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Steven C. Sparling

Practice Area Leader - Energy, Infrastructure and Resources
Fax +1.202.778.9100
Fax +1.713.815.7301
Steven Sparling is a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C. and Houston offices. Mr. Sparling has a comprehensive understanding of the global LNG and oil industries—legal, operational and commercial. He has represented clients in connection with the strategic assessment, project development and optimization of over 40 projects in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe.

In addition, he works proactively to advise on charterparties, marine operations, marine services agreements, tug services agreements, risk management and liability issues, safety and oil spill preparedness, as well as compliance matters involving U.S. anti-boycott laws, sanctions programs, customs, trade classifications and Jones Act requirements.

His clients include national oil companies, international oil companies, oil and gas marketers, utilities, financial institutions, project developers, project operators, and shipping companies.

Professional Background

Prior to joining K&L Gates, Mr. Sparling was a member of the energy and environmental practice group at a Washington, D.C. law firm. Prior to practicing law, Steven served as an officer in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Barry (DDG 52).


  • The Best Lawyers in America® for Energy Law (2016-2019)

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Member, Association of International Petroleum Negotiators
  • Member, Society of Petroleum Engineers

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, “LNG and U.S. Trade Developments,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Teleconference, (April 20, 2018)
  • Speaker, “Contracts and Offtake Agreements: A Legal View,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch U.S. LNG Prospects Conference, New York, (March 9, 2018)
  • Speaker, “US Infrastructure Cooperation | US Energy / Infrastructure Investment Opportunities Analysis,” Beijing, (April 18, 2017)
  • Speaker, “LNG Shipping & Spot Marketing,” New York, (June 22, 2016)
  • Speaker, “Taming Price Review Clauses: Lessons from the Transactional and Arbitration Battlefields,” LNG18 (April 15, 2016)
  • Speaker, “EPC Contracting Issues in the Oil & Gas Industry,” Houston (November 2, 2015)
  • Speaker and Moderator, International Oil and Gas Seminar (October 21, 2014)
  • Speaker, Workshop on Structuring, Negotiating and Managing LNG Projects, Tanzania (October 13, 2014)
  • Speaker, Seoul LNG Seminar (March 25, 2014)
  • Speaker, Tokyo LNG Seminar (September 10, 2013)
  • Speaker, “US LNG Exports – Impacts on Alaska and Beyond” K&L Gates Second Annual Alaska Oil & Gas Conference (July 10, 2013)
  • Speaker, “Europe at a Crossroads: What does the Future Hold for European LNG?” 13th Annual World LNG Summit (November 27-30, 2012)
  • Speaker, “Floating LNG: Commercial and Technical Drivers for Liquefaction and Regas Projects,” 12th Annual World LNG Summit (November 14-17, 2011)
  • Speaker, “New Directions in Liquefaction, from the LNG ‘Hub’ to Offshore Liquefaction,” 2011 Offshore Asia Conference (March 29-31, 2011)
  • Speaker, “Multiple User LNG Terminal Insights” CWC World LNG Summit (November 29-December 2, 2010)
  • Chair, “Global LNG Suppliers Speak Out: Last Resort or Saving Grace? – Supply to the Americas Panel,” and Speaker, “Commercial and Operational Challenges of Floating Liquefaction and LNG Regasification Workshop,” LNG Americas Summit (March 16-18, 2010)

Additional Information

  • Ocean Tanker Transport in 8 Energy Law and Transactions ch. 86 (David J. Muchow & William A. Mogel eds.), 2014
  • Co-author, “Marine CNG Opens Alternate Production, Delivery Options,” Oil & Gas Journal (February 23, 2009)
  • Author, “LNG Firms Struggle With Investments in Volatile Market,” Oil & Gas Journal (December 18, 2008)
  • Co-author, “Successful European Terminal Projects Must Run Regulatory, Commercial Gauntlets,” LNG Observer (April/June 2007)
  • Co-author, “Criteria Regs Reduce NIMBY Safety Fears,” Oil & Gas Journal (September 11, 2006)


  • Developing LNG strategy options for oil and gas companies, project developers and financial institutions.
  • Analyzing and advising major concerns on the viability of LNG projects in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe.
  • Advising state and national government officers on LNG project development.

Project Development  

  • Advising oil and gas companies, financial institutions, utilities, shipping companies and project developers on large and small scale LNG liquefaction projects throughout North America.
  • Counseling project developers, oil and gas companies, and utilities on the development of onshore and offshore regasification terminal projects in the Americas and Europe, including site assessments, waterway suitability, environmental issues, regulatory processes and commercial agreements.
  • Counseling project developers on LNG delivery systems and operations.
  • Advising major concerns in small-scale LNG and LNG bunkering projects.
  • Counseling major companies on LNG liquefaction and regasification terminal safety, security and operations.
  • Developing LNG stakeholder engagement strategies for major concerns.
  • Advising project developers on LNG liquefaction and regasification terminal services agreements.

Terminal Access

  • Negotiating and drafting terminal use, refining and throughput agreements for European and North American LNG, LPG and oil terminals for major concerns.
  • Advising major concerns on interruptible and third-party access to LNG terminals in the Americas, Asia and Europe.
  • Counseling major concerns on rights and obligations under governing regulations, contracts, settlements and terminal procedures.
  • Advising major concerns on LPG, crude oil and oil product terminal agreements.

Supply and Services Contracts

  • Negotiating and drafting over 100 master, long-term and short-term LNG, LPG, oil and products sales and purchase agreements for buyers and sellers.
  • Acting as internal counsel for LNG trading group at an integrated energy company.
  • Leading workshops to train commercial teams at oil and gas companies on sale and purchase agreements.
  • Negotiating and drafting onshore and offshore oil field, LNG and LPG services contracts for major concerns.

Multiple Shipper

  • Analyzing and modeling multiple-user terminal operations for major concerns.
  • Negotiating and implementing complex intershipper agreements that address LNG vessel schedules, inventory management, as well as storage and send-out coordination.
  • Developing multiple-shipper vessel scheduling procedures.


  • Drafting and negotiating time and voyage charterparties for LNG, LPG, crude oil and product tankers.
  • Advising master limited partnership on the acquisition of an inland marine business.
  • Counseling major concerns about LNG, oil and products lightering and barging.
  • Negotiating and drafting tug services and cost-sharing agreements at numerous LNG terminals. 
  • Drafting marine operations manuals at 5 LNG terminals for import and export operations.
  • Advising major concerns on the coordination of shipping schedules and operations at Asian, European and North American LNG terminals.

Emergency Response

  • Acting as the lead counsel for the internal investigation team at Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling Inc. on the 2010 Macondo Well oil spill in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
  • Advising a global commodities trading company and serving as part of its emergency response team for several marine oil spills.
  • Drafting emergency response plans for national oil companies, commodities traders and a New England state for oil, oil products, LPG and LNG stored and transported both onshore and offshore.
  • Preparing and executing tabletop exercises and day-long incident drills for oil companies, commodities traders and ship operators.

Safety and Security

  • Advising a New England governor and state agencies concerning LNG issues, including state emergency response plans, consequence assessments, FERC proceedings, and U.S. Coast Guard evaluation of safety and security.
  • Representing LNG terminal stakeholders in U.S. Coast Guard procedures to develop safety and security plans for numerous U.S. LNG terminals.