Technological developments in bitumen upgradation, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) have enabled the exploitation of previously inaccessible resources. At the same time, technology is helping reduce the overall environmental impact of energy extraction while increasing the efficiency of exploration and development. Wild cards like volatile markets and unexpected natural gas production add to both risk and reward.
The Blakes Oil & Gas group brings clarity, perspective and experience to this exciting yet uncertain environment. Our lawyers possess in-depth knowledge of unconventional oil and gas projects across North America and around the world. Our multidisciplinary team of energy, M&A, tax, regulatory, financing, competition, infrastructure, litigation and intellectual property lawyers have taken the lead in some of the industry’s most complex and sophisticated financing and joint venture projects.
We have helped a deep and diverse client base, including national and global energy giants, investment funds and emerging clean technology (cleantech) companies, successfully resolving issues related to unconventional oil and gas exploration and production. In addition to providing transactional and operations advice, our regulatory lawyers represent clients before federal and provisional regulatory boards and tribunals, including the National Energy Board, the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board, and the Ontario Energy Board. Our litigators represent clients at all levels of courts throughout Canada.

Representative Matters
  • Acted as project counsel for Husky Energy Inc. and Petro-Canada relating to all aspects of the development of the White Rose Newfoundland offshore project; also acted as counsel to Husky with respect to development of the Terra Nova project and on Husky's disposition to Nalcor Energy in the White Rose project.
  • Counsel to Enerplus Resources Fund on its US$411-million acquisition of a working interest in the Marcellus shale natural gas play in the Northeastern United States, from a vendor group led by Chief Oil & Gas LLC.
  • Advised Enerplus Resources Fund on its proposed C$7.6-billion strategic business combination with Focus Energy Trust: its C$182.5-million acquisition of Kirby Oil Sands Partnership, participation in the Joslyn lease project, development of the Kirby oil sands steam-assisted gravity drainage project, and sale of its 100 per cent working interest in the Kirby oil sands lease for gross proceeds of C$405-million.
  • Advised British Petroleum in connection with its coal-bed methane block in West Bengal.
  • Advised Petronet LNG on India's first successful LNG terminal and regasification project in Dahej, including LNG and gas purchase and sale agreements, equity, debt, shipping, port operations, insurance arrangements, and initial public offering.
  • Counsel to China's Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Production Corporation (SINOPEC) on its US$4.65-billion purchase of ConocoPhillips' interest in the Syncrude joint venture. The Syncrude joint venture is the largest oil sands venture in the world, which includes surface mining, extraction and upgrading.
  • Represented SINOPEC, through its subsidiary SinoCanada Petroleum Corporation, in negotiating its C$105-million purchase of an interest in the Northern Lights oil sands project in northeastern Alberta. With a design capacity of more than 100,000 barrels per day of synthetic crude oil, the project costs over a five-year period are estimated at C$4.5-billion.
  • Counsel to a Canadian cleantech company in licensing a patented solution for extracting coal-bed methane to a U.S.-based company.
  • Advised Thailand's PTT Exploration and Production Company on its US$2.28-billion acquisition of a 40 per cent partnership interest in Statoil Canada Partnership, whose main asset is the Kai Kos Dehseh oil sands project in Alberta and the subsequent negotiation of a joint venture agreement with Statoil Canada Ltd.