Recognised as Pakistan’s leading corporate law firm in the oil and gas sector, we are extensively involved in the three major components of the oil and gas industry; namely, upstream (exploration and production), midstream (storage and transportation) and downstream (fuels and lubricants, marketing and refining, retail and chemicals).

Working with the private sector and government we have actively been involved in the legislation of laws relating to the oil and gas sector, thereby catering to the sectors’ expanding global, technical and economic needs. Further, we provide regular review and advice on the legislation regulating the petroleum sector and are frequently involved in the procurement of various petroleum licenses and gas allocations.

We represent the Sui Southern Gas Company Limited and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited and act for various multinational entities undertaking oil and gas exploration, development and production in Pakistan. We also structure projects on behalf of oil and gas exploration, services and E&P companies.

We understand the industry’s challenges from multiple angles and combine our expertise and knowledge to provide a complete legal package fitting with our clients’ unique needs and objectives. Our team offers insight into the legal framework governing the industry, and advises on applying for exploration and exploitation licenses, assistance with bid proceedings, and the negotiation of services agreements.

We advise on the entire life cycle of oil and gas projects, including refinery and pipeline construction, oil transportation agreements and disputes affecting the sector. We also provide regular review and advice with respect to applicable legislation regulating the petroleum sector and has been involved in the procurement of various petroleum licenses and gas allocations, and the drafting of various consortium arrangements in the petroleum sector.

Practice areas

We have been instrumental in laying the foundation and implementing the modified constitutional structure and division between the Federal and Provincial Government with regard to ownership and legislation of mineral oil and natural gas. Ahsan Zahir Rizvi has been closely involved in the drafting of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority Ordinance 2002 and the regulatory framework concerning the oil and gas sector.
Downstream sector activity presents a number of challenges owing to regulation, competition and volatile market pricing. We have provided expert advice to Pakistan State Oil (PSO), which is Pakistan’s largest energy company and is currently engaged in the marketing and distribution of various POL products including Motor Gasoline (Mogas), High Speed Diesel (HSD), Furnace Oil (FO), Jet Fuel (JP-1), Kerosene, CNG, LPG, Petrochemicals and Lubricants. The Firm has also drafted distribution agreements for marketing oil work with SSGC and SNGPL.
We have extensive knowledge of every aspect of the midstream business, from project inception to product delivery. We strive to consistently and efficiently deliver inventive solutions to the unique problems encountered in the midstream sector.
  • Structuring oil and gas exploration projects and matters related thereto. We assist with bid proceedings and advise on seeking exploration and production licenses and negotiates drilling services agreements.
  • We deal with all aspects of E&P company operations, even when volatile. We can deal with land rentals, government royalties, interpretation and extension of the relevant license/lease periods, reservoir communication(s), drilling and fields’ services agreements, human resource matters and joint venture disputes.
  • Further we work with E&P contractors and drilling companies in negotiations of their drilling and drilling services contracts, corporate, safety, security, insurance, access and HR matters, in addition to, import and export of drilling equipment tools and their licensing, warehousing, inland transport and all other regulatory compliances required.
  • Representing its clients at various forums regarding gas pricing including the DG (Gas), DGPC, OGRA, High Court and before the Ombudsman.
  • British Petroleum, Occidental Petroleum, Premier Oil, KUFPEC, Orient Gulf Investments Limited, Tarim Resources, China National Oil Company, Orient Petroleum, Paige Petroleum and various other oil and gas companies in connection with the exploration, development and producing oil and gas concessions.
  • Dansk Camp Supply and Nordic Camp Supply ApS of Denmark in connection with the acquisition, testing, transportation and export of petroleum products to NATO forces in Afghanistan and to US military forces in the region.
  • Government of Pakistan, drafted the regulatory framework for the Oil and gas industry for the Government of Pakistan leading to the formation of the Natural Gas Regulatory Authority and its revision leading to the creation of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority.
  • Indus Refinery Limited, represented client, one of the largest private sector Greenfield refineries being set up in Pakistan.
  • Premier Oil plc and Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company, and various other oil and gas exploration and development companies in all their matters relating to Concession Documents, Gas Sale Agreements and regulatory matters.
  • Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited in various corporate and regulatory matters and in the sale of its Liquefied Petroleum Gas business.
  • Sui Southern Gas Company Limited and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited, drafted the regulatory framework for the privatisation of natural gas transmission and distribution sector in Pakistan including the Natural Gas Regulatory Authority Ordinance 1997.
  • Sui Southern Gas Company Limited in all major transactions and contracts relating to the development of its transmission and distribution network, sale of its Liquefied Petroleum Gas Division and the Meter Manufacturing Division.

Ahsan Zahir Rizvi

Yousaf Khosa

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News/Insight

  • Proposed Amendment to Securities Brokers (Licensing and Operations) Regulations 2016
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  • Competition Regulations 2016
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  • KP’s new mine laws for investment
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What clients say...

RIAA’s ‘exceptionally good’ practice is ‘always available’ and ‘has excellent knowledge of the energy sector’. Recommended individuals include[s] Hasnain Naqvee (who has ‘outstanding industry knowledge’).

Legal 500: 2016

Karachi-based Ahsan Zahir Rizvi is the key figure, drawing on his experience as former director of the Karachi Stock Exchange.

Legal 500: 2016

RBG’s longstanding experience in the construction sector, includes the construction and development of hospitals and power and infrastructure projects. Acquisitions, sales, transfers and property leasing are other mainstays, as is project finance…

Legal 500: 2016

In the media space, the team has experience in licensing, and advises radio, television and print clients on operational matters.

Legal 500: 2016

In the media space, the team has experience in licensing, and advises radio, television and print clients on operational matters.

Legal 500: 2016

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RIAA is ‘strong on telecoms-related work’, and has acted on for a number of high-profile clients in this sector.

Legal 500: 2015

RIAA’s ‘experienced’ tax department is praised as ‘top notch’. It is advising several multinational corporate clients on tax structuring to minimise fiscal exposure in Pakistan. Ahsan Zahir Rizvi leads on tax mandates.

Legal 500: 2015

RIAA’s ‘strong’ litigation department advised Clariant Chemical and Clariant International on a High Court dispute, and is also acting for K-Electric on a constitutional matter.

Legal 500: 2015

RIAA’s ‘strong’ litigation department advised Clariant Chemical and Clariant International on a High Court dispute, and is also acting for K-Electric on a constitutional matter.

Legal 500: 2015

RIAA’s ‘strong’ litigation department advised Clariant Chemical and Clariant International on a High Court dispute, and is also acting for K-Electric on a constitutional matter.

Legal 500: 2015

RIAA’s ‘exceptionally good’ practice is ‘always available’ and ‘has excellent knowledge of the energy sector’.

Legal 500: 2015

RIAA’s ‘exceptionally good’ practice is ‘always available’ and ‘has excellent knowledge of the energy sector’.

Legal 500: 2015

Highlights for RIAA’s ‘renowned’ corporate practice included advising Unisys International on the sale of its majority shareholding in Unisys Pakistan to International Brands Limited.

Legal 500: 2015

Operating from five offices across Pakistan, RIAA Barker Gillette has broad experience in debt and equity capital markets and is instructed by a host of multinational banking clients.

Legal 500: 2016

The firm has an active transactional practice and is instructed by clients across the energy, telecoms, financial services and construction sectors. Complementary expertise in tax, employment and competition benefits [their] practice.

Legal 500: 2016

RIAA Barker Gillette’s disputes department handles cases spanning constitutional, employment, trade mark, energy and family law.

Legal 500: 2016

RIAA Barker Gillette’s disputes department handles cases spanning constitutional, employment, trade mark, energy and family law. Omer Soomro is a key contact in the Karachi office, handling High Court and arbitration proceedings.

Legal 500: 2016

RIAA Barker Gillette maintains an active energy practice, where it advises clients on compliance and liability under environmental law, and assists with licensing and regulatory approvals.

Legal 500: 2016

RBG receives instructions from insurance company clients in relation to both contentious and non-contentious matters. Past work includes handling corporate transactions and international arbitrations.

Legal 500: 2016

RBG advises on corporate and commercial agreements relating to power, water and construction projects, and is becoming increasingly involved in matters concerning wind and other renewables.

Legal 500: 2016

Telecoms is an area of strength at RBGIAA Barker Gillette, with the team providing expertise in corporate, commercial and regulatory matters. In the media space, the team has experience in licensing, and advises radio, television and print clients on operational matters.

Legal 500: 2016

Munir Ahmed is another key contact; his practice covers customs, sales tax and income tax.

Legal 500: 2016

Yousaf Khosa acts for numerous clients in the mining and petroleum sectors in both contentious and non-contentious tax matters. Mustafa.

Legal 500: 2016

RIAA Barker Gillette advises multinational corporate clients on tax structuring and restructuring. It is also active in tax litigation and appeals before the High Court.

Legal 500: 2016

Sources state: "[Omer Soomro]'s someone I really trust - he adds a lot to a case."

Chambers Commentary: Asia-Pacific 2016

Among recent highlights, [Omer Soomro] represented IM Technologies in a USD 197m construction dispute with Karachi Development Company.

Chambers Commentary: Asia Pacific 2016

Clients enthuse about Omer Soomro, describing him as "a very articulate practitioner" with a measured, strategic approach.

Chambers Commentary: Asia Pacific 2016

One source notes that he is "always looking to get the best deal for his clients."

Chambers Commentary: Asia Pacific 2016

RIAA Barker Gillette…"It is a powerhouse."

Chambers Guide: Asia Pacific 2016

[Bilal Shaukat’s] work highlights include advising Tapal Wind Energy on its establishment of a USD 90m wind power plant in Thatta.”

Chambers: Global Guide 2016

Sources note [Bilal Shaukat] is "well known in the industry," and report that they "enjoy working with him."

Chambers: Global Guide 2016

Bilal Shaukat has a growing reputation in this sphere, especially in relation to coal and wind power projects.

Chambers: Global Guide 2016

Renowned for his expertise in the power sector, peers highlight him as "one of the most experienced projects lawyers in Pakistan."

Chambers: Global Guide 2016

Ahsan Zahir Rizvi continues to be revered by market commentators, who single him out for his "sharp legal mind."

Chambers: Global Guide 2016

…a client asserts: "I would always recommend him." He acted for The Hub Power Company on the development and financing of a 1,320 MW coal power project.”

Chambers: Global Guide 2016

“Hasnain Naqvee is widely praised for his effective negotiation skills and tenacious approach. Commentators enthuse that they "find him to be skilled and well versed on projects,".

Chambers: Global Guide 2016

“Islamabad-based Yousaf Khosa has a broad practice that includes expertise in construction contracts and telecoms work, among other areas.”

Chambers: Global Guide 2016

“Bilal Shaukat receives plaudits for providing highly commercial advice on complex transactions. He continues to head the firm's corporate advisory practice.”

Chambers: Global Guide 2016

Ahsan Zahir Rizvi is singled out by clients for the depth of his transactional experience and for "bringing a colour and vibrancy to the table."

Chambers: Global Guide 2016

Sources describe Ahsan Zahir Rizvi as "an exceptional practitioner" and "a backbone of the firm."

Chambers: Global Guide 2016

RIAA has provided environmental advice on a number of domestic projects. Omer Soomro is noted for environmental matters.

Legal 500: 2015

“Large and well-reputed practice”

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

RIAA’s banking and finance department is noted for its ‘vast experience’ and ‘strong track record’”

Tier 1: IFLR1000 2015

“Our relationship with the firm started 20 years ago and we have never looked back.”

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

“They really take the time to listen to the case.”

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

“I only use RIAA and no other firm in Pakistan – I have the utmost regard for them.”

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

“’Strong’ litigation department”.

The Legal 500: Asia Pacific 2015

“’Renowned’ corporate practice”

Tier 1: IFLR1000 2015

Ahsan Zahir Rizvi (a former director of the Karachi Stock Exchange) is recommended for capital markets work.

Legal 500: 2015

…banking and finance department is noted for its ‘vast experience’ and ‘strong track record’ on project finance. Clients include the ‘pragmatic’ Bilal Shaukat, and Ahsan Zahir Rizvi, who is rated as ‘excellent’.

Legal 500: 2015

Hasan Rizvi is “technically assured and resourceful” and with "good local market knowledge".

Legal 500: 2015

"Clients enjoy working with Hasan Rizvi... He wins praise from sources for being 'extremely responsive, commercially practical and incredibly diligent'".

Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business

"We have a very positive relationship with them. They are proactive, down-to-earth, thorough and extremely knowledgeable when finding solutions."

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

"I have the utmost regard for the firm; they are first class."

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

"They have vast experience of the power sector, and always provide alternative solutions to problems - they really take ownership of the projects they are working on."

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

What the team is known for: Active on a wide range of conventional and renewable projects, including notable activity on the conversion of power plants to coal.

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

What the team is known for: Offers high levels of expertise in the power sector, advising the sponsors on development, financing and regulatory issues.

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

He keeps things on an even keel and so people trust him, even those on the other side."

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

Sources highlight his strong negotiation capabilities, with one noting: "He can see the other side's perspective, that is his greatest strength.

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

Ahsan Zahir Rizvi is held in high regard for his depth of expertise in the power sector.

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

Ahsan Zahir Rizvi is also praised for "his precision in giving advice. He is very to the point."

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

Senior partner Ahsan Zahir Rizvi is one of Pakistan's most highly reputed transactional lawyers: "He is one of the most individually outstanding people, both from a commercial point of view and a legal point of view."

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

"RIAA has a very strong reputation for handling commercial and corporate matters."

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

"They have been absolutely outstanding. I don't think there is a team more dedicated."

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

Excellent bench of practitioners with a full-service corporate offering. Often mandated on big-ticket M&A deals, particularly for corporations in the energy and power sectors.

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

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