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Norton Rose Fulbright assists Shell on QCLNG interest sale

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LNG Industry,

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised Shell on the sale of a 26.25% interest in the Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) Common Facilities to Global Infrastructure Partners Australia for US$2.5 billion.

Shell remains the majority owner and operator of the Common Facilities which include LNG storage tanks, jetties and operations infrastructure that service QCLNG’s LNG trains.

This multi-billion dollar transaction is one of Shell’s most significant commercial undertakings in Australia in recent years and globally, is one of the first significant acquisitions by an infrastructure player in midstream LNG assets. The cross-border team was led by Perth-based Paul Lingard (Partner and Co-head of energy in Australia) and Brisbane-based Keira Brennan (Partner and Head of infrastructure, mining and commodities in Australia).

The team advised on all aspects of the transaction and developed an optimal transaction structure that included the establishment of a new joint venture coupled with the execution of a suite of documents required to achieve the effective streaming of income and stapling of risk to a new joint venture participant. Under COVID-19 conditions, all due diligence, negotiations and signing of the transaction occurred virtually.

Paul Lingard commented, “This is a landmark oil and gas transaction globally in 2020/2021 and we expect this to pave the way for similar infrastructure investment in Australia and around the world. We are pleased our in-depth knowledge and experience of the LNG industry and infrastructure market enabled us to assist Shell here to achieve its key commercial objectives.”

Keira Brennan commented, “This was a unique opportunity for us to workshop and develop innovative solutions for a complex transaction – all while working completely remotely. It has been a powerful reminder of our collective strength and ability to build strong team and client relationships regardless of where we are located.”

Paul and Keira were supported by special counsels Nikki van der Meer and Michelle Ralston, Senior Associate Jessica Rusten, Associates Frances Hewitt and Ellen Whittred, and Lawyer Alvin Ngo.

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