Energy, Oil & Gas

AlvaradoSmith’s lawyers help the world’s leading energy, oil, and gas producers and distributors succeed in the competitive and highly regulated energy sector. We provide innovative and practical solutions to a wide variety of operational, transactional, and compliance challenges, and guide clients to make the well-informed business and policy decisions that lead to their strategic and financial success.

Real Estate and Land Use

We help oil and gas producers buy and sell refineries, pipelines, terminals, and service stations, finance and lease well fields, and negotiate oil and gas rights. We work with alternative energy providers to develop and build wind, solar, biogas, and other renewable projects. We draft sophisticated land use agreements for public utilities that resolve entitlements, dedications, vacations of easements, and title and survey issues. We also help oil and gas producers and transporters defend their positions in maintaining their rights in a rapidly expanding real estate market.


Our oil and gas lawyers bring clients innovative strategies that lead to successful and cost-efficient mergers, acquisitions, and sales of refineries, marine terminal facilities, tank farms, and other facilities. We perform due diligence to identify and resolve real estate and related operational issues prior to the sale of a refinery. In addition, we draft the documents, negotiate the deals, and prepare the agreements necessary to sell refinery assets.

Pipeline Acquisition and Permitting

We help one of the largest oil and gas producers successfully structure purchases and sales of pipelines and develop major projects that include easements, pipeline franchise agreements, and rights-of-way. For example, we represented the owner of a common carrier pipeline governed by the California Public Utilities Commission and approved transfer of the pipeline.

Environmental Litigation

Our lawyers help clients navigate the complex local, state and federal regulations imposed upon the industry. We work with those clients to prepare for and manage environmental risk. We ensure that they comply with rules governing storm water management, wastewater discharge, air emissions, and soil and groundwater cleanup. And we defend their rights and positions in a broad range of environmental litigation, including challenges under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), federal and state Environmental Protection Agencies, and more.

Representative work includes:

  • In a transaction for an industry-leading oil and gas company, we structured and executed the sale of four refineries, more than 1,200 service stations, and related real property assets valued at approximately $2 billion.
  • Advising a major gas company on the sale of an oil refinery and more than 500 service stations in California, Washington, Illinois, and New Jersey. The transaction was valued at $1.8 billion.
  • Representing a major oil company in the development of a hydrogen fueling station.
  • Coordinating the transition of city pipeline franchises in connection with the sale of various pipelines.
  • Defending a major oil company against a wide range of environmental litigation and enforcement actions, including contamination, condemnation, eminent domain, and other matters in court, arbitration, and mediation proceedings.
  • Representing a major oil company in required cleanup plans and other contingency arrangements for the sale of properties and station sites. Representation in soil and groundwater cleanups dealing with a full spectrum of sites including Brownfields, school sites, Underground Storage Tanks, well sites, and actions invoking the Polanco Act.
  • We represent a power facility manufacturer in the negotiation and preparation of energy sales agreements involving heat and power production.
  • We represent one of California’s largest electricity suppliers on a 58-mile, six-segment enhancement project to upgrade and in some instances replace existing 220 kv and 66 kv circuits and related substations, allowing greater renewable energy resources to be delivered to Southern California through Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
  • Represented a major public utility in the negotiation and acquisition of all rights necessary for development and construction of the sole renewable energy transmission lines serving the Los Angeles basin, linking the renewable energy production facilities in Northern and Central California with end users.
  • Achieved a complete win at trial for a major energy sector client to preclude an $870,000 contractual damage and contamination claim in court. In addition, we briefed and argued the matter on appeal, obtaining an affirmation of trial result that exonerated our client.
  • Represented one of the largest operators of renewable energy in a binding arbitration related to the development of a wind farm in California and alleged delay claim in excess of $10 million. Arbitration addressed complex regulatory and project development issues related to renewable energy, and the wind farm operator completely prevailed on all claims asserted.
  • Currently represent a major energy sector client in the acquisition of permanent easement rights for common carrier pipelines originally installed pursuant to unfavorable license agreements throughout Central California.

Our Energy, Oil & Gas practice includes:

  • Development, sale and acquisition of service stations
  • Franchise Agreements
  • Hydrogen Facilities and Fueling Stations
  • Alternative Energy Generation and Transmission (Solar, Wind, Biogas, Geothermal,, Hydroelectric, Shale)
  • Power Purchase and Interconnection Agreements
  • Repower Projects
  • Mineral Rights
  • Oil and Gas Storage Operations