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Energy & Natural Resources

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.

Examples of our work - upstream and minerals

  • OMV:
  • Solid Energy New Zealand Limited - advising on its solvent liquidation, including sale of its mines
  • 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

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 - 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