Oil and gas

A&O Shearman advises clients across the oil and gas value chain, from upstream (exploration and production), to midstream (storage and transportation), and downstream (fuels and lubricants, marketing and refining, retail, and chemicals). 

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Lawyers from our top-tier project development and finance practice work seamlessly with practitioners from our corporate and M&A, finance, Islamic finance, capital markets, advisory and regulatory, private capital and disputes teams.  

Together they act for governments, national and international energy companies, independents, oil field services companies, traders, financiers, equity and debt funders, and investors on some of the world’s largest and most complex oil and gas transactions and disputes. 

Deep expertise in projects 

Our experience of contractual and economic frameworks for oil and gas projects is unrivalled. We advise upstream clients on the grant, purchase, exchange, sale, and financing of petroleum exploration and production interests across the world, whether based on licenses, production-sharing agreements or service contract buy-back structures.  

We also regularly undertake the drafting, negotiation and review of production-sharing, joint operating and unitisation agreements, LNG structures and approaches and pipeline construction, operation, transportation, and loading arrangements.  

For crude oil, petrochemical products and natural gas/LNG sales agreements we advise on all varieties of spot, term, and life-of-field contracts, and on the take-or-pay provisions that underpin many project financings across the world. 

Strong experience in disputes 

We have a strong and experienced international arbitration and litigation practice, representing clients in disputes involving issues including stabilization clauses, taxation, price review, contract cancellation, concession agreements or force majeure, and we are renowned as the world’s leading firm for Energy Charter Treaty arbitrations. We also provide top-tier antitrust advice across our global network. 

We work with our clients across the oil and gas industry to support them on their journeys towards Net Zero, including on sustainable fuels, blue hydrogen and carbon capture and sequestration projects and associated corporate, finance and regulatory matters.

Representative matters 

  • The project company in connection with the Trans Adriatic Pipeline project in Greece, Albania and Italy. 
  • The majority shareholders in the former Yukos Oil Company in three arbitrations against the Russian Federation. Secured a USD50 billion arbitral award, the largest arbitral award ever rendered, plus 75% legal fees and 100% arbitration costs. 
  • ADNOC, a long-standing client of our team, in its most significant mandates across the entire value chain. Over decades our lawyers have supported the state-owned oil company in achieving first-in-kind transactions and provided counsel on significant antitrust, regulatory and strategic matters.
  • Hassana Investment Company, part of a consortium led by BlackRock Real Assets, on the USD15.5bn lease and leaseback deal with Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco). 
  • Chevron in multiple competition law matters, including its pending acquisition of Hess, its acquisition of PDC Energy, and its acquisition of Noble Energy.
  • The project sponsors and the project company on the USD3.7bn development and financing of its refinery at Mostorod in Egypt, the largest project financing in Africa. 
  • A European energy company, seller in a long-term gas supply agreement, as Respondent in a gas price review arbitration brought by a European energy company (as buyer). The arbitration was under ICC Rules, with USD1.3 billion at stake. 
  • The lenders on the USD400 million partial refinancing for the development of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (1,768km long 1.0mbbl/day capacity) pipeline reaching from Baku, Azerbaijan through Tbilisi, Georgia to Ceyhan, Turkey. 
  • Saudi Basic Industries Corporation on its $11.6 billion acquisition of GE Plastics from General Electric. 

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