas unit in the Cook Inlet, Alaska
  • an international supermajor in connection with infrastructure agreements relating to a multi-field FPSO and gathering system as well as infield facilities and multiple unit operating agreements
  • a publicly-traded Australian independent exploration and production company in connection with multiple Gulf of Mexico offshore operating agreements
  • an oil and gas company in connection with the negotiation with a unit operating agreement, onshore Alaska
  • a major, integrated multinational energy company in the negotiation of a Joint Operating Agreement, Secondment Agreement, and related contracts for the development of a deepwater oil and gas field, offshore West Africa
  • a national oil company in connection with joint operating agreements covering multiple blocks, deepwater offshore Angola
  • an integrated, multi-national energy company in connection with the unitization of a gas field, offshore Australia
  • a national oil company in connection with joint operating agreements covering an onshore project in Germany
  • an independent exploration and production company in the drafting of conventional and unconventional company model form operated and non-operated oil and gas joint operating agreements and accounting procedures (including agreements specific to unconventional operations based on AAPL Form 610-1989H)
  • a major, integrated multinational energy company in the drafting and negotiation of multiple joint operating agreements governing blocks in West Africa
  • an independent oil and gas company in connection with the analysis of joint operating agreements, offshore Australia
  • a major, integrated multinational energy company, an independent US-based exploration and production company, and a US based services company with business interests in Nigeria in the drafting and implementation of integrated Anti-Corruption Policies covering (among other things) the FCPA and the UK Bribery Act, counterparty due diligence, corruption response, local content compliance, corporate and tax structuring, and loan documentation
  • an independent exploration and production company in the drafting of company model form operated and non-operated oil and gas joint operating agreements and accounting procedures
  • an independent, international exploration and production company in the unitization of a North Sea oil field
  • an independent, international exploration and production company in the negotiation of North Sea platform usage, transportation, and processing agreements
  • a major, integrated multinational energy company in connection with production handling and other infrastructure agreements for a deepwater Gulf of Mexico semisubmersible “hub” platform
  • a major, integrated, former national oil company in connection with the negotiation of multiple shelf and deepwater Gulf of Mexico joint operating agreements, including accounting procedures, gas balancing agreements, security procedures, and related agreements
  • a US-based independent exploration and production company the unitization of a North Sea oil field and the negotiation of platform usage agreements and transportation and processing agreements
  • a publicly-traded US independent exploration and production company in connection with the analysis and renegotiation of its joint operating agreements and unit and unit operating agreements in Trinidad
  • an independent oil and gas company in connection with a corporate reorganization (including analysis of existing AMI, exploration, joint venture, and joint operating agreements, and structuring of new management and control arrangements) and concurrent refinancing

Natural Gas and Oil, Pipelines & Other Midstream Projects

  • a private-equity backed midstream company in connection with model form gathering agreements, including credit support and insolvency provisions
  • a publicly-traded energy company in the negotiation of FERC rules and regulations, a Transportation Agreement, terminalling and offtake arrangements, and gathering line operating and maintenance agreements for a new-build oil pipeline
  • an independent exploration and production company in connection with a pipe-within-a-pipe joint venture on Mineral Leasing Act Lands in Colorado, including analysis of MLA common carrier requirements
  • a publicly-traded US independent exploration and production company in connection with the analysis and renegotiation of gas marketing, transportation, offtake, production handling and related arrangements in Trinidad
  • a US-based independent exploration and production company in connection with the negotiation of platform usage agreements and transportation and processing agreements in the North Sea
  • a large, publicly traded independent oil and gas company in connection with the drafting and negotiation of a deepwater production handling agreement and related infrastructure use and sharing and transportation arrangements
  • a major, integrated, former national oil company in connection with the acquisition of a Gulf of Mexico production platform for use as a production hub, including with respect to facilities use and production handling arrangements
  • the largest midstream company in North America in the negotiation of an Agreement and Plan of Merger for the acquisition of a publicly traded midstream and upstream company for approximately $38 billion in cash, stock, and assumption of debt
  • a large capital provider in connection with the acquisition financing of a multiple gathering systems, a cryogenic gas plant, and related assets in Texas
  • a series of capital providers in connection with multiple large gathering systems and a processing facility in the Uintah Basin

Service and Supply Sector Projects

  • a national oil company in the drafting of ITT model form offshore drilling and service agreements, tender and procurement procedures, and training modules in respect of an offshore drilling campaign
  • a large, publicly traded service company in connection with the structuring and negotiation of a joint venture arrangement for oilfield service and supply operations in the Republic of Ghana
  • a major, integrated multinational energy company in drafting a model form deepwater drilling services agreement and negotiation and implementation of this agreement for offshore projects, West Africa and Eastern Europe
  • a major, integrated multinational energy company in the negotiation and implementation of rig sharing arrangements with another major, integrated multinational spanning multiple countries and covering multiple mobile offshore drilling units
  • a major, integrated multinational energy company in the novation and amendment of a contract for a 5th generation drillship for ultra-deepwater drilling
  • a leading global marine and subsea construction and oil and gas services contractor in the structuring and negotiation of a multi-year preferred subcontractor diving services agreement and procurement procedure covering jurisdictions throughout the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico
  • an independent international exploration and production company and a major, integrated multinational energy company in connection with BIMCO time charter parties for platform supply and service vessels
  • an independent exploration and production company in the negotiation of a “rig club” for the sharing of a jack-up rig in the North Sea
  • a major, integrated multinational energy company in connection with the implementation of a multi-year rig sharing agreement and drilling contract for work in the Gulf of Mexico
  • an independent exploration and production company in the drafting of a model form master services agreement mutual indemnity and hold harmless deed for operations in the Dutch sector of the North Sea
  • a major offshore drilling and well services company in connection with post-Macondo analysis of service agreement liability issues and US trade embargo compliance issues
  • a major, integrated multinational energy company, an independent US-based exploration and production company in connection with the creation and implementation of an integrated service agreements and drilling contract program, including the drafting of model form Service Agreements, Drilling Contracts, and related risk allocation and indemnity schematics
  • a major, integrated multinational energy company in connection with the negotiation of a master time charter for vessels in the Gulf of Mexico
  • a Fortune-500 company in connection with onshore drilling contracts, service and supply agreements, and related agreements, including the acquisition and management of oil and gas assets in the Bakken Shale, Niobrara Shale, Eagle Ford Shale, and Marcellus Shale
  • a major, multinational French service company in the creation and revision of a consolidated model form master services agreement
  • a major, integrated multinational energy company in the drafting of a model form Deepwater Offshore Drilling Services Agreement
  • a Fortune-500 company in connection with all service agreements and drilling agreements for all of its oil and gas assets
  • the upstream unit of a major midstream company in connection with the acquisition of enhanced oil recovery equipment for use in West Texas.

*The selected list of transactions includes deals that were completed prior to Mr. Sweeney’s employment with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

Community Involvement

  • Association of International Petroleum Negotiators – Immediate past Co-Chair, Young Negotiators Group; member, Farmout Agreement Revision Committee, Service Agreement and Drilling Contract Committee, Area of Mutual Interest Agreement Committee, Unitization & Unit Operating Agreement Revision Committee
  • Institute for Energy Law - Chair, Training Modules Task Force; Vice Chair - Academic Outreach Committee; Member, Executive Committee, Advisory Board; Immediate Past Chair, Young Energy Professionals Committee
  • State Bar of Texas Oil and Gas Section

Awards & Accolades

  • Recognized in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Energy: Oil & Gas (Transactional), 2010, 2011, 2012

Speaking Engagements

  • “The 2012 AIPN Model Joint Operating Agreement,” Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation; Association of International Petroleum Negotiators; and the Institute for Energy Law, Core Course on International Oil & Gas Law, Contracts, and Negotiations (September 28, 2016)
  • “Joint Operating Agreements: A Comparative World-wide Analysis,” in-house workshop presented to a client (August 31, 2016)
  • “Exploration and Production Contracting Workshop,” S. Department of Commerce, Commercial Law Development Program, U.S. Embassy Islamabad, and U.S. Embassy London, in coordination with the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources of Pakistan, The Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority of Pakistan, and The Oil and Gas Development Company Limited, London, England (February 3-5, 2016)
  • “Restructuring in the Oil & Gas Sector,” K&L Gates Hub Webinar (June 29, 2016)
  • “Hard Times - provisions in common oil & gas contracts that you didn’t care about before but that you should care about now,” Thurgood Marshall School of Law, 3rd Annual Energy Symposium, Houston, Texas (October 2015)
  • “Access to Third Party Infrastructure – a Comparative Approach,” LSU Comparative Offshore Oil & Gas Symposium, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (March 13, 2015)
  • “Petroleum Contracts and Contracting – a Basic Primer,” African Legal Support Foundation & International Senior Lawyers Project Workshop for the Officials of the Federal Government of Somalia, Entebbe, Uganda (March 1-5, 2015)
  • “Effectively Managing Risk in Emerging Markets: A Practical Perspective,” Oil & Gas Supply Chain Compliance Seminar and Interactive Workshop (April 2015)
  • “International Joint Operating Agreements,” University of Houston Advanced Legal Studies Program – Petrobras Education Program in Oil & Gas Law, Houston, Texas (Dec. 2014)
  • “Fracturing Relationships – The Impact of Risk and Risk Allocation on Unconventional Oil & Gas Projects,” Institute for Energy Law, 65th Annual Oil & Gas Law Conference (February 2014), rep’d 9 TEX. J. OIL, GAS & ENERGY L. 289 (2014)
  • Module Chair, Domestic Transactions Module, Institute for Energy Law, 65th Annual Oil & Gas Law Conference, Houston, Texas (February 2014)
  • “Globaliz(s)ation of the Joint Operating Agreement(?): Point/Counterpoint,” HAPL Outer Continental Shelf Seminar (2013)
  • “International Joint Operating Agreements,” University of Houston Advanced Legal Studies Program (2013)
  • “Joint Operating Agreements for International Unconventional Projects: (How) Have Horizontal Drilling and Fracturing Changed the Game,” University of Texas International Upstream Energy Transactions Conference and Primer (2013).
  • “Same Agreement, Different World: It’s Time to Revise the AAPL 610-1989 Model Form Operating Agreement,” University of Texas Energy Law Symposium (2012)
  • "Unconventional Resources: Lessons Learned in Buying, Selling & Joint Venturing Shale Assets," University of Texas Energy Law Symposium (2011)
  • "Comprehensive Purchase and Sale Agreements: an Oil & Gas Perspective," Client CLE Series (2010-2012)
  • “Purchase and Sale Agreements in Hard Times,” in-house CLE series (2008-2009)