Oil demand continues to rise steadily, while natural gas is also set to play a central role in meeting the world's energy needs. Global gas supply capacity has increased as a result of the impact of the economic crisis on demand, the boom in U.S. unconventional gas production, and a surge in liquefied natural gas (LNG) capacity.
An Oil & Gas Practice Global in Reach and Scope
Reed Smith has been active in the oil & gas industries for 130 years, and today has a global footprint covering the major oil & gas producing regions, including the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Our lawyers are skilled in multiple disciplines and operate as a seamless team. This enables us to provide a comprehensive one-stop service covering every aspect of oil & gas transactions, onshore and offshore infrastructure projects, and dispute resolution.
Oil & gas producers, contractors, owners, operators, and those financing these activities through equity and debt rely on the expertise of our lawyers in:
- Oil, gas and mineral leases and production-sharing agreements, including the development of Marcellus Shale in the United States
- Disputes, including representation and advice in litigation, arbitration and ADR strategy
- Advising clients on compliance with new and evolving environmental regulation of natural gas production from unconventional shales, including the Marcellus
- The acquisition or disposition of assets, and oil & gas companies
- Mortgage, production-payment and asset-based financing
- Negotiating with international and foreign government entities
- Sales, marketing, storage, processing and transportation agreements
- The construction, engineering and operational aspects of onshore and offshore infrastructure projects
- Representation of producers in litigation related to royalty disputes, surface-use issues and other legal action
Oil & Gas Transactional - Meeting Your Business Needs
Reed Smith is highly skilled in handling the analysis, due diligence, negotiation, preparation and documentation of agreements and legal issues relating to oil & gas transactions.
Demand is rising for transportation and infrastructure to support the distribution of oil & gas, and we are ideally positioned to support the development, construction and operation of fixed and floating offshore installations, pipelines, gas processing plants, refineries and petrochemical facilities.
We advise clients in every area of oil & gas production, including exploration, and the development and operation of oil & gas facilities, and our advice enables the creation of the necessary commercial frameworks. This includes concessions, drilling rights, production-sharing, engineering, procurement and construction contracts (EPCs), joint ventures (JVs), joint operating agreements (JOAs), and establishment of limited liability companies. We also negotiate and draft formal agreements for the purchase, sale or exchange of crude oil, natural gas and petroleum products.
Offshore - Supporting All Elements of the Supply Chain
Reed Smith has more than 50 lawyers dedicated to offshore infrastructure projects who advise on projects including oil & gas fixed installations, FPSOs, FSOs, FLNGs, FSRUs, terminals and storage facilities, pipelines and subsea developments.
We are long-standing market leaders in shipping and logistics, with expertise delivered by our team that includes both seafarers and master mariners, providing us with a deeper understanding of the complex issues our clients face. The team is based in key locations throughout the world - including in Washington, D.C., London, Paris, Piraeus, Dubai and Hong Kong - enabling us to support raw material procurement, shipping and logistics, and marketing operations worldwide.
Dispute Resolution - A Focus on Solutions
Reed Smith has a strong track record in the successful litigation and arbitration of matters on behalf of oil & gas clients, as well as obtaining positive results via alternative dispute resolution.
Our lawyers partner with in-house counsel to ensure the costs and benefits of the dispute resolution process are understood, and that an effective business solution is delivered. What's more, our lawyers have proved they deliver effective results under budgetary constraints, and have the knowledge and experience to suggest appropriate alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation, conciliation and early neutral evaluation.
We have repeatedly handled major disputes by representing clients in the negotiation and amicable resolution of disputes arising between parties and, where necessary, by successfully representing clients at trial and on appeal. Significantly, we have experienced trial veterans in each of our markets who know the courts and arbitral tribunals, and know how to win. Examples of our experience in oil & gas litigation include:
- Representing utilities, natural gas producers, and power producers in contract litigation and ownership disputes, including disputes over ownership of coal-bed methane, lease disputes and Marcellus development issues
- Winning numerous cases against landowners, developers and coal companies encroaching on pipeline rights-of-way, well sites, and storage fields
- Representing natural gas exploration and production companies and industry trade associations in a series of cases opposing royalty owners' efforts to invalidate leases
- Extensive experience condemning pipeline and storage rights for natural gas transportation and storage companies