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Oil and Gas

LeClairRyan offers oil and gas industry stakeholders a deep bench of veteran attorneys who provide comprehensive finance, regulatory, litigation, transactional, corporate and policy advocacy legal services to energy-related businesses of all types and sizes.

Upstream

Our attorneys have a depth of experience representing domestic and international upstream entities in energy-related transactions. Our client list includes exploration and production and oil field service companies, as well as lenders, underwriters, and private equity groups active in the upstream energy sector.

Members of our team represent exploration and production companies, investment funds and venture capitalists in acquisitions, divestures and joint development agreements related to conventional, offshore and shale exploration and production assets. We also handle leasing agreements, farm-ins, farm-outs, operating agreements, joint ventures, master limited partnerships, title opinions and other matters relating to the exploration, development and production of oil and gas.

In addition, our attorneys represent oil and gas entities in lending and finance matters such as equity and preferred stock offerings, at-the-market offerings, bond financings and lease financings, including acting as underwriters counsel in relation to public securities offerings.

The interdisciplinary nature of our team allows us to represent exploration and production companies in litigation related to construction, toxic tort, labor and employment, catastrophic events and securities disputes.

Midstream

Members of our team represent midstream clients in a full spectrum of issues related to pipelines, storage, transportation and gas gathering systems. We represent midstream entities in matters related to pipeline pigging, pipeline breaches, service contract negotiations, drafting buy/sell agreements, and logistics related to transporting products.

We handle regulatory issues associated with obtaining Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval to build pipelines and have represented gas producers in contract disputes with distribution companies. Our attorneys also negotiate pipeline transportation agreements and handle matters involving pipeline testing, delivery and leakage, as well as litigation related to the logistics of energy-related equipment and products.

Downstream

Members of our team work closely with oil and gas refiners, petrochemical companies, trading houses, investors and lenders, among other downstream participants. We handle transactional and corporate matters as well as environmental, land use and regulatory issues.

Our attorneys have a depth of experience providing counsel related to mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and investments in the refining and petrochemicals sector. We advise downstream clients in their initial public offerings, master limited partnership formations, and follow-on debt and equity offerings. In addition, our team provides corporate governance and securities counsel to public and private companies.

Litigation

Our team members represent energy industry clients in state and federal courts across the country, as well as in state and federal administrative tribunals and before various arbitration panels, state corporation commissions and FERC. We endeavor to become fully conversant with each client’s industry-specific dynamics and objectives. This enables us to resolve complex disputes in ways that take into account our clients’ on-the-ground business realities. When pragmatic solutions cannot be reached, however, we are fully prepared to take cases to verdict.

Members of our team have experience representing energy industry clients in all aspects of commercial litigation, including business torts, breach of contract, trade secrets and indemnity issues. Our attorneys also collaborate with our multidisciplinary trucking and transportation industry team to handle litigation arising from oil and gas trucking incidents involving personal injuries, wrongful death, property damage, cargo and freight claims, business interruption and products liability. In addition, we handle matters related to premises liability, toxic tort, land use disputes, environmental law and regulatory infringements, among other issues.

Bankruptcy

Our bankruptcy attorneys have years of experience helping financially challenged companies in the oil and gas industry restructure through Chapter 11 and handling foreclosures, out-of-court workouts, and state-law collection proceedings on behalf of creditors. We represent clients in complex bankruptcy litigation and have broad experience in state and federal receivership proceedings.

A “one-stop shop” with experience in all areas of bankruptcy law – from dealing with the minutiae of Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code to working with the big-picture strategic realities of multinational banks and corporations – our bankruptcy attorneys are well-positioned to obtain optimum results for our oil and gas clients.

Representative matters:

  • Transactional
    • Handled $100 million ATM offering to raise capital for U.S. company focused on exploration and production in sub-Saharan Africa 
    • Represented oil and gas companies in partnership agreement negotiations and contract drafting
    • Advised banks and other creditors on collateral associated with oil and gas exploration and production
    • Represented lenders in investment transactions associated with oil and gas wells
    • Represented South American oil-fired facility in power supply acquisition agreements
    • Represented petroleum company in connection with $65 million purchase of petroleum, propane and transportation assets of U.S. seller
    • Represented regional propane company in connection with its strategic acquisition of the assets of competing integrated propane company and its two subsidiaries
    • Handled NAESB form master trading agreements for wholesale natural gas transactions
  • Litigation
    • Represented Halliburton in all phases of the Deepwater Horizon litigation and led the team in Phase Two of the case, which addressed events between the time of the blowout until the final shut-in of the well 
    • Represented manufacturer in Southern District of Texas Federal Court in contractual lawsuit involving downhole tools used for hydraulic fracturing; obtained defense jury verdict
    • Representing oil field services company in Texas State Court in contractual lawsuit involving chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing
    • Representing oilfield services company in contractual lawsuit in Texas State court involving downhole tools used in hydraulic fracturing; obtained injunctive relief
    • Represented oilfield service company in trade secret, covenant not-to-compete and business tort lawsuit involving downhole cleaning tools; prevailed on preliminary injunction, obtained partial summary judgment on trade secrets and covenant not to compete and settled on favorable terms prior to trial
    • Representing largest Eagle Ford shale operator in personal injury matters
    • Representing several oil and gas trucking companies in personal injury matters
    • Representing oil major in lease dispute and separately in tortious interference claim
    • Representing oil major and its engineering company in personal injury litigation resulting from explosion at major’s refinery
    • Representing oil service company in downhole failure resulting from hydrogen sulfide erosion, lost tools and lost profits
    • Served as monitoring counsel for carrier with respect to Enron mega litigation
    • Represented petrochemical companies in service station injury claims
    • Represented coal company and its affiliates in complex litigation involving allegations of breach of contract, coal bed methane and gas leases, and mineral rights
    • Represented gas drilling companies in matters involving environmental compliance and torts relating to drilling, including water contamination, fugitive methane gas, and explosions
    • Served as co-counsel in litigation pertaining to ownership of coalbed methane reservoir
    • Defended oil field service provider in downhole failure claim for business loss damages
    • Represented large oil company in litigation against service station lessee involving royalty interpretation of lease
    • Defended purchaser of oil field service company in claim concerning details of purchase