​In an effort to meet the increasing demand for capital-intensive production, the oil and gas industry is using various risk-sharing arrangements, such as joint ventures, production-sharing contracts, outsourcing agreements, undivided interests and co-located assets. These arrangements allow the parties to share costs and risks, leverage economies of scale, access new technologies and customers, and improve access to financial resources.
Additionally, an increasing number of public and national players from foreign countries such as China, India and South Korea have invested billions in North American oil and gas projects—the majority of them joint ventures in Canada and the U.S. Foreign companies will continue partnering with Canadian companies to participate in unconventional oil plays in Canada to further develop their own expertise.
Through collaboration with Canadian companies on oil and gas projects abroad, foreign companies hope to acquire the technological expertise that is key to unlocking these resources themselves.
Our private- and public-sector clients, including foreign and domestic oil and gas companies and financial institutions, recognize that properly structuring these arrangements and assuring goals are met require industry knowledge, deal expertise, cutting-edge strategic advice and legal counsel. That's why our clients rely on Blakes, Canada’s No.1 firm in Global Energy Announced in terms of both deal count and deal value, according to Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters league table rankings.
Blakes is at the forefront of the market, with more experience than any other Canadian firm. Our lawyers have played a significant role in most of the major in-bound joint venture energy projects in Canada. We bring efficiency and know-how to each venture, drawing together lawyers with the necessary expertise in all disciplines essential to structuring and executing novel joint venture, co-ownership and partnership arrangements. With lawyers in key markets worldwide, we have the breadth and depth of expertise in the core practice areas of oil and gas, M&A, competition, tax and project finance, as well as in more specialized areas such as competition and regulatory law. Through our network of offices and integrated technology, we are able to make all of our resources and expertise available to our clients and provide them with seamless access to our diverse experience and "one-stop shopping" for legal services.

Representative Matters
  • Represented China's Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Production Corporation, through its subsidiary SinoCanada Petroleum Corporation, in negotiating its C$105-million purchase of an interest and partnering in the C$4.5-billion Northern Lights oil sands project in northeastern Alberta; and on its C$4.65-billion purchase of ConocoPhillips' interest in the Syncrude joint venture.
  • Acted as project counsel for Husky Energy Inc. and Petro-Canada relating to all aspects of the development of the White Rose project; also acted as counsel to Husky with respect to development of the Terra Nova project and on Husky's disposition of 50 per cent interest to CNOOC and joint venture agreement for exploration and development of Indonesia Madura fields.
  • Advised Suncor Energy Inc. on its joint venture and purchase arrangements with Total E&P Canada Ltd., wherein Total paid Suncor a net C$1.75-billion. Total received a 19 per cent stake in Suncor's piece of the Fort Hills oil sands project in Alberta and a 49 per cent stake in a Suncor-operated Voyageur upgrader. In turn, Suncor acquired Total's 37 per cent stake in the Joslyn project. The deal was recently referred to as "one of the most complex oil sands joint ventures in recent years" by American Lawyer magazine.
  • Advised Enerplus Resources Fund on its US$411-million acquisition of a working interest in the Marcellus shale natural gas play from a vendor group led by Chief Oil and Gas LLC.
  • 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.
  • Represented Enerplus Resources Fund in its participation in the Joslyn oil sands project and negotiations with its joint interest partners, including Total, and the subsequent sale of Enerplus' 15 per cent interest in the project to Occidental Petroleum Corporation for C$500-million.
  • Negotiated joint venture agreements for design and construction of an ethanol plant for AltaGas..
  • Advising Sanjel Corporation on the reorganization and recapitalization of Sanjel International Saudi Arabia Limited, an oilfield services joint venture in Saudi Arabia, and the investment by the Industrialization & Energy Services Company (TAQA) to become a successor joint venture partner.