Our integrated liquefied natural gas (LNG) team provides advice that combines an in-depth knowledge of the commercial drivers behind the projects and contracts with experience in the arbitration process.
We have the global reach to provide local insights and assemble the right team, including those adept in the technical, operational, commercial, and economic aspects of LNG. We enjoy building and collaborating with multidisciplinary teams to prepare for renegotiations and, if necessary, to make a compelling case in arbitration.
Lawyers from our energy, maritime, regulatory, environmental, project finance, construction, public policy, and corporate practices work seamlessly across the firm’s global platform to provide services from project concept to completion and throughout the operational life span of LNG facilities. Our deep experience encompasses the full LNG value chain, including project financing, development, construction, and operation of LNG liquefaction and regasification terminals; sale and purchase agreements; port and rail development and agreements; marine operations; ship financings; policy, compliance, and regulatory matters; and contract disputes.
Global Client Base
Our clients include international and national oil companies trading houses, LNG exporters and importers, cooperatives, utilities, pipeline companies, investors, lenders and host governments, upstream and downstream project developers, terminal operators, and capacity holders, as well as contractors and suppliers to the global LNG industry. Our team has worked on LNG matters spanning the globe, with involvement in a range of matters in Africa, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, South America, and the United States.
Our years of experience in the LNG field provide unique insight to the economic underpinnings of transactions and to the contractual, regulatory, financial, and risk framework at issue in the permitting and operation of LNG projects. For decades, our lawyers have been at the forefront of global LNG issues, regularly writing and speaking on LNG issues for legal and business audiences. We offer deep experience in all facets of the LNG industry, including:
- Upstream feed gas and transportation
- Exports and liquefaction
- Supply and capacity agreements
- Vessel transportation
- Imports and regasification
Combined with our substantial experience in upstream unconventional development, midstream gas gathering, pipelines, and storage, our team offers unparalleled depth in the industry.
Project Finance and Development
With a vast range of international project development and finance experience, our LNG lawyers have brought plans to fruition by structuring, documenting, and implementing a range of financing plans—from traditional deal agreements and joint ventures to complex onshore and offshore gas-to-liquids facility contracts—for secured lenders, purchasers, contractors, engineering and construction companies, insurers, and shipowners, among others. We work closely with our LNG clients and lenders, contractors, and developers to create sophisticated plans to support our clients’ projects.
Regulatory and Policy Matters
We offer a full spectrum of regulatory and permitting services in the United States, with lawyers regularly appearing before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Department of Energy (DOE), Environmental Protection Agency, Coast Guard, and a host of other federal and state agencies. Our lawyers bring a wealth of experience on issues related to FERC’s regulation of upstream interstate natural gas pipeline capacity, FERC’s regulation of LNG terminal construction and operation, and natural gas quality and interchangeability.
Our lawyers are deeply connected in Washington, D.C. on legislative and policy issues affecting LNG, including DOE LNG export licensing, efforts on Capitol Hill to promote additional LNG exports, and the use of LNG as a transportation fuel. Previously, when the United States was considering importing LNG, we advocated for and were instrumental in the successful enactment of the “Hackberry” legislation that allowed for the development of non-open access, proprietary LNG terminals.
Terminal Capacity and LNG Supply Agreements
We advise project developers, terminal operators, and terminal customers on the intricacies of terminal use agreements (TUAs) for export and import terminals—both on and offshore—around the world. As no two terminals are the same, crafting the appropriate TUAs for base and expansion capacity requires a comprehensive understanding of the operational, technical, commercial, regulatory, and legal considerations. At numerous multiple user terminals, we have crafted complex operations coordination agreements on behalf of the terminal operators and customers, including third party access shippers. In doing so, we have analyzed and modeled multiple-user terminal operations and developed multiple-shipper vessel scheduling procedures. In addition, we actively advise LNG sellers and buyers on master sale and purchase agreements (SPAs), multiple cargo confirmations, as well as long term SPAs for dedicated supplies and portfolio plays.
Our firm is among the few law firms with a globally integrated maritime practice. With our deep knowledge of the industry, cross-practice capabilities, and international presence, we provide services to all aspects of the maritime industry. Our lawyers have completed a wide range of maritime transactions, including acquisitions of major shipping companies and several of the largest maritime financings in the United States in recent years. We are actively involved in all aspects of maritime-related matters, including traditional maritime issues such as collisions, groundings, charter party disputes, cargo damage, hull and machinery, product liability, and personal injury, as well as cross-border matters, ship sale and purchase, commercial litigation, criminal defense, environmental compliance, and more. Chambers USA has consistently listed the firm’s maritime practice in its highest ranking noting that the firm’s “relationships with federal maritime agencies and lawmakers are unparalleled, and its subject matter expertise equally impressive.”
Our LNG lawyers have conducted a wide array of vessel financing transactions for LNG carrier ships on behalf of the largest shipbuilders and contractors as well as states and countries. With experience in major ports throughout the world, we have participated in transactions that help our clients reach their goals in a fashion exceeding expectation, handling not only vessel, secured vessel, and public financings, but also construction and lease contracts, structuring financial transactions, credit agreements, and disputes, among other matters.
Construction Contracts and Disputes
From the drawing board to shovels in the ground and beyond, we offer a full array of services in construction contracting and dispute resolution. Our team has experience resolving disputes on behalf of LNG project owners and contractors in connection with projects around the world. We understand the challenges and potential disputes at all stages of planning and development, helping our clients manage risk and maximize the ability to accomplish project goals. Whether a turnkey project, design-build-operate, or engineering, procurement, and construction contract, our construction and engineering lawyers bring a 360-degree perspective to construction risk management, contracting, and dispute resolution.