Camerons strikes black gold with North Sea oilfields brief

Camerons strikes black gold with North Sea oilfields briefCMS Cameron McKenna has cemented its ties with Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) after advising on its acquisition of eight North Sea oil and gas fields from Shell UK and Esso Exploration and Production.

A TAQA subsidiary will purchase the fields, which produce around 40,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. That translates to almost a tenth of Shell’s total daily North Sea production capacity.

Although Camerons does not have an office in the Middle East, it has a two-year relationship with TAQA and was able to leverage off the strength of its Aberdeen office to win the current instruction.

Camerons ;Aberdeen partner Stephan Millar said: “We get a lot of the North Sea transactional work because we have a big ­presence in Aberdeen and in London. A large number of ;big ;oil ;companies ­gravitate towards us.”

Camerons has had a ­relationship with TAQA since first acting on its acquisition of BP’s Dutch North Sea gas exploration and production capacity in 2006.

London TAQA relationship partner Bob Palmer explained: “We knew the TAQA chief executive through the BP deal, so I went to see them in Abu Dhabi and offered them a secondee. We were able to offer them a lot of help in the early days when they were setting up.”

Corporate ;partner Eleanor Layton co-led the deal in London, assisted by corporate partner Norman Wisely in Aberdeen. The London lead associate was Andrew Shaw.

Senior in-house lawyers Paul Morris at Shell and Paul Hrycyszyn at Esso completed the vendor-side legal
work in-house, with TAQA ­worldwide head of legal Carl Sheldon and UK counsel Sandy Hutchison acting on behalf of TAQA.

Goldman Sachs International acted as financial adviser and also handled its legal work in-house.

The value of the transaction – which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2008 – is confidential, but it is understood to be worth at least several hundred ­million pounds.