Oil, gas and natural resources in United Arab Emirates

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP's corporate, projects and finance practices handle a range of work in the natural resources space, with many mandates concerning refineries and matters further along the value chain after extraction. In addition, Judith Kim handles a number of deals concerning the development of new blocks (including Oman's first GTL project), with Kyle Nevin and Ian Ingram-Johnson also notable names in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Judith Kim; Kyle Nevin; Ian Ingram-Johnson

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 the project company on the development of a mixed-feed steam cracker in Duqm, Oman.
  • Advising Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Company on refinancing a project.
  • Advising Saudi Aramco on a proposed purchase of 20% of Reliance Industries Limited’s  oil-to-chemicals (O2C) business.

Ashurst LLP

Ashurst LLP's Stuart James and Simon Fraser in Abu Dhabi have handled agenda-setting midstream deals for ADNOC, a cornerstone client of the firm which Luke Robottom also advises on construction projects. Fraser's workload also includes sales of oil and gas interests, while in Dubai David Charlier's broader projects practice includes assistance with a number of new refineries. Raquel Tarancon Plata is a notable, English-qualified, senior associate. On the disputes side of the practice, Cameron Cuffe's contentious construction practice includes hydrocarbon infrastructure work.

Practice head(s):

Simon Fraser

Other key lawyers:

Luke Robottom; Raquel Tarancon Plata; Cameron Cuffe; David Charlier

Testimonials

‘The legal counsel team assigned to support our organization are professional in a very friendly and approachable manner, have responded to all our needs in a timely manner and the support provided has been first class. In comparison to other legal representatives are considered premier league and up there with the best available elsewhere. ’

‘They are open for discussion and do not always take a strictly legal perspective, offering an experienced view on the options based on experience and knowledge of the issue with a legal bias. They have extensive experience in the market and the various options to each item.’

Key clients

Kuwait Petroleum International (including various of its other group companies)

ADNOC (including its group operating and JV companies)

Petrochemical Industries Company K.S.C (PIC)

Interserve Group Holdings Limited

Mitsui E&P

Indorama Eleme Fertilizer and Chemicals Limited

OMV

Brookfield

Work highlights

  • Advised ADNOC on the sale of a 49% interest in ADNOC Gas Pipelines to a consortium of investors including Global Infrastructure Partners, GIC, Brookfield Asset Management and OTTP.
  • Advised ADNOC on the sale of a minority stake in its refining business to Eni and OMV.
  • Advised on the formation of Petrochemical Industries Company’s joint venture with SKC involving the carve out and acquisition of a 49% stake in SKC’s chemical business.

Linklaters

Linklaters' oil and gas practice was bolstered by the transfer of Matthew Keats, former head of the firm's Moscow office, from London. He joins Sarosh Mewawalla and Nicholas Edwards in a practice that handles M&A and the financing of refineries, petrochemicals, oilfield services businesses, as well as agenda-setting mid-stream deals, often involving sophisticated institutional investors.

Practice head(s):

Sarosh Mewawalla; Matthew Keats; Nicholas Edwards

Key clients

Al Rajhi Holding Group

Saudi Aramco

IFC PPP Transaction Advisory

Farabi Petrochemical Company

Banque Saudi Fransi

JP Morgan

Ministry of Finance, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Mizuho Bank

The National Commercial Bank

The Saudi British Bank

Saudi Railways Organisation

Engie

National Petrochemical Industrial Company (NATPET)

HSBC Middle East Limited

DP World Limited

Arab National Bank

Dow Chemical

TAQA

JBIC

KEXIM Bank

CEXIM Bank

Riyadh Bank

Samba Financial Group

Saudi Hollandi Bank

Societe Generale

Standard Charted Bank Plc

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Vision Invest

Work highlights

  • Advised three members of a six-member consortium investing in ADNOC’s gas pipeline business in the UAE.
  • Advised Carlyle on its purchase of a minority stake in Cepsa, which owns the Umm Lulu and SARB fields in Abu Dhabi, from Mubadala.
  • Advised on the financing of a Jersey bidco controlled by Blackrock and KKR, of a 40% stake in ADNOC Oil Pipelines.

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Shearman & Sterling LLP is a key destination for core client ADNOC, with Marwan Elaraby advising on a number of its key M&A deals concerning its upstream business. Renad Younes is also active in the upstream space and also has a track record handling downstream M&A. Dan Feldman is another key name in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Renad Younes; Dan Feldman; Iain Elder; Anthony Patten; Ben Shorten

Testimonials

‘The firm has put together a sizeable team of a wide spectrum of capabilities thus can provide more comprehensive legal advice.’

‘Dan Feldman provides a comprehensive legal opinion, with attention to detail and the ability to explain intricate legal points in simple business terms.

‘This team has wide and deep knowledge of the oil and gas agreements covering the whole oil and gas value chain.’

‘Dan Feldman is always available to receive comments and respond back promptly while providing complete answers. We feel we are are talking to the expert.’

Key clients

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC)

Intercontinental Exchange, Inc (ICE)

First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC

Chevron

Sharjah National Oil Corporation

Emirates Global Aluminium

Work highlights

  • Advised ADNOC on the sale of an interest in ADNOC Refining to Eni and OMV.
  • Advised ADNOC on a new strategic partnership with OCI set to be the largest export-focused nitrogen fertiliser platform globally.
  • Advised Intercontinental Exchange on its partnership with ADNOC and nine of the world’s largest energy traders on the launch of ICE Futures Abu Dhabi, a new exchange in Abu Dhabi Global Market that will host the world’s first Murban crude oil futures contracts.

White & Case LLP

Saudi Aramco's IPO was a flagship matter for White & Case LLP in the hydrocarbons sector. Capital markets partner Sami Al-Louzi, project finance specialist Antoine Cousin, UAE-qualified M&A specialist Abdulwahid Alulama and bank finance partner Claire Matheson Kirton are all active in hydrocarbons as part of their broader practices. The firm also has mining expertise, much of it concerning Saudi Arabia, where Ma'aden is a key client. Local partner Sonia Abdul-Rahman, construction disputes head Michael Turrini and associate Claire Janvier are also singled out for praise.

Practice head(s):

Sami Al Louzi; Abdulwahid Al Ulama; Claire Matheson Kirton

Other key lawyers:

Sonia Abdul-Rahman; Michael Turrini; Claire Janvier

Testimonials

‘Simply put, their ability to bring a diverse team of experts together to tackle your project and do so in a cost-efficient matter is unparalleled. You know that whomever you are talking to – associate or partner – London, UAE, or US – litigation, project finance, disputes, or tax – is an expert that is going to deliver unrivalled quality to the project. But what truly separates them, is that they are nice, normal, ethical people – despite being legal geniuses. ’

‘Michael Watson has unparalleled knowledge of the industry that extends far beyond legal concepts. Truly exceptional. I can’t think of a more gifted attorney.

‘I have a dispute or think I might have a dispute, Michael Turrini is my go-to litigator. What separates Michael from others is his ability to help draft contractual language years in advance of a dispute, then helps you in the dispute.’

‘Claire Janvier is my preferred associate to work on any of my deals, regardless of the subject matter. Her intelligence and work ethic are quite literally unrivalled. However, what separates Claire from the other outstanding attorneys is her ability to manage a deal. Deal management is a skill quite separate from simply practicing law. It requires leadership, a high EQ, and legal acumen. She has the natural ability to keep the entire transaction moving towards closure.’

‘Sonia Abdul-Rahman has impressed me with her command of M&A and her direct, thoughtful, practical advice. She has great things in her future. ’

‘In-depth industry knowledge makes the White & Case team unique. I’ve been advised by other leading firms and none of them come close to understanding the downstream oil & gas and petrochemicals industry like White & Case.’

‘Michael Watson has been my go-to counsel for all downstream projects for more than a decade now. In addition to being incredibly knowledgeable about the industry, he consistently provides relevant and commercial advice that readily instils confidence in his lawyering.’

Key clients

Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco)

Saudi Arabian National Mining Company (Ma’aden)

ADES International

Arabian Drilling Company (ADC)

Work highlights

  • Represented Saudi Aramco on its SAR111.0 billion/$29.4bn initial public offering, which is the world’s largest initial public offering to date.
  • Represented Saudi Aramco on in its $69.1bn acquisition of a 70% stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), one of the world’s largest chemicals companies, from the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the sovereign wealth fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Represented Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) in connection with its $1.4bn debt-to-equity conversion and capital increase.

CMS

Matthew Culver, who divides his time between Dubai and London, is a key contact for oil and gas work at CMS, handling significant transactional work in the space, covering a number of oil and gas block deals including deals in Iraqi Kurdistan. John Geddes, who has previously worked in the firm's Aberdeen office, is a key legal director in the transactional practice.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Culver

Other key lawyers:

John Geddes

Key clients

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA)

Dragon Oil

Repsol

Lukoil Mid-East Ltd

Sulzer Chemtech

Gazprom-Neft Middle East

BP

Rosneft

Petrogas Exploration & Production LLC

KCA Deutag Drilling GmbH

Daleel Petroleum LLC

Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company SAOC

Arabian Gas and Oil Development Company

Dana Gas

Work highlights

  • Advised Repsol on selling the Kurdamir oil and gas block in Iraqi Kurdistan to WesternZagros.
  • Advised TAQA on its purchase of a stake in the Atrush field from Marathon Petroleum.
  • Advised TouGas Oilfield Solutions on its purchase in the majority of Ecore MENA.

Dentons

Sitting alongside her broader projects and project finance practice at Dentons, Mhairi Main Garcia's expertise includes transactions in the midstream space, as well as strategic-level matters concerning concessions and market exits.

Practice head(s):

Mhairi Main Garcia

Key clients

BP

Gulf Investment Corporation

Wintershall Holding GmbH

Snam

Work highlights

  • Advising Snam as a member of a consortium purchasing 49% of ADNOC Gas Pipelines from ADNOC.

DWF Middle East LLP

DWF Middle East LLP's global head of energy Slava Kiryushin, in addition to a strong track record of contentious work involving critical energy infrastructure and decommissioning, also advises on non-contentious matters such as the negotiations of concessions. Formerly general counsel of Lukoil in the Middle East, he has a strong following among Russian clients and the geographical spread of work of the practice includes connections in Iraq as well as matters outside the Arab world.

Practice head(s):

Slava Kiryushin

Key clients

Lukoil Mid-East

Chelpipe Group

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

At Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, Anthony Ellis' broader projects practice includes some oil and gas extraction work, covering both new projects and the restructurings of joint ventures in the industry. On the contentious side of the practice, Nick Oury's work includes disputes and pre-dispute work concerning oil extraction in some of the more politically challenging jurisdictions in the Middle East.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Ellis

Other key lawyers:

Nick Oury

Key clients

Leighton Offshore

China ZhenHua Oil Company

INPEX

Chevron

BP

CNPC International

ASMA Capital Partners

The Weir Group PLC

Work highlights

  • Advising Leighton Offshore on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious matters arising out of EPC contracts with the Basra Oil Company of the Republic of Iraq since 2013.
  • Advised China ZhenHua Oil on a deal with the Iraqi government to develop the southern portion of the East Baghdad oilfield.
  • Advised the IDB Infrastructure Fund II, on its $75m pre-IPO investment into Brooge Petroleum and Gas Investment Company FZE.