Pillsbury’s LNG team understands the challenges and opportunities created by the significant investment being made in natural gas and LNG infrastructure in the United States in order to realize the benefits of unconventional reserves. Continued LNG and natural gas price and demand volatility worldwide means producers and suppliers are seeking flexibility to export to the highest-value markets, customers are exploring alternatives to long-term contracts, and geographic and price diversity have become achievable goals for market participants at both ends of the production spectrum.
Our LNG team is based in Houston and our experience covers the entire value chain, from upstream production and liquefaction through transportation and shipping to regasification and marketing. We recognize the importance of partner alignment in projects and our practice reflects our philosophy that LNG projects are more than just terminal facilities, tankers and pipelines, but are also significant components of the rapidly evolving global natural gas market.
LNG Projects and Transactions
Pillsbury has acted as lead outside counsel in connection with the full range of LNG project agreements and major transactions, including LNG sale and purchase agreements (SPAs), terminal use, capacity and tolling agreements, LNG vessel time charters, terminal and marine services manuals, terminal EPC contracts and associated pipeline capacity agreements. We have represented terminal owners and terminal users, LNG buyers and LNG sellers, and project shareholders and project lenders. Our team is well versed in full LNG chain contractual risk analysis and allocation, and we have represented national oil companies (NOCs) and international oil companies (IOCs) in connection with the consortium structuring for complex LNG projects.
National and Local LNG Regulatory Issues
Our lawyers have been involved in federal regulatory proceedings impacting many of the current U.S. import terminals, and are therefore well versed in the applicability of the Natural Gas Act’s (NGA) provisions to such projects.
We are also familiar with the intense scrutiny terminals face at the state and local regulatory levels, including reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and its state law equivalents, local land use and planning requirements and public utility laws. We actively follow new developments at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and we follow the progress of applications to advise clients on issues regarding regulatory approval of LNG projects and applications to the DOE for authorization to export LNG.
Pillsbury has been involved in numerous reviews and investigations before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States under the Exon-Florio Amendment, including the review of foreign investment in LNG terminal facilities and pipelines, and we actively monitor legislative and regulatory developments affecting foreign ownership of U.S. critical infrastructure assets.