Oil, gas and natural resources in United Arab Emirates

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP advises across the full spectrum of oil and gas, from development and financings, through to disputes and funds. Judith Kim advises sponsors, governments and lenders across the entire oil and gas value chain. Kyle Nevin handles multi-sourced project financings and refinancings on both the sponsor and lender side. Banking, projects and regulatory specialist Julian Johansen is another key practitioner.

Practice head(s):

Judith Kim; Kyle Nevin; Julian Johansen

Other key lawyers:

Shane Jaftha

Testimonials

‘I mainly engaged Allen & Overy Dubai team, and had some interactions with the Beijing team. What I like about working with AO is that they are able to pull their resources all over the globe in a short amount of time upon the client’s request, and to revert deliverables in a short amount of time while maintaining high-quality deliverables.’

‘Judith Kim (Partner) & Shane Jaftha (Senior Associate): Both Judi and Shane are very responsible and keen to provide feedbacks within the required deadline. They also tend to provide extra pieces of advice whenever the matter is critical to the project/operation, to think more and provide extra protection to the clients. Judi as partner has maintained high participation rate in providing legal advice instead of quality-control only.’

‘Judi Kim: great lawyer, knows the business by heart, always reachable, with a team closely involved even if not always attending meetings and calls, knowledgeable of the industry practice in the ME, able to revise fees if need to be.’

Key clients

OQ SAOC

PetroChina Halfaya

Saudi International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem)

SAHARA Group

Emirates Global Aluminium

Ma’aden

Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Company (SATORP)

Sahara and Ma’aden Petrochemicals Company (SAMAPCO)

Duqm Refineries and Petrochemical Industries Company (DRPIC)

Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (ORPIC)

OQ Gas Networks SAOC (formerly Oman Gas Company)

Oman International Petrochemical Industries Company LLC (OMPET)

Aluminium Bahrain (ALBA)

Salalah Methanol Company LLC

ACWA Power

Mitsui & Co

Masdar

Florexx Bioenergy Refinery LLC

Compañía Española de Petróleos, S.A.U (CEPSA)

Work highlights

  • Advised Duqm Refinery and Petrochemical Industries Company LLC on the development of a world-scale 1,600KTPA mixed-feed steam cracker and downstream petrochemical units in Duqm, Oman.
  • Advised the global coordinators and bookrunners in connection with ADNOC’s successful raise of $1.64bn through innovative share sale and exchangeable bond structure.

Ashurst LLP

Ashurst LLP's Simon Fraser manages the Abu Dhabi office and heads the oil and gas and corporate practices in the Middle East, where he has extensive experience. David Charlier co-heads the international projects group and has been active in a number of high-profile waste-to-energy and water treatment projects. Luke Robottom advises governments, sponsors and lenders on the development and financing of energy and infrastructure projects. Senior associate Raquel Tarancon Plata is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Simon Fraser; David Charlier

Other key lawyers:

Luke Robottom; Raquel Tarancon Plata

Testimonials

‘Ashurst has a compelling overall offering in the UAE which includes highly competent teams dealing with the full life cycle of large infrastructure projects. Most of my interaction is with the front end construction team, which is legally highly competent and easy to work with, providing timely delivery of well thought out solutions.’

‘Luke Robottom – In-depth knowledge of the organisation through extensive experience of advising us. Offers pragmatic and commercial solutions to problems, being receptive of nuances and internal angles. Trusted advisor in projects/EPC space.’

‘The team is solid with strong skills in relation to oil & gas and construction work.’

‘Luke Robottom is a responsive and knows his stuff. He consistently offers practical and timely solutions to complex oil & gas matters.’

‘Ashurst LLP is led by UAE-based Mr. Simon Fraser. Simon’s effective multi-tasking, effective management of people and issues is outstanding. Simon helped create lump sum or by-the-deal billing which is highly appreciated in the low oil and gas price climate.’

‘Simon Fraser is in a word “excellent.” He is indeed an expert in effective management of people and their varying opinions in collaborative efforts. He posses an in-depth business awareness with a thorough understanding of all relevant commercial aspects of a deal. He is different from other external counsel in his ready accessibility.’

Key clients

ADNOC (including its group operating and JV companies)

Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (“KPC”, including various of its other group companies)

Petrochemical Industries Company K.S.C (“PIC”)

ADNOC LNG

ADES Investments Holding Ltd

Sojitz

Interserve Group Holdings Limited

Mitsui E&P

Schlumberger

Indorama Eleme Fertilizer and Chemicals Limited

OMV

Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised ADNOC on a series of transactions involving the sell-down of direct and indirect interests in ADNOC Gas Pipeline Assets LLC, and ADNOC subsidiary with lease rights to 38 gas pipelines covering a total of 982 kilometres in Abu Dhabi.
  • Advising ADNOC on a project involving the design, construction and ongoing maintenance/operation of a high-voltage, direct current (HVDC) sub-sea power transmission system which will connect ADNOC’s offshore production facilities to Abu Dhabi’s onshore electricity grid.
  • Advised ADES Investments Holding Ltd on the $516m takeover of ADES International Holding plc, by Innovative Energy Holding Ltd.

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Shearman & Sterling LLP has an experienced financings and energy and infrastructure M&A practice that is led by Renad Younes and Dan Feldman. Younes is a ‘trusted advisor‘ and ‘revered‘ by clients throughout the energy value chain. Feldman is a project development and finance specialist with expertise advising on a wide variety oil and gas, energy transition and infrastructure projects.

Practice head(s):

Renad Younes; Dan Feldman

Other key lawyers:

Iain Elder; Marwan Elaraby

Testimonials

‘Shearman & Sterling have been very proactive in supporting us with our diversity and UAE national development initiatives, such as through hosting internships for young UAE national scholars and offering training contracts. Such initiatives are extremely important for us as a client and supports the development of our local talent.’

‘Renad Younes has advised us across our upstream, downstream and marketing/ trading sectors which makes her unique in fully understanding our whole oil and gas value chain. She has gained the role of “trusted advisor” status in our downstream projects business and her passion for ensuring the best outcome for the client is reflected in her commitment and advice that she provides to us. Renad is always thinking of our business and the legal team and regularly reaches out to support the development of our legal team.’

‘The Shearman team is one of the most diverse in the region – with revered Renad Younes at the helm.’

‘They make you feel as if you are the only client! – Talking about Mr. Dan Feldman.’

Key clients

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC)

NEOM Company

Intercontinental Exchange, Inc (ICE)

The Saudi Arabian Industrial Investments Company (Dussur)

The Dow Chemical Company

Bahrain Petroleum Company

SACE S.p.A.

Emirates Global Aluminium

The Royal Commission for Al-Ula

Masdar

Mubadala

Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

Chevron Saudi Arabia

Export-Import Bank of Korea (K-EXIM)

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP has a broad offering and operates particularly closely in the Saudi Arabian oil, gas and natural resources markets. Michael Watson has relocated to London but remains active in the market and is an expert in all downstream-related transactions. The firm has a sizeable practice that includes project finance specialists Antoine Cousin and Adam Pierson.

Practice head(s):

Antoine Cousin; Alexander Malahias; Adam Pierson; Yasser Riad; Michael Turrini; Michael Watson

Other key lawyers:

Jennifer Riddle; Claire Janvier

Testimonials

‘White & Case’s oil and gas team in UAE is the preeminent team in the market. Their ability to seamlessly weave together the deal structure for major projects is unmatched.’

‘When your counterparty looks past their attorneys and across the table and to ask your lawyers to develop a solution, you know you’ve chosen wisely. In complicated petrochemical joint ventures, this W&C team is able to cut through the fog and see the commercial target and obstacles.’

‘Michael Watson and Claire Janvier stand head and shoulders above all other attorneys when it comes to petrochemical projects. The maxim “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link” does not apply to this duo, for if they have a weakness, it is unknown to me. Claire and Michael seamlessly work together to develop a work product that far exceeds expectations, but do so in a manner that meets all timetables and keeps bills low.’

Key clients

Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco)

Ma’aden

United Arab Chemical Carriers Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented Saudi Aramco in its $12.4bn sale of a 49% equity stake in Aramco Oil Pipelines Company to a consortium led by EIG Global Energy Partners.
  • Represented Saudi Arabian Oil Company in its $69.1bn acquisition of a 70% stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), from the Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Represented United Arab Chemical Carriers Limited (UACC) in the sale and reverse triangular merger of UACC with United Overseas Group.

CMS

Oil and gas is a core sector for CMS and the firm's UAE offering is led by John Geddes, who has replaced Matthew Culver as regional head. Geddes has an extensive background in oil and gas, particularly high-value procurement projects and hydrocarbon transportation and sales arrangements. The team welcomed senior associate Blair Jones, who joined in 2021 from Baker Botts L.L.P.

Practice head(s):

John Geddes

Other key lawyers:

Blair Jones; Alexandra Scott

Key clients

Dana Gas

Gazprom Neft

Rosneft

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA)

Schlumberger

OMV

Eni

Dragon Oil

Petrogas Exploration & Production LLC

Petroleum Development Oman

Weir

Sulzer

Cansco Group

BP

KCA Deutag Drilling Gmbh

Daleel Petroleum LLC

Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company SAOC

Arabian Gas and Oil Development Company LLC (AGODCO)

Work highlights

  • Advised Dana Gas on the disposal of its onshore Egyptian assets in a highly complex transaction involving multiple transfer mechanisms and claw-back provisions.
  • Advised Eni S.P.A on the restructuring of the Damietta LNG joint venture with Naturguy S.A. and local government entities, EGAS and EGPC.
  • Advising Petroleum Development Oman on its procurement of Oman’s first utility scale Wind IPP.

Dentons

Dentons advises across the entire oil and gas industry and acts for a client base that includes oil and gas majors, national oil companies, LNG producers and petrochemical companies. Mhairi Main Garcia is as the regional head of energy, transport and infrastructure and is widely recognised for her expertise in complex upstream oil and gas projects.

Practice head(s):

Mhairi Main Garcia; Andrew Figgins

Key clients

BP

Gulf Investment Corporation

Wintershall Holding GmbH

Snam

Al Futtaim Properties

Lamar Holding

Lamprell

Work highlights

  • Advising Snam in relation to its agreement, in consortium with a number of international investment funds, to purchase a 49% interest in ADNOC Gas Pipelines from Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.

Devine & Severova

Devine & Severova is a boutique law firm with a core focus on oil and gas. The team specialises in the upstream space and is frequently instructed on sale and purchase agreements, oil and gas concessions and corporate structuring. Richard Devine and Ana Severova are the names to note.

Practice head(s):

Richard Devine; Anna Severova

Testimonials

Devine & Severova have had an unwavering focus on oil & gas throughout their careers. They are truly “oil specialists”, not only during oil price booms. They have dedicated their career over the years based in Dubai. They can offer added value through oil & gas sector, technical & regional expertise. They well understand the industry, NOC and standard practice in the MENA region.’

Mr. Richard Devine performed excellent works for the award of oil & gas exploration concession to us in 2021. He has offered to us added value not only on the oil & gas contract, but also corporate issues.’

It was extremely pleasant to work with such a professional team that understands the tasks and features of the client.’

The firm has a very good response time and we have found them professional in their work as well as business ethics.’

We have worked closely with both Mr. Richard Devine & Ms. Ana Severova. Both individuals are competent with knowledge of their work. They possess in-depth knowledge of Upstream Oil & Gas Business and in addition of their services, they are also writing articles in business journals on various legal subjects in Oil & Gas business. Devine & Severova has a big advantage to be physically present in UAE that gives them an edge over their competitors besides their service level / quality.’

DWF Middle East LLP

DWF Middle East LLP advises a number of international and national oil companies, service providers, EPC contractors and pipeline companies. Slava Kiryushin heads the global oil and gas practice and also has a strong background in contentious construction work.

Practice head(s):

Slava Kiryushin

Testimonials

‘Highly responsive and deep knowledge of the industry.’

‘Deep knowledge of the industry and great added value in collaboration with lawyers of other jurisdictions.’

Key clients

Lukoil Mid-East

Chelpipe Group

Pakistan Petroleum Ltd

Mass Global Energy

RN Middle East

Lukoil Mid-East

Chelpipe Group

Pakistan Petroleum Ltd

Mass Global Energy

RN Middle East

Work highlights

  • Advising RN Middle East LLC on all matters of Iraqi law and representing the company in Iraqi courts and administrative institutions.
  • Representing Mass Global, the Cayman entity placed into liquidation by the Grand Cayman courts in relation to the control over the branch entity in Erbil and the recognition of the liquidation order in Kurdistan.

Linklaters

Linklaters has expertise advising on multi-tranche financings of projects, covering both conventional and Islamic structures. Matthew Keats has extensive experience advising on the development, acquisition and disposal and financing of energy and infrastructure projects. Keats joined from the London office in 2020 and was appointed as practice head in 2021 following the departure of Sarosh Mewawalla.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Keats

Other key lawyers:

Divya Chawla; Jonathan Vick

Testimonials

‘Linklaters have very good team members with a lot of experience on both the sponsors and lenders sides. One of their strengths is their strong positioning in different regions and sectors, allowing them to have the right experience to advise on large transactions.’

‘The partners are are very pragmatic and they go straight to the point. In particular, Matthew Keats has strong experience dealing with sponsors and with banks/ECAs which allow him to understand the issues and to propose the right compromises/advice. He’s a pleasure to work with on both the personal and professional fronts.’

Key clients

BNP Paribas

Bahrain National Gas Expansion Company (Tawseah)

The Oil and Gas Holding Company B.S.C NogaHolding

Shell Vivo

Work highlights

  • Advising the Bahrain National Gas Expansion Company’s (Tawseah) on the refinancing of its existing $515m syndicated facility in relation to two associated gas processing facilities in Bahrain
  • Advising The Oil and Gas Company Holding B.C.S. (Nogaholding) on the expansion and upsizing of its existing $1.4bn murabaha facility.