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Daniel P. LeFort

Partner
+1.713.815.7351
Fax +1.713.815.7301
Daniel LeFort is a partner in the firm’s Houston office. With more than 40 years of corporate counsel and private practice experience, including serving 18 years as in-house counsel for Shell Oil, ExxonMobil, and Qatar Petroleum, Mr. LeFort advises U.S. and foreign-based companies on the development of energy-related projects in the liquefied natural gas (LNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), petrochemical, oil, gas and the electric utility sectors.

Mr. LeFort routinely counsels on upstream matters including oil and gas leases, production sharing and concession agreements, farm-ins and farm-outs, joint operating agreements and landowner disputes; midstream projects involving offtake agreements, natural gas pipelines, crude oil and gas processing facilities; and downstream refineries and petrochemical plants.

Mr. LeFort has particular experience counseling on LNG receiving and export terminal development and LNG sales into and from Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States.

Professional Background

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. LeFort was a counsel in the Houston offices of two multinational law firms. In addition, Mr. LeFort worked in the oil and gas practice of a large international law firm, where he was resident in both the Houston and Tokyo offices. His previous experience includes serving as Assistant General Counsel for the National Oil Company (NOC) of Qatar.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Texas Asia Society
  • Japan America Society of Houston
  • Former Director, AIPN
  • Co-chair, AIPN 2010 International Conference
  • AIPN: Master LNG SPA, Area of Mutual Interest, Model Farm-out Joint Operating Agreement, and Unconventional Operations Drafting Committees

Speaking Engagements

  • “Status of North American LNG export terminals; primer on project risk and commercial agreements,” North American Power Credit Organization, Portland, Oregon. (September 2017).
  • “Update on LNG Projects and Agreements,” Association of Corporate Counsel Energy group, Houston Texas (October 2016).
  • Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN) Panel University of Houston Law Center, Houston Texas (October 2015).
  • “Factors Shaping the Pacific LNG Market Outlook,” Houston, Texas (July 2014).
  • “Introduction to the AIPN Model Contract Master LNG Sale and Purchase Agreement and Status of U.S. Regulatory Approvals for U.S. LNG Export Terminals,” AIPN Conference, Tokyo Seminar (June 2014).
  • “Global LNG,” Tokyo Summit, Tokyo, Japan (April 2013).
  • “Introduction to Model International Gas, Transportation Agreements, Association of International Petroleum Negotiators,” Japan Subchapter Conference (March 2013).
  • “LNG Contracts and Project Structures,” Global LNG Outlook Seminar, London (March 2013).
  • “Introduction to Model Joint Operating Agreement,” AIPN, Japan Subchapter Conference (December 2011).
LNG/GTL Export Terminal Development and Terminal Capacity Agreements
  • Assisted Japanese company with terminal capacity tolling agreements and equity acquisition into LNG gas company export terminals in the United States.
  • Assisted an Australian company with plans to acquire terminal tolling capacity in LNG export terminals in the United States.
  • Assisted a Thai company with a proposed terminal capacity agreement for a LNG export terminal in Louisiana.
  • Assisted a U.S. company in developing a “LNG for fuel” project in California in the United States.
  • Assisted a LNG company in developing its LNG export terminal in the United States.
  • Assisted a LNG company in developing its LNG export terminal in Washington State.
  • Assisted a U.S. west coast LNG export terminal in Oregon in negotiations for its planned capacity/tolling agreements.
  • Assisted a major Japanese company on its role as joint venturer in an LNG liquefaction plant in the United States.
  • Assisted an E&P company and an oil and gas company as the developers of an LNG liquefaction facility in Australia on its negotiations with its LNG buyers/users for its Ship Shore Liability Agreements.
  • Provided legal support to a NOC in negotiating and implementing a Development and Fiscal Agreement.
  • Managed for a NOC conflicts resolution over development of a Qatari Gas–to Liquids (GTL) plant with an integrated energy and chemical company including negotiations of a Deed of Settlement and new Joint Venture agreement, GTL marketing agreement, and catalyst supply agreement.
  • Served as Secretary to the Board of a synthetic fuel plant joint venture between a NOC and an integrated energy and chemical company involved in all joint venture major transactions.
  • Negotiated for a NOC the joint GTL marketing terms under a joint marketing agreement for sales of GTL and other related products.

LNG Regasification Terminal Development and Terminal Capacity Agreements
  • Advised a NOC on a joint venture agreement with two oil and gas companies for the development of ta receiving LNG terminal in the United States.
  • Assisted a NOC in efforts to acquire capacity and partial control of a LNG receiving terminal expansion facility on the U.S. East Coast.
  • Advised a U.S. power company on the LNG regasification plant development l in Mexico, including related documents and agreements.
  • Advised an LNG terminal in Wales (UK) on numerous commercial agreements, including negotiating and implementing receiving terminal capacity agreements and construction issues relating to the development and ongoing operation issues.
  • Advised a major international developer on the joint venture agreements with a major U.S. partner for the development LNG off shore receiving terminal in Italy.
  • Represented a consortium of international energy and construction companies in developing a Malta-based floating LNG receiving terminal.
  • Assisted a major international developer to negotiate contracts covering the rights to capacity and quality assurance on the takeaway pipeline from a Belgian LNG receiving terminal.
  • Assisted the developers of a LNG company receiving terminal in negotiating the terminal and pipeline capacity agreements with an American oil company.
  • Assisted the developers of a LNG company receiving terminal in negotiating the terminal and pipeline capacity agreements with an American multinational oil and gas company.
  • Assisted an offtaker at a sea port and natural gas processing center in negotiating capacity agreements for this LNG import terminal.
  • Assisted Korea-based DSME with a planned floating LNG receiving and storage terminal to be located offshore Pakistan.
Marine
  • Represented a consortium of international energy companies in the chartering of a LNG vessel to be converted into a floating regasification and storage facility to be utilized in Malta.
  • Assisted a major U.S. gas purchaser in negotiating a Shipping Charter Party Agreement to deliver LNG to the Lake Charles receiving facility.
  • Assisted an energy company in negotiating a Master Spot Time Charter Party Agreement for LNG delivery into the Lake Charles LNG receiving terminal.
  • Assisted a state-owned oil and natural gas corporation in negotiating the Time Charter Party agreement for the BADAK VI new build LNG vessel in Indonesia.
  • Assisted a NOC in negotiating an LNG Tanker Time Charter Party Agreement between a Qatari marine company and LNG company for delivery of LNG from Qatar to the United States.
  • Assisted a Chinese company in negotiating a Standard Bareboat Charter agreement with an American multinational energy corporation for a vessel to be used in Asian LNG trade.

LNG Sales and Purchase Agreements
  • Assisted a Japanese terminal capacity holder in two sales to Asian LNG purchasers of long-term purchases of LNG from a gas company.
  • Represented a company in the sale of LNG from a U.S. Gulf Coast export terminal to a South American purchaser.
  • Assisted a NOC in negotiating 25 years of LNG sales to an American multinational oil and gas company for U.S. LNG deliveries at the Golden Pass Terminal in Texas.
  • Assisted a NOC in negotiating 25 years of LNG sales for US LNG deliveries at the Golden Pass Terminal in Texas.
  • Represented an energy company in purchasing LNG from an Asian-based trading company with an LNG portfolio.
  • Advised a consortium of international energy and construction companies on its gas sales agreement and on its LNG sales and purchase agreements for a Malta-based gas-fired power plant.
  • Represented an oil & gas exploration and production company and an oil refining company as the developers of the Ichthys LNG liquefaction facility in Australia in five separate LNG SPA sales into Japan and Taiwan.
  • Represented Korean power company in its purchase of LNG from a global energy and commodity trading company with an LNG portfolio.
  • Represented a Korean utility/power consortium for an LNG SPA to be purchased from an LNG project being developed in Australia.
  • Assisted an LNG company with its onward LNG sales from the Brass (Nigeria) LNG development.
  • Assisted a Singaporean company in its development of numerous master LNG sales and purchase agreements with various LNG trading companies.
  • Assisted a Korean buyer in negotiating an LNG sale from the Australian Gladstone development.
  • Implemented LNG sales and purchase agreements between NOC affiliates and European buyers for LNG sales into the UK (South Hook), Belgium (Zebrugge), and Italy (Adriatic) LNG receiving terminals.
  • Assisted a NOC in the resolution of LNG SPA price redetermination clauses in European LNG sale contracts.
  • Represented a Japanese corporation in the sale of LNG from a U.S. Gulf coast export terminal to a South American purchaser.

LNG Project Finance
  • Assisted an Australian LNG export terminal developer in discussions and negotiations with an international bank regarding five LNG sales and purchase agreements for purposes of a bankability analysis of the project.
  • Assisted an international bank in its due diligence of an Indonesian LNG project’s sales and purchase agreements in connection with a bankability analysis of the project.
  • Assisted a consortium developing a Malta LNG import terminal and power plant in negotiations with a consortium of Lenders determining the bankability of the project’s LNG sales and purchase agreement and floating receiving terminal charter agreements.
  • Assisted a NOC in its finalizing of Qatari LNG export terminal project financing, including work on the following agreements: Common Terms, Intercreditor, Bank Facility Credit, Loan agreements, Guarantees, Shareholder Commitments, Security Trust, Non-Disturbance, Direct Agreements, and Subordination Agreements, etc.
  • Assisted a NOC in its negotiations and finalizing of 4 Qatari LNG export terminal project financing, including the following agreements: Common Terms, Intercreditor, Bank Facility Credit, Loan agreements, Guarantees, Shareholder Commitments, Security Trust, Non-Disturbance, Direct Agreements, and Subordination Agreements, etc.
  • Assisted a NOC in negotiating Parent and Performance guarantees for the Qatari LNG export terminals.

LNG Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC)
  • Represented a LNG company in negotiating segments of the EPC contract for an LNG export terminal in Texas.
  • Represented a NOC in its development with two major U.S. oil companies of an EPC contract for a LNG import terminal including: management of a major conflict with the EPC contractor.
Oil and Gas Exploration and Production
  • Assisted a Japanese company in acquiring acreage in North America for helium production.
  • Assisted a Japanese company in negotiating with Abu Dhabi NOC an on shore petroleum concession agreement related to enhanced oil recovery.
  • Assisted a U.S. company in negotiating a production sharing agreement with a petroleum company for offshore oil production in Mexico.
  • Assisted a Japanese company with bidding on acreage under Mexico’s energy reforms.
  • Assisted a subsidiary in numerous oil projects (Farm in’s and Joint Operating Agreements) in Cambodia and Thailand.
  • Assisted a subsidiary in its negotiations with a state owned petroleum company in Qatar for interest in the Laffan Condensate Refinery Project in Qatar.
  • Assisted a company in its Kangean (Indonesia) oil and gas exploration/exclusive operations.
  • Assisted Japanese trading companies with various petrochemical projects in the Middle East.
  • Negotiated for a NOC a joint venture and operating agreement with major international oil companies for a US$6.4bn petrochemical plant to be built at Ras Laffan.
  • Negotiated between four major international oil companies and NOC the joint venture agreements and joint services agreements for a common LNG facility, a common LPG extraction facility and a common condensate facility in Qatar.
  • Assisted in drafting the basic Production Sharing Contract to be used by a NOC.
  • Assisted a major interNOC (IOC) in negotiating and implementing an with the Oman Oil Company for two onshore Kazakhstan Production Sharing Agreements for oil and gas exploration.
  • Worked with the oil and gas regulatory bodies in Kazakhstan on behalf of a major IOC to organize the joint venture vehicle to conduct exploration under two onshore Kazakhstan Production Sharing Agreements.
  • Assisted a major IOC in negotiating with an Azerbaijani national oil and gas company a Production Sharing Contract and Mineral Lease for Azerbaijan onshore exploration.
  • Worked with the oil and gas regulatory bodies in Azerbaijan on behalf of a major IOC to organize the joint venture vehicle to conduct the exploration and production under three different onshore Production Sharing Agreements authorized by Azerbaijani national oil and gas company.
  • Assisted a major IOC in negotiating a Funding and Credit Agreement with a Turkish company to fund the operating expenses of a Production Sharing Contracts and Mineral Leases in Azerbaijan.
  • Negotiated amendments with an Australian company on behalf of a major U.S. oil company the terms of a Joint Operating Agreement relating to two onshore exploration and production blocks in Indonesia.
  • Negotiated for a major U.S. oil company joint contract terms with multinational companies in development of four new Productions Sharing Contract areas in Indonesia.
  • Negotiated with a major oil company on behalf of a major IOC for a Joint Operating agreement to explore for oil and gas on two exploration blocks, offshore Lombock, Indonesia.

Gas Sales 
  • Negotiated for a major Japanese trading company a gas sales agreement for sales in Indonesia.
  • Negotiated for a NOC the Dolphin Project export gas sales and purchase agreements.
  • Negotiated for a major Japanese trading company a gas sales agreement for sale in Thailand.
  • Negotiated for a consortium developing a Malta-based gas-fired power plant gas supply agreement.
  • Negotiated for a NOC the gas supply agreement for a chemical plant in Qatar.
  • Negotiated for a NOC the gas supply agreement for an aluminum smelter plant in Qatar.
  • Negotiated for a NOC the gas supply agreements for a refinery in Qatar.
  • Negotiated for a NOC the gas supply agreement for a petrochemical plant in Qatar.
  • Negotiated for a NOC the gas supply agreement for a gas to liquids plant in Qatar.
  • Negotiated for a NOC the gas supply agreement for an electrical power plant in Qatar.

Gas Product and Crude Oil Sales
  • Assisted a Japanese company with preliminary negotiations of Methanol export terminal development in Mexico.
  • Assisted a Japanese company implement and negotiate contracts for purchase and transportation of LPG and assist in conflict resolution with seller and transporter.
  • Negotiated for a National Oil Company GLT and gas product sales contract to major European buyers.
  • Prepared and negotiated numerous oil liquid sales agreements in Qatar for a National Oil Company.
  • Negotiated FOB Sales and Purchase of Refined Products between a National Oil Company and several European refinery Buyers.
  • Negotiated Contract for Purchase of Crude Oil between a National Oil Company and Vitol Trading Company.
  • Negotiated Agreement for FOB SPA of Dukhan Stabilized Condensate between a National Oil Company and Marubeni Petroleum.
  • Negotiated General Terms and Conditions for Qatar Crude Oil Sales FOB Halul Island, Qatar.
  • Negotiated Crude Oil Sales and Purchase Agreement from South Mazari Area, Pakistan between Union Texas Petroleum and the Republic of Pakistan.

Midstream/ Pipeline/ Power Plants
  • Coordinated an extensive due diligence data room review for a major IOC in preparation for a bid on a major Canadian company’s core midstream operation involving nine processing plants and facilities including: natural gas liquids extraction, transportation, fractionation, and storage. This included redrafting of the purchase agreement.
  • Negotiated for a U.S. power company a planned major LNG/gas purchases from Alaska.
  • Assisted a major IOC applying for a license on an intra-country gas transportation line permit for the EI Bajio pipeline project including its application for the proposed Agreement of Natural Gas Firm Transportation Service and the Performance of Gas Transport Service for the United Mexican States’ owned oil company.
  • Assisted a major IOC in its Pipeline Interconnection Agreements between it and a Mexican state-owned petroleum company relating to a cross-border project whereby south Texas gas would be imported into the United Mexican States.
  • Assisted a major IOC in negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding with potential partners for joint marketing and transportation of cross-border natural gas in the United Mexican States.
  • Supervised a data room review and the negotiations for a major IOC of a stock purchase agreement related to the purchase of a Mexican border-crossing gas pipeline company in the United Mexican States.
  • Assisted a major IOC in preparing and negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding between a Japanese corporation, a Canadian corporation, and itself relating to a Gas Compression Services Agreement with a Mexican state-owned petroleum company to provide a natural gas compression and infrastructure system on a marine platform at the Cantarell field operated by a Mexican state-owned petroleum company in the Campeche Sound in the United Mexican States.
  • Assisted a major IOC in negotiating a joint development agreement and cooperation agreement with intended industrial users in Central Mexico who planned to utilize a proposed underground gas storage arrangement to be located near Monterey, United Mexican States.
  • Assisted a major IOC in its application to the Mexican Energy Regulatory Commission to construct, own, and operate a natural gas pipeline system from the international border between south Texas and the state of Tamaulipas, United Mexican States.
  • Prepared and negotiated a consulting agreement for a general technical and commercial feasibility study of midstream gathering, compression and processing investment opportunities in the Burgos Basin, Northeast Mexico, for a major IOC.
  • Assisted an IOC in its governmental application and review of government contracts for a planned bid for construction and operatorship of a massive pipeline project in Peru, including negotiations of a joint bidding agreement.
  • Drafted a Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of a major IOC with the state-owned oil company of Turkey to build, own, and operate a natural gas storage facility to be located near Istanbul, Turkey.
  • Drafted and coordinated negotiations for a major IOC a Joint Bidding Agreement with potential partners on a planned gas compression maintenance project to be entered into with the State Oil Company of Venezuela.
  • Drafted and coordinated negotiations for a major IOC a Joint Bidding Agreement and Project Development Agreement with a planned EPC contractor for an integrated gas midstream project; including extensive discussions of the planned project organization and review of proposed governmental contracts to be entered into with a Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas company.
  • Drafted and coordinated negotiations for a major IOC a Joint Bidding Agreement for three separate intra-country planned gas pipelines to be entered into with a Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas company.
  • Assisted a major IOC in negotiating a services agreement with a Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas company to develop, design, construct, operate, maintain, and own a high-pressure natural gas injection facility; related infrastructure and facilities for the secondary recovery of crude oil from a field to be located in North Monagas in Venezuela.
  • Assisted a major IOC to negotiate a subcontracting agreement with a Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas company for a natural gas liquids storage and refrigeration services agreement in Venezuela.
  • Assisted a major IOC negotiate a Memorandum Of Understanding and another U.S. oil company to build, own, and operate a pipeline to serve the industrial market in Acarigua in Venezuela.
  • Assisted in negotiating power plant development agreements in Saudi Arabia, Libya, Pakistan, and Iraq for a major U.S. power company.
  • Assisted in negotiating electric power plant development agreements and related project financing in Pakistan for a major U.S. energy company.