Texan heavyweights Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and Vinson & Elkins have advised on a $1.5bn (£775.34m) merger between two US domestic independent energy companies. Vinson advised Forest Oil, an onshore exploration and production company focusing primarily on North America, on the acquisition of 100 per cent of stock in Houston Exploration Company, advised by Akin Gump. Houston Exploration was also advised by Deleware-based firm Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell. Akin Gump also advised Houston Exploration on a failed takeover bid by majority shareholder Jana Partners in mid-2006. Vinson Houston-based corporate partner Dennis Beck advised Forest Oil, which has been a longstanding client of the firm.