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International Energy Disputes

Vinson & Elkins has been labelled by Global Arbitration Review’s GAR 100 2019 as “arguably one of the leading firms when it comes to energy work.”[1]

For decades, our clients have turned to both our domestic and international Energy Disputes lawyers around the world to assist in virtually every type of contract, project, or investment related to energy or related infrastructure development — including in relation to arbitrations. We are fortunate to have those clients turn to us again when disputes arise, whether commercial disputes or disputes with the host state authorities.

Industry Prowess

In the energy sector, the matters we work on cover the full range of upstream, midstream, and downstream disputes, including exploration, production, pricing, pipelines, shale, and LNG, as well as all aspects of power generation, transmission, and sales. We are intimately familiar with the complex technical issues energy disputes typically involve. In addition, by combining the complementary industry knowledge of our lawyers firm wide, we can keep the bigger picture in mind.

V&E’s Disputes lawyers regularly team with our regulatory and transaction lawyers to draw on their comprehensive knowledge of the energy business. We work closely together to tailor arbitration agreements to energy complexities, to advise clients concerning rights and obligations under their agreements, to assist clients to try to avoid disputes and, if a dispute does arise, to prepare the best claim or defense.

With the energy industry constantly evolving and new frontiers being sought in some of the more remote parts of the world, V&E’s International Disputes team is your strategic counsel of choice.

1 Global Arbitration Review GAR 100

Experience Highlights

  • 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

  • Advised investors in Kurdistan Regional Governate in dispute with Regional Government over relinquishment of oil and gas properties

  • Representing a defendant oil company in an UNCITRAL arbitration concerning the proper operation of a sole risk provision in a joint operating agreement

  • Obtained a major victory for a U.S. E&P company in an AAA arbitration in connection with the purchase of more than 20,000 acres of leases in the Utica Shale for US$120 million; after discovery and evidentiary hearings, the arbitrator ruled in favor of our client on all claims; the award obligates the opposing party to pay the significant per-acre bonus if payment is required to avoid termination of the defective leases

  • Represented the owner of a power generation facility in UNCITRAL arbitration with offtaker/guarantor over credit support obligations for power sales involving claims in excess of $1 billion

  • Acting for the claimant (an Omani branch of a multinational drilling rig supply company) in relation to an ICC arbitration over the non-payment of monies owed under a services contract for drilling in Oman

  • Obtained a final award in favor of our client of approximately $120 million (net) in an LCIA arbitration in connection with a dispute over production rights in a Nigerian oil and gas venture

  • Won an $80 million (net) arbitration award in Brazil on behalf of an energy company involving a power plant development project, and achieved a successful resolution after seeking to enforce the award in the U.S.

  • Obtained award on behalf of a subsidiary of an energy company operating natural gas and refined petroleum products pipelines in an ICDR New York-seated arbitration, under Brazilian law involving breach of contract, against a Brazilian state-owned energy company

  • Acted for the claimant in an ICC arbitration concerning a gas sales agreement in Pakistan (Singapore Seat); this case involved detailed arguments regarding the applicability and scope of impossibility and force majeure under the contract