Energy & natural resources

Energy & natural resourcesEnergy & natural resources

Supporting the strength and future of New Zealand’s economy

Chapman Tripp’s energy and natural resources team has a thriving, multidisciplinary energy practice, with expertise advising ‘upstream’ and ‘downstream’ in the electricity, mining and minerals, water, climate change and oil and gas industries.

The New Zealand Government is currently considering how New Zealand can strike the right balance between leveraging its natural resources and managing its ‘clean and green’ reputation. Chapman Tripp’s team works closely with clients on all aspects of engaging with that process.

Our team is a cross-practice group of corporate, regulatory, litigation, finance, construction, land and resource management lawyers, giving us a deep understanding of all the issues across the sector.

As energy and natural resource issues increasingly find prominence on the international stage, our team of experts is at the centre of these issues, working with the private sector and government to find durable solutions.

Recommended by independant legal directories IFLR1000 2016, Chambers Asia Pacific 2016 and Asia Law Profiles 2016.  

We have advised

  • Z Energy on a substantial review of the operating agreements with its nationwide network of service station operators. 
  • Bathurst Resources and its New Zealand subsidiary Buller Coal Limited on the highly significant, successful application for a coal mine (estimated 6.1M tonne coal reserve) on the Denniston Plateau. The application also addressed issues of climate change, and was very significant for the industry. 
  • Mighty River Power on all aspects of its upcoming Initial Public Offering as part of the New Zealand Government’s Mixed Ownership Model programme. Mighty River Power is the first of four energy companies to be floated by the New Zealand Government.
  • Meridian Limited, New Zealand Steel Limited, New Zealand Sugar Limited, Switch Utilities Limited and Powershop Limited: successfully acted in the High Court in opposing appeals brought against the decision of the Electricity Authority that an Undesirable Trading Situation existed in the New Zealand wholesale electricity market on 26 March 2011.  The case was the first time that the High Court had considered the statutory and regulatory provisions relating to Undesirable Trading Situations in the electricity market.
  • Meridian Energy on property, stakeholder, consenting, construction and procurement issues in relation to Meridian’s proposed North Bank hydro generation scheme. 
  • the Ministry of Economic Development on its long-term project to meet New Zealand’s obligations as a member of the International Energy Agency by tendering for, and contracting with, companies to hold petroleum reserves for the Government in various jurisdictions.
  • PowerCo, New Zealand's second largest electricity and gas network utility company, on updates to its distribution network arrangements with electricity retailers to reflect recent regulatory changes.
  • Mighty River Power on its agreements with Okere Incorporation and Ruahine Kuharua Incorporation for the investigation and development of geothermal power generation on the Taheke field, 20kms northeast of Rotorua. 
  • Meridian Energy on the consenting, procurement, property and related contracting issues of the proposed hydroelectricity generation scheme to take water from Lake Waitaki through a 34 kilometre tunnel and a power station and discharge the water back into the Waitaki River to generate 200 – 285 megawatts of electricity.
  • Meridian Energy on construction, procurement, property and related contracting issues relating to wind farm generation schemes, including Project West Wind (Wellington). Up to 60 wind turbines have been planned, making it currently one of the largest wind farm projects in New Zealand. 
  • Mighty River Power on a joint venture with Tauhara No. 2 Trust to develop geothermal power generation facilities at Rotokawa and Ngā Tamariki.
  • Rio Tinto on its long term electricity contract for the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter. 
  • Mighty River Power on the establishment of a landfill gas electricity generation joint venture with HG Leach.
  • ERC and Citadel Capital on the US$3.7 billion ERC Oil Refinery Project in Egypt, being Africa's largest ever project finance deal.
  • the developer/operator on construction matters in respect of the vast Browse LNG Project in Western Australia.
  • Anadarko Petroleum on its acquisition of a 50% interest in two deepwater oil and gas permits (offshore Canterbury), and associated entry into joint venture arrangements with Origin Energy. 
  • L&M Coal Seam Gas on its reverse takeover of L&M Energy, making L&M Energy New Zealand's biggest coal-seam gas explorer, with 12 exploration permits and market capital value of more than NZ$100 million.
  • Global Resource Holdings LLLP and Hyundai Hysco of Korea on their acquisition and development of the largest ever offshore exploration permit in New Zealand.

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