Energy and natural resources: oil and gas in Canada

Bennett Jones LLP

Bennett Jones LLP is hailed by sources as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for oil and gas companies, with its broad expertise across corporate, commercial and regulatory matters being a asset to the practice group. Benefiting from one of the largest dedicated energy teams in the market, the Calgary-headquartered national firm is a popular choice for complex, multi-disciplinary files, particularly in the project development and corporate spaces. Its comprehensive industry expertise, which includes the midstream sector, pipelines, LNG and oil sands development, is supported by the wider firm’s robust offerings in environmental, corporate and tax law. On the regulatory side, Lawrence Smith QC and Loyola Keough are considered among the leading names in the market. On the transactional side, Robert Booth QC is highly regarded for exploration and pipeline projects, while corporate co-head Patrick Maguire is sought after for M&A and joint venture transactions. The group also includes highly experienced transactional expert Donald Greenfield QC and up-and-coming industry specialists Kieran Ryan and Vivek Warrier.

Practice head(s):

Shawn Munro; Vivek Warrier


The team is a one-stop-shop for oil and gas and is distinguished by the depth and breath of talent across contract negotiations, environmental and regulatory permitting, financial issues, human resources, EPC contracting and insurance claims.’

Lawyers have a no-nonsense approach and handle the legal aspects as if they were owners in our business.’

A very broad range of expertise. These folks know everyone in the business and their connections are top notch. Relationship partners are the best at getting things addressed. Fees are very reasonable.’

Shawn Munro is a go-to-guy for anything you need; he gets it done. Energy partner Vivek Warrier is a good lawyer to work with.’

Key clients


Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL)

Cenovus Energy Inc.

Gibson Energy

Encana Corporation

MEG Energy Corp.

Murphy Oil Company Ltd.

North West Redwater Partnership

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board

Paramount Resources Ltd.

Parkland Fuel Corporation

Pembina Pipeline Corporation

Repsol S.A

Schlumberger Production Management

Statoil Canada Ltd.

Kinder Morgan

Secure Energy

Golar LNG

Work highlights

  • Advised Trans Mountain Pipeline on the construction contracts required for the completion of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.
  • Acted for Pembina Pipeline Corporation on its joint venture with Petrochemical Industries Company for a proposed integrated propylene and polypropylene production facility in Sturgeon County, with an estimated project cost of around C$4bn.
  • Advised NEP Canada Corporation on the sale of NEP Canada ULC, its Canadian exploration and production operating subsidiary, to Aspenleaf Energy.
  • Advised Velvet Energy on its C$140m acquisition of Iron Bridge Resources by way of takeover bid.  
  • Acted for AKITA Drilling on its C$209m acquisition of Xtreme.

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP’s oil and gas practice is evenly weighted between transactional and regulatory matters, with notable expertise in big-ticket M&A, joint ventures, project development and environmental issues. Largely concentrated in Calgary, with the ability to lean on offices from across the firm’s impressive national and international network, the multi-disciplinary group is well versed in all key industry segments, including exploration and production, the midstream sector and major infrastructure development. On the transactional front, Mungo Hardwicke-Brown is a high-profile figure; he teamed up with Keith Byblow to advise Kinder Morgan Canada on the landmark C$4.5bn sale of the Trans Mountain Pipeline system and the Trans Mountain Expansion Project to the Government of Canada. Calgary managing partner Ben Rogers is also a key transactional specialist. On the regulatory side, Lars Olthafer is considered a leading light, while the ‘incredibly talentedTerri-Lee Oleniuk has been rated as a future star.

Key clients

Kinder Morgan Canada Limited

Cenovus Energy Inc.

Suncor Energy Inc.

Pembina Pipeline Corporation

Jupiter Resources

Imperial Oil Limited

Nexen Inc.

Trican Well Service LLC

Precision Drilling Corporation

Encana Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Kinder Morgan Canada on its C$4.5bn sale of the Trans Mountain Pipeline system and the Trans Mountain Expansion Project to the Government of Canada.
  • Advised Suncor Energy on its acquisition of an additional 5% interest in the Syncrude joint venture from Mocal Energy for C$920m.
  • Represented Macquarie Energy in an intervention before the National Energy Board in four Westcoast system applications for expansions and tolling approval.
  • Advised Cenovus on the sale of assets in the Pipestone area of Northwest Alberta to NuVista Energy.

Burnet Duckworth & Palmer LLP

Oil and gas is a key pillar at Burnet Duckworth & Palmer LLP and the Calgary-based firm enjoys strong relationships with Canadian and international energy companies, particularly in the junior market. It also routinely acts for private equity investors, as well governments and state-owned-entities. Best known for its transactional firepower, the group is a popular choice for advice on infrastructure projects, joint ventures, M&A and securities deals. On the regulatory side, it routinely assists with environmental and land use approvals, and lawyers are well versed in provincial and federal regulatory proceedings. Alicia Quesnel, lauded by peers and clients alike as ‘the most trusted oil and gas specialist around’, is a key contact for corporate and commercial matters. Firm vice-chair John Cuthbertson QC and Sean Korney are also experienced transactional specialists. Carolyn Wright, who focuses on indigenous law as well as energy transactions, is an impressive up-and-coming partner.

Other key lawyers:

Sean Korney; Alicia Quesnel


BDP’s oil and gas team has incredibly specialized and expert knowledge in all areas of oil and gas, but what makes them even more unique and helpful is they never lose sight of strategic business goals or broader market realities. Lawyers use their expertise to facilitate good, practical, business-friendly solutions.’

BDP has a strong practice with a wide cross section of expertise, which allows it to provide a wide range of expert legal advice in anything from simple to complex scenarios. Partners are always willing to engage with clients to provide general and specific industry and legal updates and always bring a business perspective to their advice, which helps clients make better and faster decisions.’

Excellent full-service firm, with a knowledge base and expertise that cannot be beat. BDP is a go-to firm for upstream and midstream projects.’

Alicia Quesnel is simply the best E&P transaction lawyer; her drafting is efficient and flawless. She is a walking encyclopedia of all deals done in Western Canada. Cannot recommend her team enough.’

Grant Zawalsky is a great partnership lawyer. Very knowledgeable very responsive.’

Carolyn Wright is a very good E&P lawyer. She is very effective at getting the other side to the table on issues.’

Key clients

MEG Energy Corp.



Orca Exploration Group Inc.

Peyto Exploration and Development Corp.

Raging River Exploration Inc.

NewAlta Corporation

NuVista Energy Corp.

International Petroleum Corp.

Alberta Petroleum Marketing Commission (Government of Alberta)

Wolverine Energy Infrastructure Inc.

ARC Resources Ltd.

Inter Pipeline Ltd.

Hammerhead Resources Inc.

Bellatrix Exploration Ltd.

Perpetual Energy Inc.

Obsidian Energy Ltd.

Bonavista Energy Corporation

Advantage Oil & Gas Ltd.

Velvet Energy Ltd.

Tourmaline Oil Corp.

Athabasca Oil Corporation

Freehold Royalty Trust

Encana Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised NuVista Energy on the C$625m acquisition of the Pipestone Business of Cenovus Energy.
  • Advised SemCAMS on its long-term agreement with the Canadian subsidiary of a large international oil and gas company to process sour gas production at its Wapiti Gas Plant.
  • Advised the Alberta Petroleum Marketing Commission on the Alberta Government’s C$3.7bn crude-by-rail initiative for the transportation of Alberta crude oil by rail car to markets in the US and Canada.
  • Advised ARC Resources on the C$155m sale of Redwater assets to complete its C$1bn divestiture of all its non-core assets.
  • Advised Obsidian Energy on the sale of its 55% working interest in the Peace River Oil Partnership to Highwood Oil.

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP houses the pre-eminent oil and gas infrastructure practice, which draws upon impressive skill sets in energy regulation, Aboriginal law and project development matters. In line with the firm’s top-tier transactional reputation, the group is also sought after for complex joint venture arrangements and M&A. The firm’s broad sector focus translates into an equally diverse client list including exploration and production companies, energy infrastructure companies, private equity and pension funds and multi-party consortia. Janice Buckingham, who chairs the oil and gas practice, is recognized for her transactional expertise across the upstream, midstream and transportation spheres. On the regulatory front, Martin Ignasiak and leading light Shawn Denstedt QC are recommended for their broad coverage of regulatory, environmental, Aboriginal and land issues.

Other key lawyers:

Shawn Denstedt QC

Key clients


PetroChina Canda

Athabasca Oil Corporation

Teck Resources

Kinder Morgan Canada / Trans Mountain

TransCanada Corporation

Equinor Canada

Prosper Petroleum


Work highlights

  • Advised PetroChina Canada on two major developments, including on all aspects of its participation in the LNG Canada Project and related infrastructure, including acquisition of the project lands and the disposition of a working interest in the LNG Canada Project to Petronas.
  • Advised Athabasca Oil Corporation on the sale of its Leismer pipeline and Cheecham storage terminal to Enbridge, and also on the negotiation of priority transportation and storage services agreements on such pipelines and tanks.
  • Advised Kinder Morgan Canada on all regulatory and Aboriginal matters relating to the proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline System, including condition compliance and the detailed route approval process.
  • Advised Equinor Canada on The Province of Newfoundland and Labrador’s agreement with Equinor Canada and Husky Oil Operations to develop the potential Bay du Nord offshore deepwater oil site.
  • Advised NOVA Gas Transmission, a subsidiary of TransCanada Corporation, on its application for approval of an approximately C$2.3bn expansion of its pipeline network.


Seven years on from its establishment in Calgary, Torys LLP climbs to the first tier on the back of its dominant transactional oil and gas practice. The firm has worked hard to increase its market share in a challenging market and has recently landed key roles on a slew of high-profile energy deals. Notably, the firm was selected to advise Enbridge on the C$4.3bn sale of its Canadian natural gas gathering and processing business to Brookfield Infrastructure Partners, which represented the largest Canadian private oil and gas deal of 2018. Group head Derek Flaman, who led the Enbridge deal, is highly regarded for corporate and commercial work. Chris Christopher is also recommended for oil and gas transactions, while Calgary managing partner Luigi Cusano is noted for regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):

Derek Flaman

Other key lawyers:

Chris Christopher


The team provides legal support and analyses, but also business and commercial context. Torys treat our work like it is their own investment at stake. This accountability is a clear differentiator.

Torys is very aligned with our cost-conscious business model and works with us to find fee arrangements that meet our objectives. More importantly, the team provides the kind of service that clearly demonstrates they care about our business outcomes.’

Chris Christopher is thorough and well prepared to deal with any issues in a transaction. He is practical, attuned to clients’ needs and excellent at finding solutions to problems.’

Derek Flaman’s deal experience is impressive. He is pragmatic and provides insightful feedback that is usually a good reality check to the situation. He’s also calm, cool and collected in the negotiating room.’

Peter Danner has an economics degree from Harvard and really demonstrates a broad commercial understanding beyond legal analysis. Additionally, he’s a crazy hard worker and a total professional.

Key clients

Husky Energy

Harvest Operations Corp.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR)

Suncor Energy Inc.

Enbridge Inc.

Inter Pipeline Ltd.

Vermilion Energy Inc.

Crescent Point Energy Corp.

Precision Drilling

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB)

Work highlights

  • Acted for Enbridge on the C$4.3bn sale of its Canadian natural gas gathering and processing business in the Montney, Peace River Arch, Horn River and Liard basins in British Columbia and Alberta, to Brookfield Infrastructure Partners.
  • Advised Husky Oil China, as project counsel, on the development of the Liuhua 29-1 field as the third instalment of the Liawan Gas Project.
  • Represented Iron Bridge Resources in defence of a C$120m unsolicited takeover bid by Velvet Energy.
  • Advised Vermilion Energy on its C$1.4bn acquisition of Spartan Energy.
  • Acted for Precision Drilling on its C$1bn acquisition of Trinidad Drilling.


Dentons distinguishes itself by a dedicated focus on oil and gas, with equally strong offerings in transactional and regulatory work. Another key differentiator is the firm’s ability to draw on its wider global energy practice, which provides significant multi-jurisdictional support on cross-border matters. Michael Hurst heads the national energy group and ranks among Canada’s leading transactional specialists. Bernard Roth, who leads the energy regulatory practice, is also highly regarded. Impressive up-and-coming partners include Laura Estep, who advises on regulatory matters, and George Antonopoulos, who handles commercial transactions.

Practice head(s):

Michael Hurst; Bernard Roth

Other key lawyers:

George Antonopoulos; Laura Estep


This team provides a great combination of legal creativity and insight, experience, and enthusiasm to find unique solutions to get deals done. They have an ability to seamlessly work with offices in various jurisdictions where necessary to complete complex transactions.’

The team anticipates their clients needs and is able to build long-lasting relationships with their clients that lead to true partnerships. The level of trust that has been placed on Dentons is higher than any other firm I have dealt with in the past.’

The firm is somewhat unique in that it has a decent commercial energy team in Vancouver as well as Calgary.’

Bill Jenkins continues to be one of the standout senior practitioners in the energy field and brings a vast amount of industry knowledge and experience to help craft new and innovative solutions. We have enjoyed excellent collaborations with Dentons’ teams stretching across Canada and to their European offices to help us get complex multi-jurisdictional transactions across the finish line.’

Key clients

Enbridge Inc

AltaGas Ltd


Nexen (a CNOOC Limited Company)


Enhance Energy

Syncrude Canada Ltd

Alliance Pipeline

Work highlights

  • Advised Enbridge on the C$331m sale of Enbridge Gas New Brunswick Limited Partnership and Enbridge Gas New Brunswick Inc. to Liberty Utilities (Canada) LP.
  • Advised Riverstone Holdings LLC on the C$600m sale of its indirect membership interests in Meritage Midstream ULC to SemCAMS Midstream ULC, a joint venture between SemGroup Corporation and KKR.
  • Advised Enhance Energy on its divestiture of the Alberta Carbon Trunkline to Wolf Midstream.
  • Advised Posco Daewoo E&P Canada Corporation on its sale of oil and gas assets in Alberta to Bellatrix Exploration and TransGlobe Energy Corporation.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright is immersed in the oil and gas sector globally and its Canada industry expertise is equally comprehensive. The firm covers the full range of upstream, midstream and downstream transactions for a broad mix of Canadian and foreign oil and gas companies, oilfield service providers and banks. On the regulatory side, Don Davies QC is a standout specialist and is noted for his experience in complex contentious issues. Wayne Fedun, whose key clients include Brookfield Asset Management, Crescent Point Energy and Paramount Energy, is recommended for transactional work. Up-and-coming partner Robert Froehlich, who focuses on transactional matters, heads the department.

Practice head(s):

Robert Froehlich

Other key lawyers:

Don Davies QC; Wayne Fedun

Key clients

Enbridge Pipelines Inc. (including Spectra Energy and Westcoast Energy)

Brookfield Asset Management, Inc. and Brookfield Infrastructure Partners L.P.


Crescent Point Energy Corp.

Imperial Oil Limited

Wolf Midstream Inc.

Paramount Resources Ltd.


Pieridae Energy

Venturion Oil


Black Swan Energy

Canbriam Energy

Serafina Energy

Halliburton Group Canada

Keyera Corp.

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) (including RBC Capital Markets)

Toronto-Dominion Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Brookfield Infrastructure, and its institutional partners, on the C$4.3bn acquisition of Enbridge’s Canadian natural gas gathering and processing business in the Montney, Peace River Arch, Horn River and Liard basins in BC and Alberta.
  • Advised PETRONAS, and its affiliates, on the acquisition of a 25% interest in the LNG Canada Joint Venture from affiliates of Shell, PetroChina and KOGAS.
  • Advised Paramount Resources on the C$340m sale of non-core assets to Strath Resources.
  • Advised Wolf Carbon Solutions on its acquisition of an interest in the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line Project.

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

Historically known for its emphasis on regulatory matters, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP had an impressive run on the transactional side over the past year. Most notably, the firm was selected by the Government of Canada to advise on its landmark C$4.5bn purchase of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline to enable its inter-provincial expansion. It also remains a key player in regulatory matters, with a strong record in complex litigation. Transactional partner Peter Bryan heads the national group.

Key clients

Government of Canada and Canada Development Investment Corporation

LNG Canada Development Inc.

Cuda Energy Inc.

Ikkuma Resources Corp

BP Canada Energy Group ULC

Koch Oil

Progress Energy

Husky Oil Operations Limited and affiliates

Kelt Exploration Ltd.

ConocoPhillips-Canada Resources Corp

Emera Brunswick Pipeline Company Ltd.

Weatherford International

Repsol Oil & Gas Canada

KOGAS Canada Ltd.


Birchcliff Energy Ltd.


Work highlights

  • Advised the Government of Canada on its C$4.5bn purchase of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline.
  • Advised the Government of Canada on a new resource-sharing agreement, which provides that Canada will transfer to Newfoundland and Labrador a ‘Hibernia Dividend‘, worth approximately C$2.5bn until the agreement concludes in 2056.
  • Advising LNG Canada Development on all operational, federal and provincial regulatory aspects of its C$40bn LNG Export Terminal in Kitimat
  • Represented Husky in a claim brought by Canadian Natural Resources alleging, among other things, that a joint operating agreement involving both has terminated.


Fasken’s multi-disciplinary oil and gas group routinely works alongside the firm’s prominent indigenous law and environmental law practices to excel in infrastructure project development. The firm is also a popular choice for contentious regulatory matters in the oil and gas sphere, where Vancouver-based energy and regulatory litigator Matthew Ghikas is a key name.

Practice head(s):

Ron Ezekiel; Andre Turmel

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Ghikas


The Fasken team is composed of practical, business-minded and creative lawyers.’

Key clients

TransCanada PipeLines Limited

FortisBC Energy Inc. (FEI)


Association des distributeurs d’énergie du Québec (ADEQ)

Parkland Fuel Corp

EDF Trading North America, LLC

FortisBC Holdings Inc.

Encana Corporation

Canadian Federation of Independent Business

Arrow Exploration Corp.

Work highlights

  • Advising Encana on Stoney Nakoda Nations’ C$450m claim regarding petroleum and natural gas rights that were originally transferred to Canadian Pacific Railway.
  • Advised TransCanada PipeLines on the C$6bn Prince Rupert Gas Transmission natural gas pipeline project, including environmental  and indigenous law matters.
  • Represented FortisBC Energy, the largest gas utility in western Canada, in a contentious proceeding before the BC Utilities Commission regarding the terms and conditions of utility operations.
  • Advised TransCanada PipeLines on various regulatory and Aboriginal law issues connected to its C$5bn Coastal GasLink Pipeline project.

McCarthy Tétrault

McCarthy Tétrault leverages its top-tier corporate offering to advise on cross-border energy-sector transactions. The firm’s increasingly prominent LNG practice is also a key component of the practice. Led out of Calgary by transactional oil and gas specialist Brian Bidyk, the national group also benefits from a strong Vancouver platform.

Practice head(s):

Brian Bidyk

Key clients

Projetbé Limited Partnership

LNG Canada

Inter Pipeline

Enbridge Inc.

Anegada Oil Corp.

TORC Oil & Gas

PetroTal Ltd.

Shell Canada

Spartan Energy Corp.

Red River Oil

Surge Energy

Work highlights

  • Advised Enbridge on its C$4.3bn acquisition of Spectra Energy Partners.
  • Advised Projetbé Limited Partnership on its development of an environmental-friendly urea and methanol plant.
  • Advised Inter Pipeline on various feedstock and offtake arrangements for its C$4bn propane dehydrogenation (PDH) petrochemical plant complex.
  • Advised Shell Canada on environmental and electricity regulation matters relating to LNG Canada’s plans for a gas liquefaction and marine terminal in Kitimat.
  • Acted for Surge Energy on its C$28.6m disposition of certain non-core oil & gas assets to Tyrannex Energy.

Stikeman Elliott LLP

Best known for its strength in oil and gas transactions, Stikeman Elliott LLP's market-leading corporate capability and multinational client base makes it an attractive firm for complex, cross-border deals. Calgary managing partner Chrysten Perry is a popular choice for M&A, joint ventures and project development matters and her broad industry experience spans conventional petroleum and natural gas, LNG and heavy oil, among other areas. The group also includes Frederick Erickson, who focuses on deals in the upstream and midstream sectors, and corporate finance partner Keith Chatwin.

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG houses a full-service oil and gas offering, which is noted for its strong record in the mid-market. On the transactional side, the multi-disciplinary team handles a range of financing, M&A and joint venture agreements. It also fields a robust regulatory practice that regularly links up with its litigation, indigenous and environmental law teams to provide comprehensive coverage on complex mandates. Calgary-based transactional partner Lorne Rollheiser is the key contact.

Practice head(s):

Lorne Rollheiser

Key clients


Plains Midstream

Macquarie Energy LLC

XACT Downhole Telemetry Inc.

Tecton Energy Services Ltd.

FortisBC Energy Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised EOGI International Company on the divestiture of its UK assets to Tailwind Energy.
  • Advised Plains Midstream Canada on its joint venture agreement with SemCAMs for the construction, ownership and operation of the M2M Pipeline.  
  • Advised XACT Downhole Telemetry on its cross-border acquisition by Baker Hughes.

Lawson Lundell LLP

Lawson Lundell LLP has a solid oil and gas group, which strikes a balance between regulatory and commercial work. Best known for its strength in operational issues, the team advises a range of junior to major producers on exploration, environmental and indigenous law matters. It is also routinely engaged in litigation. Calgary-based Paul Negenman is recommended for his oil and gas-focused transactional practice.