Oil & Gas
Our Oil & Gas Group has served as a strategic partner to both private and public sector participants in Canada's booming oil and gas industry for nearly a century. From industry conglomerates and investor groups to emerging independent producers and operators, our clients have entrusted us to advise them on some of the largest and most complex oil and gas development projects in the country.
We bring our cutting-edge, problem-solving orientation and practical, client-focused work ethic to bear on all facets of energy-related private M&A and project development transactions. And, we never lose sight of our clients' objectives and timelines. With the largest tax planning group in the country, one of the deepest regulatory and environmental law groups, and top-ranked government relations experts, our Oil & Gas Group offers our clients unrivalled breadth of expertise in significant energy transactions.
"Clients say: 'They're extremely knowledgeable,' and appreciate the team's depth and 'broad experience in terms of the different components of energy deals.'"
Canada's extremely diverse and largely provincially segmented electricity market is undergoing significant change. A complex set of variables ranging from GHG emission reduction regulation, transmission and distribution constraints, resource availability, costs and technological advances are shaping our current and future generation, transmission and distribution needs. Government projections over the coming years make it clear that substantial investment in these sectors will be essential, creating new opportunities for Canadian and international power and transmission developers, related industries and their customers.
Bennett Jones is a leader in these areas, regularly providing advice on generation, transmission and distribution projects in Canada and internationally. Our global clients include power and transmission developers, facility owners, electric cooperatives, fuel suppliers, off-takers and steam/heat site hosts, as well as local, provincial and national regulatory boards and domestic and foreign agencies.
Our expertise includes assisting in project structuring, tax planning, regulatory compliance, EPC and EPC management contracts, project and conventional debt and equity financing, and site lease and acquisition. We have significant experience in acquisitions and divestitures in the electricity industry. We regularly negotiate a wide range of supply and sales contracts, including electricity trading and marketing agreements, off-take, power purchase and tolling agreements as well as other physical and financial contracts, operating agreements, interconnection arrangements with transmission and distribution grids, fuel supply and related arrangements, and steam and heat sales agreements.
We also possess substantial electricity sector restructuring experience, having drafted market rules and market-related contracts for wholesale electricity markets in Ontario and New Brunswick and having acted as counsel to several market participants within the deregulated electricity markets, representing bidders in virtually all energy and ancillary services MAP auctions that have been conducted by the Alberta Balancing Pool since 2000.
Our clients in the independent power business have participated in hundreds of power generation projects in Canada and abroad, which have involved facilities ranging in size from less than one MW to more than 1,000 MW, fuelled by sources as diverse as nuclear, natural gas, coal, hydro, biogas, biomass, solar and wind.
"Pleased clients share: 'Bennett Jones' strongest point is the sincere, considerate and intense care they provide to the client. Performance is not merely academic but is focused on the results possible under and consistent with the intent of the law. Legal advice is not to tell us what we wish to hear but what is logical and appropriate to allow us to develop and close matters effectively.'"
While conventional energy sources will continue to be a large part of Canada's energy mix, the share of clean, renewable energy is growing quickly and will certainly continue to aggressively grow.
Participants in Canada's burgeoning renewable power and renewable fuels industry benefit from our timely and expert advice on a wide range of issues important to this sector. We have acted for clients in a variety of renewable power sectors, including, among others, hydro, wind, solar, biogas, biomass, biowaste, biofuels, and geothermal.
Navigating the corporate/commercial, regulatory and taxation landscape can be a daunting task for Canadian renewable power developers. Our lawyers have been key advisors at every step of the way, specifically retained with respect to acquiring project finance, accessing government incentives/programs, clearing regulatory hurdles, acquiring permits, completing environmental assessments, zoning real estate, acquiring and leasing real property, stewarding tax-efficient structures (including renewable power incentives like flow-through financing structures), developing private/public partnerships, drafting and reviewing commercial agreements (including power purchase and turbine supply agreements), and assisting with all aspects of mergers, acquisitions and divestitures.
"Other sources also speak at length about the team's practicality: 'They approach their advice in a very practical way. We go to them with very specific problems and get very specific advice back.'"
Our team has designed the program rules and program contracts for a series of Ontario Power Authority conservation and demand management programs. Our lawyers have also acted for and have strong connections to a number of large energy buyers, including having a comprehensive knowledge of provincial power authorities' renewable power procurement processes.
We conduct due diligence and provide opinions on the development and operation of wind, solar and geothermal projects for government departments, private companies, and public companies.
Bennett Jones lawyers are active in fund formation work in this industry and have acted in the formation of renewable energy investment funds, both domestically and internationally.