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Mingda Zhao

Mingda Zhao Partner, Energy Transactions & Projects

Mingda is a partner in the Corporate Department. His practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, joint ventures, energy transactions, cross-border transactions and general corporate representation. Represents both domestic and international companies, as well as private equity funds and their portfolio companies.

Experience Highlights

  • The Carlyle Group in the $400 million definitive drilling agreement to fund the development of EOG's oil and gas assets in Ellis County, Oklahoma
  • Castleton Commodities International LLC in its acquisition of the Carthage upstream and midstream assets in East Texas from subsidiaries of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation for over $1 billion
  • Gastar Exploration in its $80 million sale to an affiliate of Tug Hill Inc. of its Marcellus Shale and Utica/Point Pleasant properties 
  • Devon Energy in the $2 billion sale of certain non-core upstream assets to multiple buyers in east Texas, the Anadarko Basin, the northern and central Midland Basin, and northern Oklahoma
  • Apollo Global Management and Riverstone Holdings in the $7.15 billion acquisition, among a consortium of investors, of El Paso Corp.'s upstream assets
  • Devon Energy in the $2.3 billion sale of U.S. oil and gas properties in 10 states to Linn Energy Holdings
  • HRT O&G Exploração e Produção de Petróleo in a sale and purchase agreement to acquire a 40% interest in the Polvo Field offshore Brazil from Maersk Energia Ltda. in exchange for cash consideration and the assumption of certain decommissioning obligations
  • Riverstone Holdings in the $3.75 billion acquisition by its portfolio company, Fieldwood Energy LLC, of Apache Corp.’s assets in the Outer Continental Shelf of the Gulf of Mexico
  • Pioneer Natural Resources in its $1.7 billion joint venture with Sinochem to develop 207,000 acres in the Permian Basin

Representative Experience

  • TPG Special Situations Partners (TSSP) in its agreement between the operating subsidiary of Legacy Reserves LP and funds managed by TSSP to jointly fund horizontal development of certain of Legacy's Spraberry, Wolfcamp and Bone Spring rights in the Permian Basin 
  • Devon Energy in the sale of a 30% stake in 650,000 shale acres in the Permian Basin (Cline Shale and Midland-Wolfcamp Shale) to Japan’s Sumitomo for $1.45 billion
  • TPG Capital in its $1.8 billion acquisition of natural gas properties in Wyoming’s Jonah field from Encana Corporation
  • Pioneer Natural Resources in its $1.3 billion joint venture with Reliance Industries for the development of acreage in the Eagle Ford Shale
  • Goldman Sachs Group in connection with the acquisition of a volumetric production payment (VPP) from Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C in properties in the Anadarko and Arkoma Basins
  • CNOOC International in the $2.2 billion acquisition of a third of Chesapeake Energy’s oil and gas assets in a south Texas shale deposit
  • Sinopec International in the $7.1 billion acquisition of a 40% stake in Repsol Brasil, S.A., a subsidiary of Repsol YPF, S.A. which holds all of Repsol’s upstream assets in Brazil
  • Equinor (formerly Statoil) in its $3.3 billion acquisition/joint venture with Chesapeake Energy Corporation to develop Marcellus Shale gas assets
  • SandRidge Energy in its $1 billion sale and development joint venture with Repsol in the Mississippian Lime
  • Devon Energy in its $2.5 billion joint venture with Sinopec for five shale plays (Tuscaloosa Marine Shale, Niobrara, Mississippian, Ohio Utica Shale, and Michigan Basin)
  • Penn Virginia Corporation in the $400 million acquisition and related financing of producing properties and undeveloped leasehold interests in the Eagle Ford Shale play from Magnum Hunter Resources Corporation

Contact Details


T +1.713.758.2069
F +1.713.615.5131
1001 Fannin Street
Suite 2500
Houston, TX 77002
Local time: 6:55 PM
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Mingda's Practices

  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D. magna cum laude, 2007 (Order of the Coif)
  • Hampshire College, B.A., Computer Science and Mathematics, 2002
  • Admitted to practice: Texas
  • Other Languages: Mandarin Chinese (fluent)
    • Who’s Who Legal (Law Business Research Ltd.), Energy, 2016 and 2017
    • Selected to the Texas Rising Stars list, Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2014–2017
    • Member: Houston Young Lawyers Association, The Asia Society, Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN), Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation