Oil & Gas – Environmental

Latham & Watkins helps all types of oil & gas industry participants navigate international, federal, and state legal and regulatory requirements as well as to resolve environmental, regulatory, and disputes that arise around the globe.

Fueling Business Success

Latham lawyers advise on the ever-evolving regulatory landscape, to support clients’ large-scale transactions, projects, and commercial priorities. From permitting and regulatory compliance strategies, through to enforcement, and dispute resolution — both litigation and arbitration — Latham keeps the industry’s businesses moving.

The firm regularly serves clients active in all aspects of the oil & gas industry, including companies, private equity investors, master limited partnerships, sovereigns, and financial participants involved in:

  • Exploration and production
  • Midstream
  • Downstream
  • Oil field services
  • Equipment
  • Pipelines
  • Refineries
  • Liquefied natural gas
  • Petrochemicals and fuel
Delivering Regulatory Insight

Latham draws on an extensive understanding of the front end of the regulatory process, as many of the practice lawyers are active in the legislative and regulatory development of energy and environmental law at the state, national, and international levels. Latham’s practice includes former senior government officials from relevant agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the US Department of Energy, the US Department of the Interior, and the US Department of Justice.

Lawyers in the practice collaborate to advise on the full spectrum of laws that clients frequently encounter, including:

  • Air and water laws, including the Clean Air Act, Coastal Zone Management Act, Clean Water Act, and Rivers and Harbors Act
  • American Indian energy and oil & gas laws
  • Cultural resource laws, including the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) and the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA)
  • Federal Power Act
  • Mineral Leasing Act
  • Natural Gas Act
  • Natural Gas Policy Act
  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and state analogues
  • Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act
  • Pipeline Safety Act
  • Port siting, security, and maritime laws, such as the Coast Guard Authorization Act, Deepwater Port Act, Maritime Transportation Security Act, and Jones Act
  • River basin commission compacts
  • State public utility, oil and gas, siting, and safety laws
  • Wildlife laws including the Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and Marine Mammal Protection Act
Leveraging a Powerful Combination on Disputes

Latham provides clients comprehensive strategic advice, including managing stakeholders and opposition, by drawing on both the firm’s market-leading regulatory and disputes practices. For example, Latham works not only to obtain the necessary permits and authorizations, but also to anticipate challenges and develop the record necessary to defend approvals in court.

When disputes arise, Latham combines intimate knowledge of the industry with the skills of market-leading litigators and international arbitration practitioners to handle the full range of the most complex commercial disputes, including:

  • Regulatory proceedings and consultation with stakeholders, regulators, and political bodies
  • Environmental counseling and litigation
  • Litigation and international dispute resolution, including border investment contract, treaty disputes, and multi-party actions with private parties and sovereigns
  • Enforcement proceedings, audits, self-reporting, and compliance matters
  • Accident and disaster litigation
  • Complex commercial disputes including “take-or-pay” contracts, joint venture arrangements, master limited partnership deals
Drawing on Deep Experience

Latham has long-standing experience advising clients regarding the following:

  • LNG Import & Export
  • Major and Independent National Oil Companies
  • Offshore Oil & Gas Development
  • Offshore Oil & Gas Project Decommissioning
  • Onshore Pipelines and Infrastructure
  • Petrochemicals
  • Unconventional Resources Development

Representative recent matters include:

  • Represented the borrowers and sponsors in the US$2.5 billion financing for a 749-mile pipeline project.
  • Advised an owner and operator of oil refineries regarding Clean Air Act regulations as applied to facility projects to replace boilers and expand capacity.
  • Represented a company in the acquisition of interests in certain deepwater Gulf of Mexico oil and gas properties.
  • Significant trial victory in a US$765 million lawsuit and a permanent injunction on behalf of a midstream client successfully arguing breach of contract, breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing, and improper distribution of confidential information. 
  • Represented a trading company to resolve a “take-or-pay” contract dispute arising from the client’s business partner’s failure to complete a crude-by-rail facility in the Houston Shipyard Channel.
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