Oil & Gas: Midstream and Downstream

Mid- and downstream energy companies have been investing heavily in recent years to ensure pipeline and other infrastructure would keep pace with the U.S. production boom. With global oil and gas market growth predicted for 2019 and beyond, the industry is seeing an infusion of capital to fund innovations that will make energy exploration, extraction, production and delivery tech-enabled and more efficient.


Oil and gas is one of our primary industry sectors, served through a large interdisciplinary team. We’re consistently ranked by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” as national leaders in oil & gas law and have received additional accolades from Chambers USA for providing counsel in legal areas important to this segment: environmental, natural resources, corporate and litigation. Our clients are major participants in the oil and gas processing and distribution chain:

  • Oil and gas companies
  • LNG facilities
  • Offloading and storage terminals
  • Crude oil receiving and distribution hubs
  • Refineries
  • Fuel storage, handling and transport companies
  • Intrastate and interstate pipeline operators
  • Alaska Native Corporations
  • Industry trade organizations

We advance your objectives across the cycle of project development and operation:  financing, site certification, land use, permitting, environmental compliance,  contracts and agreements, construction, transactions, and litigation relating to any of these activities.

Our Services

  • Compliance and enforcement defense regarding all relevant environmental statutes
  • ESA and critical habitat designation challenges and negotiations
  • Federal, state, Alaska Native and tribal lands rights-of-way and regulatory compliance
  • Land use, title and permitting issues
  • Eminent domain and condemnation
  • FERC compliance and defense
  • Gas storage title opinions on public and private lands
  • Advice on all manner of oil and gas agreements and contracts, including master service, construction, O&M, pipeline easement, franchise, distribution, sales and supply chain
  • Project financings
  • Corporate transactions
  • Litigation, mediation and arbitration

Siting and Permitting

Our counsel spans the Clean Water Act, ESA, marine mammals and fisheries protections, and federal and state environmental protection statutes. For projects that cross tribal lands, we secure rights-of-way and help with unique regulations involving development on and adjacent to reservations. We have deep experience with FERC compliance and defense, and proceedings before federal and state regulators.


Our team works on domestic and international energy-related transactions involving buying, selling, expanding and leasing oil and gas resources, project financings, joint ventures, construction and distribution agreements. We’ve represented financial institutions, infrastructure developers and energy companies on these deals. We conduct regulatory, environmental and land use due diligence for purchasers, sellers and lenders involved with major fuel facility transactions. We also have extensive experience with the laws and regulations surrounding Alaska’s oil and gas production tax, royalties, leasing and unitization, and the full range of federal and state tax issues that apply to oil and gas development.


We defend project proponents against the complete range of criminal and civil enforcement actions and third-party lawsuits. Our experience and reputation as a major energy industry law firm is a significant advantage when negotiating with regulators or presenting your case in any venue.  

  • Assisted Phillips 66 in the successful permitting of its Ferndale, WA, crude-by-rail unloading facility. We also counsel Phillips 66 on operational air compliance, shoreline and other environmental regulatory issues associated with its continued refining operations, and in regard to questions of local and EFSEC jurisdiction over its facilities.
  • Providing ongoing environmental advice and real estate counsel to ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and BP in connection with the Alaska LNG project. These producers of North Slope natural gas are collaborating with the State of Alaska in project permitting and environmental assessment, right-of way access, and property acquisition work for an LNG export facility that would be located on Cook Inlet in south-central Alaska, with an associated 800-mile natural gas transmission pipeline extending to a gas treatment plant located on the North Slope of Alaska. Project permitting is currently engaged in the pre-filing process with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
  • Represent the Western States Petroleum Association in litigation and rule making proceedings relating to climate change and environmental policy in Washington and Oregon, including Washington's proposed Clean Air Rule and the Oregon low carbon fuel standard.
  • Secured a complete bench trial defense verdict with an award of attorney fees on behalf of Franklin Electric and Franklin Fueling in actions for civil penalties brought by the California Attorney General on behalf of the Air Resources Board and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
  • Represent Northwest Innovation Works (NWIW) in the development of large-scale methanol manufacturing facilities in the Pacific Northwest.  The plants will manufacture methanol from natural gas and export the methanol to Asia for production of a wide range of plastics and other synthetic materials for the products we use every day.  The projects will use innovative technology that dramatically reduces the greenhouse gas emissions associated with methanol and plastics production and will establish NWIW as the world’s clean technology leader for methanol.  Stoel Rives is assisting NWIW with all aspects of project development, including permitting, EPC contracting, electricity and gas supply, operations and maintenance agreements, offtake agreements, real estate agreements, corporate organization, state and federal tax, labor and employment, and development and project finance.
  • Facilitated regulatory compliance, permitting and public outreach for the Ruby Pipeline, a 42-inch natural gas pipeline that runs 683 miles from the Opal Hub in Wyoming, crosses Utah and Nevada, and terminates at interconnects near Malin, Oregon.
Insights & Presentations
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