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Energy & Natural Resources (including Mining)

Simpson Grierson is a legal partner of choice for the New Zealand energy and resources sector.

We advise clients (including the Crown, major international and New Zealand corporates, and industry bodies) across the whole of this sector:

  • oil and gas (upstream, production, wholesale and retail),
  • LPG
  • electricity
  • minerals (coal, gold, hard rock aggregates)
  • renewable energy.

Our practice extends across all practices of the firm: corporate, commercial, banking, construction, employment, resource management consenting, and litigation. Issues we advise on include:

  • acquisitions
  • project structures
  • joint ventures
  • securities (including both private placements and public offers of securities)
  • foreign investment approvals (where needed)
  • risk allocation
  • day-to-day operational and regulatory matters.

For upstream and minerals clients, we engage with New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals and advise on the applications process, permitting, and royalty regimes under the Crown Minerals Act. We are involved in most of New Zealand's significant upstream oil and gas exploration and development projects (including the Maui, Pohokura, and Kupe gas fields and the Maari and Tui oil fields).

In the electricity and downstream oil and gas sectors, we advise on a range of procurement and supply arrangements, product and distribution arrangements, market rules, and compliance issues.

Our lawyers are active within the Energy Law Association, Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand, New Zealand Wind Energy Association, Aotearoa Wave and Tidal Energy Association, New Zealand Minerals Industry Association, and the Resource Management Law Association.

Examples of our work - upstream and minerals

  • Solid Energy New Zealand Limited - restructuring advice including sale of its mines 
  • OMV New Zealand - New Zealand oil and gas portfolio, including development of the Pohokura field, the sale of Pohokura gas, renegotiation of the Maui field arrangements, access arrangements for the Maui pipeline, Maari oil project and general joint venture issues
  • New Zealand Oil and Gas - oil and gas portfolio including Kupe development and gas sales matters, sale of its Kupe interest to Genesis Energy, Tui exploration and other exploration prospects
  • Chatham Rock Phosphate - offshore phosphate development, involving New Zealand's first offshore mining permit
  • Petrobras - New Zealand exploration and Greenpeace judicial review proceedings
  • Cargill - investment in the Spring Creek mining venture, including acquisition, shareholder, operating, transport and sale contracts
  • Oceana Gold (New Zealand) - $67 million dual currency operating lease facility for its new mining fleet and the extension of its secured syndicated bank facilities (including gold hedging facility)
  • New Zealand Minerals Industry Association - acting on behalf of this association in significant and long-standing litigation relating to the prohibition of mining throughout most of the Thames-Coromandel peninsula
  • Newmont Waihi Gold - mine development and operations contracts for both the Favona underground mine and Martha open cast mine, plant supply and install contracts, and various land and land use consenting matters

Examples of our work - downstream and electricity

  • BP Oil:
    • principal legal adviser on all of its New Zealand operations, including refinery processing, coastal shipping, terminals and distribution, commercial supply, retail and independent dealers
    • sale of the South-West Pacific fuels business (comprising operations in seven Pacific islands)
  • Macquarie Capital - $1.81 billion sale by Origin Energy of its 53.1% shareholding in Contact Energy, one of the largest deals ever undertaken in New Zealand
  • Mercury (Mighty River Power) - a range of competition law and commercial issues
  • BG Group - proposed acquisition of Origin Energy (Australia), including Takeovers Code exemption applications relating to the upstream acquisition of the shareholding interest in Contact Energy and Newmont