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Energy – Upstream Oil & Gas

Since Vinson & Elkins was founded nearly a century ago, oil and gas clients have looked to us to handle their most complex transactions, projects, litigation, and regulatory inquiries. We provide our clients with extensive domestic and international oil and gas experience across all of the firm’s practice areas.

V&E has an impressive track record in oil and gas mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, investments, and other strategic transactions. We rank number one for the highest volume (in quantity and in value) of energy M&A deals since 2005, according to Mergermarket. Astute in advising on all types of matters involving conventional and unconventional assets and drilling operations, our Oil and Gas team is well regarded for its technical prowess and understanding of the many effects market conditions have on our clients’ bottom line. We have extensive experience in assisting upstream clients with their initial public offerings and follow-on debt and equity offerings, in addition to providing corporate governance advice to both public and private exploration and production companies. Further, our Real Estate, Finance, and Tax teams assist clients in efficiently structuring new developments and refinancing existing properties.

Should oil and gas clients become involved in a dispute, appeal arbitration, or regulatory inquiry, V&E lawyers have a wealth of experience navigating these proceedings with an eye towards resolving the legal issue with minimal impact to business operations. In addition, we offer pre-litigation advice and counseling in relation to agreements, contracts, and pending or current investments, and counsel on compliance obligations under federal and state air, water, waste, and land use programs.

With an international network of offices, our team serves every major oil and gas hub throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North and South America.


  • Noble Energy in its $13 billion sale to Chevron

  • Antero Resources Corporation in the $220 million sale of a volumetric production payment, covering dry gas producing properties in West Virginia, to an affiliate of J.P. Morgan

  • Antero Resources Corporation in a $402 million structured overriding royalty interest transaction with an affiliate of Sixth Street Partners

  • Devon Energy in its $100 million joint venture with Dow to develop a portion of Devon’s STACK acreage in central Oklahoma

  • California Resources Corporation in the joint venture with Colony HB2 Energy, in which Colony has initially committed to fund $320 million and could contribute up to $500 million for the development of oil and gas assets in the Elk Hills Field in the San Joaquin Basin in California

  • Osaka Gas USA Co. in its $610 million acquisition of 100% of the outstanding shares of Sabine Oil & Gas Corporation, a subsidiary of Sabine Oil & Gas Holdings

  • HighPeak Energy Partners in the business combination with Pure Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition entity

  • Talos Energy in multiple acquisitions of U.S. Gulf of Mexico producing assets, exploration prospects and acreage from affiliates of ILX Holdings, Castex Energy and Venari Resources for $640 million

  • Jagged Peak Energy in its $2.27 billion merger with Parsley Energy 

  • Flywheel Energy Operating, a portfolio company of funds managed by Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, in its $1.86 billion acquisition of all Fayetteville Shale and ARKOMA upstream and midstream assets of Southwestern Energy Company via the acquisition of 100% of the issued and outstanding securities in SWN Production (Arkansas), LLC and DeSoto Gathering Company, LLC

  • Deep Gulf Energy Companies, a deepwater oil and gas exploration and development business operating in the Gulf of Mexico and a portfolio company of First Reserve, in its $1.225 billion sale to Kosmos Energy

  • Brigham Minerals, Inc. in its $261 million initial public offering of Class A common stock 

  • Covey Park Energy in its $2.2 billion sale to Comstock Resources 

  • WildHorse Resource Development in its $4 billion sale to Chesapeake Energy

  • EnCap Investments in the $1.4 billion merger between Eclipse Resources, an EnCap portfolio company, and Blue Ridge Mountain Resources

  • Berry Petroleum Corporation in its $183 million initial public offering of common stock 

  • Jagged Peak Energy Inc. in its $474 million initial public offering of common stock

Litigation & Regulatory

  • (Allegheny County, PA) – Representing upstream operator in defending and prosecuting breach of contract claims related to drilling operations in the Marcellus Shale

  • Representing consortia of international and domestic companies in two arbitrations arising out of a hugely successful oil field offshore India in connection with a series of profit sharing disputes with the Government of India; these are collectively valued at just short of $1 billion, and have spawned significant satellite litigation in the courts of both India and Malaysia

  • (Tex.) — Secured a complete victory in the Texas Supreme Court in a jurisprudentially significant royalty underpayment case on behalf of a leading oil and gas producer

  • Represented a major oil company in connection with an SEC inquiry concerning the company’s analysis of the requirements for establishing reserves and disclosures of its contingent liabilities arising out of a major oil spill; succeeded in convincing the SEC to conclude its inquiry without any enforcement action

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