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David Palmer Oelman
David Palmer Oelman
Partner — Capital Markets and Mergers & Acquisitions
Partner — Capital Markets and Mergers & Acquisitions

David Palmer Oelman

David Palmer Oelman

1001 Fannin Street
Suite 2500
Houston, TX 77002

start quote symbolMy most valuable skill is my ability to connect with people. Whether that means developing a good relationship with a CEO, CFO, general counsel, or with the SEC, or having constructive relationships with opposing counsel and opposing parties, my ability to relate well to others has been key to my success over the years.end quote symbol
David Palmer Oelman

David Palmer Oelman co-heads V&E’s Mergers & Acquisitions and Capital Markets practice group and he is a member of the firm’s Management Committee.

David is one of the country’s preeminent IPO practitioners, having worked on more IPOs in the last three decades than all but a small handful of lawyers practicing in the U.S. across all industries. He has worked with issuers and underwriters across a broad spectrum of industries. David continues to counsel clients after completing their IPOs, and  is experienced in corporate governance matters, follow-on public offerings, private placements of equity and debt, mergers and acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures, and private equity investments. As David sees it, his three decade career has included three main components:

Midstream and Infrastructure

In the 1990s and the first decade of the 2000s, he advised on the initial public offerings of numerous midstream businesses, including for the predecessors of Kinder Morgan Inc., Energy Transfer, Plains All American Pipeline and dozens of others. This work has continued as midstream and other businesses have grown, including LNG and LNG-to-power companies.

Shale Revolution

Starting with his representation of Continental Resources on its IPO in 2007, David has been fortunate to represent a number of the pioneers of the “Shale Revolution” and over the past decade has worked with numerous upstream, downstream, and OFS businesses launched in its wake.

Energy Evolution

As David enters the next phase of his career, he looks forward to building energy evolution as traditional and renewable energy are combined most efficiently, and responsibly meet the world’s energy needs.

In April 2019, David was inducted into the Alerian Hall of Fame, together with Kelcy Warren, Raymond Plank and David Fleischer, in recognition of his work in the U.S. midstream and infrastructure industry over three decades. In addition, Chambers USA 2019 ranked David a national “Band 1” capital markets lawyer and cited V&E as one of the country’s top law firms representing issuers in equity capital markets transactions. Chambers noted that David is ” highly regarded by his clients,” and praised him for his “highly engaging intellect,” his “impressive mastery of the subject matter,” and his “great judgment and work ethic.”

David is a sixth-generation lawyer in Harris County, Texas. He was drawn to capital markets because he enjoys the collaborative nature of deal-driven practice, particularly when working with clients over the long term to build their businesses.

A graduate of Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and a member of Chancellors at the University of Texas School of Law, David received a MacArthur Foundation Grant to work for the U.S. House of Representatives budget committee during the creation of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985. His public policy involvement continues through industry-related initiatives involving the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

David is a member of the board of directors of the Energy Infrastructure Council (formerly the Master Limited Partnership Association.) He is a former longtime trustee and alumnus of The Kinkaid School, and he is the former general counsel of Theatre Under the Stars, a non-profit musical theatre production company in Houston.

Experience Highlights

  • Underwriters to Sunnova Energy International Inc. in its $168 million initial public offering of common stock 

  • New Fortress Energy LLC in its $291 million initial public offering of Class A shares

  • Continental Resources in its $220 million sale of mineral rights in the SCOOP and STACK oil and gas plays and formation of a joint venture with Franco-Nevada Corporation

  • BP Midstream Partners LP in its $765 million initial public offering of common units 

  • Select Energy Services, an affiliate of Crestview Partners, in its $1.3 billion merger with Rockwater Energy Solutions

  • SemGroup Corporation in its $2.1 billion acquisition of Houston Fuel Oil Terminal Company, one of the largest oil terminals in the U.S., from Alinda Capital Partners

  • Liberty Oilfield Services, Inc. in its $249 million initial public offering of common stock 

  • Plains GP Holdings, L.P. in its $7.2 billion simplification transaction between Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. and Plains AAP, L.P.

  • Plains GP Holdings, L.P. in its $2.9 billion initial public offering of common units

  • Select Energy Services, Inc. in its $122 million initial public offering of common stock

  • Oasis Petroleum Inc. in its $676 million initial public offering of common stock

  • Continental Resources, Inc. in its $443 million initial public offering of common stock

  • Energy Transfer Partners in the transfer of 100% of outstanding interests in Trunkline LNG Company, whose primary asset is a regasification facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana, to Energy Transfer Equity

  • The Shaw Group in its $3 billion sale to Chicago Bridge & Iron

  • Devon Energy Corporation in the $8.84 billion contribution of substantially all of its U.S. midstream business to Crosstex Energy, Inc. and Crosstex Energy, L.P, to form a consolidated midstream business controlled by Devon

  • Energy Transfer Partners in the $3.75 billion purchase of Energy Transfer Equity’s 60% interest in ETP Holdco Corporation

  • Energy Transfer Partners in the $1.5 billion contribution by Southern Union Company, its affiliate through a joint venture with Energy Transfer Equity, of Southern Union Gas Services to Regency Energy Partners; transaction includes 5,600-mile gathering system and approximately 50 million cubic feet per day of processing and treating facilities in West Texas and New Mexico

  • Energy Transfer Equity in the $5.3 billion drop down of interest in Southern Union Company into an Energy Transfer Partners-controlled entity


  • University of Texas School of Law, J.D. with honors, 1990 (Chancellors; Phi Kappa Phi; Order of the Coif)
  • Princeton University, B.A. Public and International Affairs summa cum laude, 1987 (Phi Beta Kappa)
  • Legal 500 U.S., Capital Markets: Equity Offerings, 2013-2020; Debt Offerings, 2013-2020; High-Yield Debt Offerings, 2018 and 2020; Venture Capital and Emerging Companies, 2017; Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), 2019 and 2020; M&A Large Deals ($1bn+), 2020; M&A Private Equity Buyouts, 2020
  • The Best Lawyers in America©(BL Rankings, LLC), “Lawyer of the Year,” Corporate Law (Houston), 2013, 2020 and Mergers & Acquisitions Law (Houston), 2020
  • The Best Lawyers in America©(BL Rankings, LLC), Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisitions Law, 2005-2020
  • Chambers Global, Capital Markets: Debt & Equity (Central USA) 2014–2020
  • Chambers USA, Capital Markets: Debt & Equity (Nationwide), 2013–2018; Capital Markets: Debt & Equity (Texas), 2013–2019; Corporate/M&A (Texas), 2005–2015; Capital Markets: Debt & Equity: Central United States (Nationwide), 2019 and 2020
  • The International Who’s Who of Capital Markets Lawyers (Law Business Research Ltd.), 2007, 2008, and 2010
  • Selected to the Texas Super Lawyers list, Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2003–2019
  • Board of Directors: Energy Infrastructure Council
  • Former General Counsel: Theatre Under the Stars
  • Former Trustee: The Kinkaid School
  • Texas
  • “Alternative Capital Transactions in the Energy Industry,” V&E Houston Office, August 22, 2019 (speaker)
  • “Market Update: Evolution of Midstream IPO Structures,” V&E Houston Office, September 12, 2018 (speaker)
  • “MLP Transitions: Understanding the Process and Critically Evaluating the Long-Term Costs and Expected Benefits of Simplifications, Roll-ups and Conversions,” April 19, 2018 (speaker)
  • “FERC Tax Orders Webcast & Teleconference, March 23, 2018 (speaker)
  • “Tenth SEC Division of Corporation Finance Staff Legal Bulletin on Rule 14a-8 Creates New Paths to Omit Shareholder Proposals,” V&E SEC Update E-communication, November 6, 2017 (co-author)
  • “Current Trends in M&A Clauses,” 4th Annual Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures Conference, Institute for Energy Law, May 18-19, 2017 (panelist)
  • “Alternative Capital: 144A Equity Offerings and Special Purpose Acquisition Companies,” V&E Houston Office, February 22, 2017 (speaker)
  • “Delaware Supreme Court Reverses a $171 Million Judgment in an MLP Unitholder Lawsuit On Standing Grounds,” V&E MLP Litigation Update E-communication, January 9, 2017 (co-author)
  • “Preparing for an IPO: Market Update, Process and Timeline,” V&E’s Houston Office, November 9, 2016 (speaker)
  • “2015 Corporate Scorecard: 6 Texas Firms Nationally Ranked for Corporate Finance, Capital Markets Work,” Texas Lawyer, June 1, 2016 (quoted)
  • “LinnCo and LINN to Permit Partners to Exchange Into Corporate Blocker,” V&E Capital Markets and Tax Update E-Communication, March 24, 2016 (co-author)
  • “Thoughts for Officers and Directors of E&P Companies and MLPs in 2016,” V&E website, January 19, 2016 (co-author)
  • “Alternative Sources of Capital Raising in a Distressed Market,” V&E Houston’s Office, January 13, 2016 (speaker)
  • “Retail Preferred Offerings Expand Outside of the Traditional E&P MLP Space,” V&E MLP Update E-communication, October 12, 2015 (co-author)
  • “MLP 201,” Energy Series, November 18, 2014 (presenter)
  • “MLP 101,” V&E’s Energy Finance Series, 2014
  • “MLP Structural Developments: 2013-2014,” NAPTP’s MLP Annual Investor Conference, 2014
  • “MLPs and Securities Litigation,” V&E’s Energy Finance Series, 2013
  • “IPO Preparation from a Legal Perspective,” KPMG’s  Insights Summit, 2013
  • “MLP Evolution: Understanding Evolving Structures and What They Mean to the Investor,” NAPTP’s MLP Annual Investor Conference, 2013
  • “PTP Industry and the Legal Environment,” Deloitte’s National PTP Conference, 2013
  • “MLP 101,” V&E’s Energy Finance Series, 2013