Oil and Gas

The growth of oil and gas projects in the Asia-Pacific region has been unprecedented in recent years. Our team has significant experience working throughout the region acting for public and private sector sponsors, developers, bidders, concession holders, project financiers and contractors on major international projects.

We have acted on significant oil and gas transactions and projects in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, West Africa, the North Sea and North and South America.

This experience includes acting for participants in the upstream, midstream and downstream areas of the sector to: advise on all aspects of exploration and production activities (including environmental and native title approvals); develop and negotiate supply and off-take agreements and associated transportation arrangements; assist with the acquisition, financing or disposal of infrastructure and assets; develop and negotiate engineering, procurement and construction contracts; and advise on competition and regulatory issues.

Through this work, we have been part of multi-disciplinary teams – a distinctive feature of major project work in this sector. Often, our advice is required in a competitive bid context, where our experience enables us to offer solutions on tendering and negotiation tactics and transaction risk identification and allocation.
Our lawyers are also regular presenters at the annual conference of the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA), which is the peak national body representing the interests of Australia’s upstream oil and gas exploration and production industry.


Although many offshore basins with hydrocarbon potential remain unexplored throughout the Asia-Pacific region, the upstream sector has been very active in recent years. MinterEllison’s team assists industry participants involved in the search, recovery and production of natural gas, ensuring their legal issues and risks are managed.

Midstream and downstream

MinterEllison has been servicing the mid- and downstream sector since the 1970s, advising on the sale and distribution of natural gas and products, including coal seam gas and LNG. We have worked with clients to establish refineries, petrochemical plants, petroleum product distribution networks, retail entities and natural gas distribution companies.

Acquisition of Shell Aviation Australia Pty Ltd from the Shell Petroleum Company Limited

Advised Viva Energy Australia on its acquisition of Shell Aviation Australia Pty Ltd for approximately USD$250 million

Sale of Alcoa's stake in the Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline to DUET

Advised Alcoa of Australia on the sale of its stake in DBP, the owner and operator of the Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline, to DUET Group for A$205 million. DBP is currently owned 20 per cent by Alcoa and 80 per cent by DUET (in aggregate). As part of the transaction Alcoa will maintain its current access to approximately 30 per cent of the pipeline's transmission capacity for gas supply to its three alumina refineries. Alcoa is Western Australia’s largest user of natural gas and biggest pipeline customer.

OEG Offshore acquisition of Oilfield and Resource Rentals and Offshore Cryogentic Solutions

Advised OEG Offshore on the acquisition of Oilfield & Resource Rentals Pty Ltd and Offshore Cryogentic Solutions Pty Ltd. Our role included coducting due diligence on the target, drafting the share sale agreement, the preparation of ancillary documents and facilitating the transaction.

Queensland CSG to LNG Project

Provided comprehensive due diligence advice to a Japanese utility company on its proposed acquisition of a minority interest in a Queensland CSG to LNG project, including advice regarding corporate, tenement, environment and native title issues.

A$2.37 billion Cheung Kong Consortium takeover of Envestra

Acted for Cheung Kong Holdings Limited, Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Limited & Power Assets Holdings Limited in the successful takeover of Envestra Limited, one of Australia's largest natural gas distributors.