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Michael L. O'Neill

Associate
+1.617.951.9190
Fax +1.617.261.3175
Mike O’Neill is an associate in the firm’s Boston office and develops practical solutions for clients regarding energy, infrastructure, and natural resources issues. His practice deals primarily with energy and environmental issues, particularly with respect to natural gas and oil, liquefied natural gas (“LNG”), pipeline safety and compliance, natural gas tariffs, regulatory and commercial aspects of renewable energy and energy storage projects, and commodities regulation. He practices primarily before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) and the Pipeline & Hazardous Material Safety Administration (“PHMSA”), and provides advice regarding litigation matters in federal and state court, as well as other regulatory proceedings. He also has extensive experience supporting transactions across the global LNG value chain, as well as the North American natural gas and renewable energy sectors.

Mr. O’Neill regularly contributes to K&L Gates’ thought leadership in the energy and environmental space by authoring analyses of energy legal topics and frequently co-authors posts on the Global Power Law & Policy blog.

Professional Background

Prior to joining K&L Gates, Mr. O’Neill worked for two years as an attorney and law clerk at a national energy and environment law firm and five years as an Energy Policy Analyst at an international law firm.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Member, Energy Bar Association
  • Member, Maryland State Bar Association
  • Member, Young Professionals in Energy
Natural Gas and Oil
  • Represent three project developers regarding the development of natural gas pipelines and LNG terminal facilities in North America and internationally.
  • Counsel parties subject to US LNG import and export regulations, including the Department of Energy's (“DOE”) regulation of imports and exports of LNG, and FERC’s regulation of LNG terminal facilities.
  • Represent natural gas shippers in proceedings before FERC.
  • Provide safety and compliance advice under PHMSA’s Part 192, 193, and 195 regulations (applicable to natural gas pipelines, LNG storage facilities and transfer pipelines, and hazardous liquid pipelines, respectively).
  • Support transactions across many segments of the global LNG value chain, including:
    • Project site selection;
    • Equity and debt financing decisions;
    • Engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contracts; and
    • Terminal Use Agreements, LNG Sale and Purchase and Agreements, and other transactions to optimize LNG assets.
  • Negotiate commercial agreements, including agreements based on the ISDA and NAESB contract forms, as well as natural gas pipeline precedent agreements.
  • Analyze oil and natural gas pipeline tariff provisions as subject to FERC regulation.
  • Conduct regulatory and legal due diligence regarding retail energy suppliers in multiple US jurisdictions.
  • Analyze environmental liability programs for numerous US jurisdictions for the physical transportation crude oil, petroleum products, and other energy commodities.
  • Advise financial and investment firms regarding natural gas and oil regulatory and litigation matters.

Renewable Energy
  • Coordinate legal and regulatory due diligence for acquisition of a wind power project development portfolio of more than twelve wind projects, including: Corporate formation and structure;
    • Commercial issues, including power purchase agreements (PPAs);
    • Federal and state regulatory and environmental permitting;
    • Real estate issues; and
    • Construction and operations agreements.
  • Advise purchaser of two wind power project assets regarding federal regulatory requirements.
  • Advise purchaser of wind development project regarding state regulatory developments and permit appeals process.
  • Advise bidders regarding Massachusetts clean energy request for proposals process, including analyzing draft power purchase agreement provisions and general bidding rules.
  • Advise developer regarding US federal offshore wind permitting and bidding issues.
  • Analyze Massachusetts offshore wind energy procurement process.

Energy Storage
  • Advise energy storage project developer regarding storage policy developments in Massachusetts and New York.
  • Analyze energy storage policy and regulatory developments in numerous US federal and state jurisdictions.