Oil and gas in Scotland
The oil and gas team at Brodies LLP is led by M&A expert Clare Munro and was recently bolstered by the arrival of Bryan Wilson from an in-house position at Total and Rhona McFarlane's promotion to the partnership. The dedicated group handles the full gamut of work in the sector, but also has expertise in several niche areas including third-party access agreements, FPSO contracts and decommissioning work alongside notable experience in the drilling sector. Sonia Love is also a key name to note for project development work.
‘Brodies’ extensive industry experience has earned it a formidable reputation in the oil and gas sector, not only locally but internationally.‘
‘The team is very experienced and can easily draw on expertise from Brodies as a whole to provide a full-service legal offering including corporate and financing, employment, dispute resolution and litigation advice.‘
‘Brodies stands out through its efficient and flexible organisation, attention to detail, ability to meet deadlines and practical guidance through a thoroughly proactive approach.‘
‘Clare Munro is very good to work with. She is pragmatic, commercial and solutions-driven.‘
‘Greg May is exceptional and a real go-to partner for any oil and gas work. His in-house experience is invaluable and helps him deliver an exceptional service to his clients.‘
‘Greg May is an expert in the oil and gas contracting arena and is on-call 24/7.‘
‘Her deep intellect, experience and calmness make Clare Munro an invaluable ally in the oil and gas world.‘
Total E&P UK Limited
Premier Oil UK Ltd
Awilco Drilling Plc
Northern Offshore Limited
- Advised Premier Oil UK on the drafting and negotiation of a suite of agreements relating to the Tolmount Field development.
- Instructed to act for Maersk Oil, which was acquired by Total E&P 2018, on a suite of commercial agreements supporting the Ballindalloch oil field development.
- Acted for Chevron North Sea on the sale of its interest in Rosebank to Equinor.
Burness Paull LLP is recognised for handling the acquisition and disposal of oil and gas licence interests, as well as advising on the negotiation of the agreements required for the development of oil and gas fields through facilities owned by third parties. The group has notable strength in domestic matters and also has significant cross-border capabilities. Brian Hemming heads up the team, which also includes Bruce McLeod, who has experience in M&A and field development agreements.
Other key lawyers:
‘The Burness Paull team is very customer-focused with a very broad experience base, which enables all issues to be dealt with efficiently and effectively. Documents are reviewed pragmatically and turned around quickly.‘
‘Brian Hemming is very personable, making it easy to discuss and deal with issues. He is very client-focused and always delivers documents on time.‘
CATS and Humber Gathering System Limited (both owned by private equity Antin Infrastructure Partners)
Spirit Energy (formerly Centrica)
- Acted for Tailwind Energy on its acquisition from Shell and Esso of interests in the Bittern, Gannet E, Guillemot West, Guillemot North West and Belinda and Evelyn Fields and associated interest in the Triton FPSO.
- Assisted Humber Gathering System with the negotiation of a suite of agreements required to develop the Tolmount gas field.
- Advised Spirit Energy on its deal with Hurricane Energy to fund the cost of three exploration wells in the Greater Warwick Area in exchange for 50% of Hurricane Energy’s oil project near Shetland.
- Instructed by Savannah Petroleum to handle its proposed acquisition of Seven Energy and its Nigerian operations.
- Acted for i3 Energy on the negotiations to grant a period of exclusivity to a potential purchaser of part of the Liberator field and the related funding mechanisms for the field’s development and appraisal of Liberator West.
CMS handles a variety of complex deals across all areas of the oil and gas sector, and advises on upstream and downstream matters for a high-profile client list. The Aberdeen-based team assists with issues at a national and international level and fields group head Norman Wisely, Judith Aldersey-Williams, who specialises in regulatory and antitrust issues; Graeme Clubley, newly promoted partner Paula Kidd, Frank Fowlie, who is a corporate expert; and senior associate Frances Reilly. The group also leverages the firm's Edinburgh and Glasgow teams; Edinburgh-based Rob Wilson is a key name for energy disputes.
Other key lawyers:
‘CMS’ practitioners are very nice and professional and their availability for questions and comments is exceptional.‘
‘CMS has tremendous strength in depth in Aberdeen as seasoned upstream advisors and covers the whole spectrum of M&A and asset transactions, regulatory work and supply chain. It has an excellent handle on market practice.‘
‘Expert advice, best-in-class knowledge and guidance, and strong market understanding distinguishs CMS from its competition.‘
‘Norman Wisely is an industry leader in the upstream field. He is extremely knowledgeable, technically skilled, calm and pragmatic.‘
‘Paula Kidd is excellent. She has a real commercial understanding of issues and an ability to anticipate arguments, demonstrating awareness of the other position, as well as excellent judgement, calmness and an ability to think on her feet and undoubted industry expertise.‘
‘Frank Fowlie is driven with exceptional problem-solving capabilities. He is always able to provide multiple solutions and clearly articulate the appropriate solution.‘
Equinor (was Statoil)
CNOOC (was Nexen)
Beacon Oil & Gas
Humber Gathering System Limited (Antin)
- Advising BP on the sale of its operated interests in the Bruce, Keith and Rhum fields in the North Sea.
- Advised Equinor on its acquisition of Chevron’s 40% operated interest in the Rosebank field development project.
- Assisted BP with its tie-in of the Vorlich Field to Ithaca’s Stella FPSO.
- Acted for ConocoPhillips on its hive down and corporate sale of a 16.5% interest in the Clair field to BP.
- Advised Humber Gathering System on a project related to the development of the Tolmount field.
Pinsent Masons LLP covers the full range of oil industry issues including decommissioning work, M&A, competition matters, procurements, tax mandates, disputes, financings and regulatory advice; the team also has a strong track record in corruption and anti-bribery cases. Aberdeen-based Bob Ruddiman is the firm's global head of oil and gas, while corporate expert Shirley Allen leads the Aberdeen group, which also includes legal director Neil Hehir and utilises the firm's experienced litigation department. In Glasgow, Rosalie Chadwick heads up the global corporate finance group and is a key name to note. David McEwing departed to Addleshaw Goddard.
‘Martin Ewan has an ability to quickly cut through any noise and get to the root of an issue, which is second to none. In addition to being extremely knowledgeable and commercially aware, Martin makes a particular effort to network both internally in the firm and externally. As a consequence, he is able to sign post the requirement to the correct people quickly and easily and do a personal handover, whilst maintaining overall involvement.‘
Shell UK Limited
Total E&P UK Limited
Siccar Point Energy
Suncor Energy Services Inc
John Wood Group
- Advising Ithaca Energy on its acquisition of the Greater Stella Area oil & gas licences and associated infrastructure interests from Dyas UK and Petrofac.
- Advised Total E&P UK on the sale of its entire interests in the Bruce Field and the Keith Field in the UK continental shelf to Serica Energy (UK).
- Instructed by Faroe Petroleum to handle its acquisition of an interest in the Plantain and Agar wells from Azinor Catalyst.
- Acted for Blue Water Energy on its joint venture with Blackstone and Mime Petroleum, a Norwegian-focused exploration and production company.
Dentons' practice has particular expertise handling decommissioning work through the expertise of Edinburgh-based Kirsti Olson, drilling matters, and contentious mandates. Corporate expert Gordon Hobkirk also contributes to the practice with litigator Malcolm Gunnyeon; both are based in Aberdeen. The Aberdeen team also recently hired senior oil and gas specialist counsel Kenny Paton from Webber Wentzel; he has substantial experience in the North Sea and internationally.
Decom North Sea
DOF Subsea Limited
KCA Deutag Drilling
Safetec UK Limited
Stork TS UK Limited
- Instructed by Completion Products to recover sums due from an Omani customer relating to the supply of down-hole equipment.
- Assisted Safetec UK with recovering $250,000 owed by a Chinese company relating to the development of a safety system for an offshore support vessel.
- Acting for Stork TS UK in a £6m tax covenant and tax warranty claim arising from its purchase of RBG (Holdings).
- Advising O&G UK on its decommission work including producing the first Logic standard form contract to be used for decommissioning projects in the North Sea.
Shepherd and Wedderburn is recognised for its work acting for British independent exploration and production companies on worldwide M&A and capital markets transactions. The team also has a strong record in the upstream space, where it represents banks and sponsors, and assisting City firms with the Scottish law aspects of cross-border transactions. Corporate expert Stephen Trombala leads the team from the Edinburgh office.
Other key lawyers:
Paul Hally; Tom Swan
Cairn Energy plc
Gulf Marine Services
North Sea Midstream Partners
ERVIA (Formerly called Bord Gais Eireann)
Cluff Natural Resources plc
TDE Services Kft.
Marin Subsea Ltd
Petroineos Trading Ltd
Delphian Ballistics Ltd
- Acting for Aminex on its $40m farm out of a 50% interest in the Ruvuma Petroleum Sharing Agreement in Tanzania.
- Collaborating with the firm’s London office to advise SOCO on the sale of its upstream Angolan interests to Quill Trading Corporation and WMLC Resources.
- Advising Celtique Energie Holdings on its divestment of a 30% interest in the Wressle oil field.
- Acted for HSBC Bank as agent to a syndicate of lending banks including Bank of Montreal, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, ING and Lloyds Bank on the Scottish law issues relating to a significant increase to a reserve base loan facility provided to Ineos UK E&P Holding and its subsidiaries following the acquisition of the Forties Pipeline system in the North Sea from BP.
Stronachs LLP regularly acts on upstream M&A in the UK and overseas, oil field developments, decommissioning projects, and matters arising from new energy sector technologies. Ewan Neilson leads the department and regularly acts for oil, energy and technology companies; James Downie is also a key name for decommissioning work and James Muir focuses on transactional work and energy projects.
‘The energy team at Stronachs has an enlightened approach to the challenges facing the oil and gas sector. This is particularly valuable in the current economic downturn in the sector when funding availability is severely constrained.‘
‘The group’s approach includes an attitude encompassing ‘blue sky’ thinking and actively supporting emerging businesses, which are developing novel patentable technology on the back of limited internal financial resources.‘
‘Ewan Neilson is passionate about making a difference in the oil and gas sector. He goes out of his way to support businesses developing technology that lower the costs of operators.’
Dana Petroleum UK Limited
Marathon Oil U.K. LLC
Black Sea Oil & Gas
Enpro Subsea Limited
Carbon Capture Machine Limited
- Advised Petrofac on the sale of its interest in the Stella Field and the FPF 1 vessel to Ithaca.
- Assisting Black Sea Oil & Gas with its offshore Midia Gas Development project in Romania.
- Instructed by Azinor Catalyst on its farm-in to Faroe Petroleum of a 25 % interest in the Agar Plantain well.
- Advised Carbon Capture Machine on its spin out from Aberdeen University.