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Central Asia, Russia & Caucasus

Vinson & Elkins has represented clients in the region for more than 40 years and has maintained an office in Moscow since 1991, providing clients investing both in and out of the region with comprehensive legal and business focused advice, particularly in the energy and natural resources sector. Our lawyers advise on international, English, and Russian law.

We have extensive experience in all types of oil and gas-related transactions and are particularly strong in liquefied natural gas projects and in the upstream and downstream arenas. Our lawyers have advised clients on the acquisition, development, financing, and/or disposal of upstream and downstream assets in virtually every material basin in the region.

A number of our projects are award winning, notably the joint venture among Korean Gas Corp, Lotte Chemical, STX Energy, and Uzbekneftegas on the Surgil upstream gas and petrochemicals project, which has five awards, including being named Project Finance International's "Petrochemical Deal of the Year 2012," Infrastructure Journal's "Oil and Gas Deal of the Year 2013," and The American Lawyer's "Global Finance Deal of the Year: Project Finance (Asia) 2014." 

Additionally, the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) has won praise for its development and financing of a $5.3 billion greenfield oil refinery in Turkey, including being named “Middle East and Africa Refinery Deal of the Year 2014” by Project Finance International, “European Oil & Gas Deal of the Year 2014” by IJGlobal, and GTR “Best Deals of 2014”.

Our Russia and Central Asia practice includes international dispute resolution lawyers who maintain an active and extensive arbitration and litigation practice coming out of projects in the region.  

Additional Information

Practice Highlights

  • The joint venture among Korean Gas Corp (KOGAS), Lotte Chemical, STX Energy and Uzbekneftegas, on the development and the Asian Development Bank, KEXIM, and KSure led financing of the approximately $4 billion Surgil upstream gas and petrochemicals project; named Project Finance International's “Petrochemical Deal of the Year 2012”, Infrastructure Journal's “Oil and Gas Deal of the Year 2013”, The American Lawyer's “Global Finance Deal of the Year: Project Finance (Asia) 2014”
  • SOCAR on the development and financing of an approximately $5.3 billion greenfield oil refinery in Turkey on the Aegean Sea; The project has won eight awards, including being named “Middle East and Africa Refinery Deal of the Year 2014” by Project Finance International, “European Oil & Gas Deal of the Year 2014” by  IJGlobal, and GTR “Best Deals of 2014”
  • Eurochem on the construction and financing of an ammonia complex to be located within the existing Phosphorit industrial complex at Kingisepp, in the Russian Federation 
  • SOCAR Polymer on the project financing and development of a polypropylene and high density polyethylene plant, Azerbaijan 
  • Kazakhstan owners of oil business in defending claims brought in ICC arbitration by a Canadian company in respect of a failed joint venture 
  • A Chinese state owned company on its multi-billion dollar acquisition of a stake on an oil and gas field on the Caspian shelf 
  • OAO NOVATEK on its $1 billion+ sale of a 5% plus block of shares to a Luxembourg securitization company in a transaction arranged and financed by Deutsche Bank AG 
  • Azerbaijani conglomerate in relation to a hotel construction project, when ICC arbitration proceedings were initiated by the local subsidiary of an Austrian contracting company 
  • Sinopec in connection with its acquisition of a 10% stake in SIBUR as a strategic investor; SIBUR is Russia’s largest vertically integrated gas processing and petrochemicals company; the work included negotiation of a shareholders’ agreement among all shareholders of SIBUR
  • Oman Oil Company on its $700 million sale to the Russian Government of a 7% equity interest in the Caspian Pipeline Consortium 
  • OAO NOVATEK on its $650 million acquisition of a majority interest in Yamal LNG, the operator of the Yuzhno-Tambeyskoye gas condensate field in northern Russia 
  • Occidental Petroleum Corporation on its $485 million sale to TNK-BP Holding of a 50% interest in Vanyoganneft, which holds subsoil licenses to oil and gas condensate deposits in the western Siberian oil basin 
  • Power Mighty Limited on its $139.7 million acquisition through its subsidiaries of all the shares of Caspi Neft TME, a Kazakhstan company, that holds oil and gas production rights and assets in Kazakhstan and intercompany debt owed by Caspi Neft TME