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Clifford Chance

Expertise & Experience

In this section

Our global Oil & Gas group is made up of acknowledged legal experts in the oil and gas industry, offering depth of resource, local expertise and commitment to the key oil and gas markets across the globe.

We advise on the complex legal, commercial and technical issues associated with upstream, midstream and downstream developments worldwide.

Whether you are contemplating an upstream investment in Asia Pacific, a downstream project in the Middle East or simply need help navigating your way through the complexity or diversity of handling a deal or dispute in Africa or Europe - we have the team and experience to assist you. Our expertise in M&A, finance, dispute resolution, construction and environmental regulation is widely acknowledged in the oil and gas industry and this is reflected in our current "Tier One" ranking as an oil & gas firm by global legal directories. 

Understanding key legal issues

We have experience of all contractual and fiscal aspects of the oil & gas industry including production sharing contracts (PSCs), concession joint venture agreements (JVAs), joint operating agreements (JOAs), asset sale and purchase, financings, farm-ins, farm-outs, unitisations and drilling and development contracts. We also have market leading corporate, commodity and project finance experience of the full range of oil and gas transactions. 

Working across all parts of the industry

We have worked on some of the most innovative project developments, as well as acquisitions, disposals, joint ventures and asset swaps of the downstream operations of IOCs and NOCs. Crucially, our experience spans upstream, midstream and downstream projects. Our team has experience of energy related infrastructure development as well as 'pure' oil & gas transactions. We have the capacity to manage the largest integrated projects, to implement complex joint ventures and to negotiate and assist our clients to close multi-source financing and cross border developments.

From construction to decommissioning

We have extensive experience not just of one-off transactions, but also negotiating and drafting operational contracts and dealing with the full range of issues arising through the life cycle of an asset from construction through to commercialisation, operation and maintenance and ultimate decommissioning.

Our Oil & Gas sector group brings together lawyers from our international network with detailed experience of operational contracts and related financings (including reserve base lending). This includes knowledge of vessel and rig charters, short and long term oil, gas and LNG sales contracts and dealing with third party access and transportation issues for major pipelines.  

Client experience

  • Advised Glencore on its US$1.35 billion acquisition of Caracal Energy Inc., a company focused on oil and gas exploration, development and production activities in the Republic of Chad
  • Advised Statoil on the disposal of Statoil's interest in the Shah Deniz field, off shore Azerbaijan; to BP and SOCAR (US$1.45 billion) and to PETRONAS (US$2.25 billion)
  • Advised Salamander Energy plc on its recommended offer from Ophir Energy plc
  • Advised Shell on the sale its Retail, Supply & Distribution, Logistics and Aviation businesses in Italy to Kuwait Petroleum International
  • Advised Apache on the sale of LNG projects in Australia and Canada for US$2.75 billion and on the sale of its Australian operations for US$2.1 billion
  • Advised Shell on the binding agreement to sell Shell’s Australian downstream business (excluding Aviation) to Vitol for a total transaction value of approximately A$2.9 billion (US$2.6 billion)
  • Advised Apache in Supreme Court proceedings with respect to a major explosion and fire at its gas processing facility off the coast of Western Australia