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Upstream Legal Counsel (Americas)

New Orleans, LA
Full Time
Practice Areas: Business Commercial, Transactional Job #: R33693 Exp.: 7+ Years
What is the role?
This Legal Counsel – Upstream Americas position will be expected to provide professional, timely, risk-based and fit-for-purpose legal advice and support to all aspects of the Shell Group’s (i) offshore exploration and appraisal activities in the Americas, (ii) Deep Water business in the US Gulf of Mexico, and/or (iii) US Shales business. Work allocation across Upstream lines of business will be directed by the Managing Counsel – Upstream Americas, taking into account professional experience brought to the role, business need, value/risk assessment, and development considerations, among others.

  • Provide legal advice and support to Shell’s Upstream businesses in the US (Gulf of Mexico and Shales) including exploration, development and operating assets. Scope includes providing advice and support on a wide variety of issues, including joint venture arrangements (operated and non-operated), joint operating agreements, production handling, midstream (i.e., export, gathering, transportation and processing) and other commercial arrangements, significant landowner and other stakeholder issues, pooling/unitization, regulatory and permitting matters, royalty issues, logistics, abandonment, safety and asset integrity and environmental matters. Scope may also include supporting a significant amount of portfolio activity (asset purchases/sales, swaps, exchanges, farmins/farmouts). As experience is acquired, this role may entail assuming primary legal focal point responsibility for a variety of assets and/or for various strategic issues for the US portfolio.
  • Provide legal advice and support on substantial and complex offshore exploration opportunities in the Americas outside the US, including supporting exploration ventures in civil and common law jurisdictions where the legislative/regulatory regime is uncertain and/or evolving. Scope may include drafting and negotiating petroleum licenses (e.g., concessions, production sharing agreements, permits, etc.), farm-in/farm-out agreements, early stage agreements (e.g., Joint Study/Bidding Agreements, Heads of Agreements), Joint Operating Agreementss, providing venture implementation support, and supporting venture exits.
  • Identify and prioritize legal risks and alternative strategies on a variety of matters.
  • Ensure documents accurately reflect commercial decisions, always consistent with legal obligations and the Shell Control Framework.
  • Ability to act as an integrator of legal advice and organize, participate, or as appropriate, lead “natural teams” to ensure delivery of integrated, fit-for-purpose legal advice with an end-to-end value mindset.
  • Represent Shell vis-à-vis third parties.
  • Provide advice in connection with key engagements with regulatory agencies and other stakeholders.
  • Work closely with Shell Ethics & Compliance in conducting legal, ABC and trade controls due diligence and advising on legal compliance.
  • Instruct and manage external counsel (NOTE: very limited use of outside counsel, reserved for specialty matters).
  • Ability to work as part of a team and with both internal and external stakeholders with diverse cultural backgrounds.

What we need from you
  • Must have legal authorization to work in the US on a full-time basis for anyone other than current employer.
  • J.D. from an accredited law school required.
  • Minimum seven (7) years of business commercial or transactional legal experience required, including significant experience in drafting, negotiating and advising on complex commercial arrangements and joint ventures. Experience advising in respect of a regulatory framework is a plus.
  • Licensed to practice law in Texas or Louisiana, or able to obtain license in a reasonable timeframe.
  • Established ability to quickly grasp complex commercial arrangements.
  • Demonstrated capability to build legal knowledge and to quickly identify critical legal risks.
  • Ability to work in a dynamic legal environment with clients who need to quickly respond to operational and regulatory demands.
  • Established commercial, transactional and client advisory skills readily applicable to the offshore or onshore upstream and midstream oil and gas industry.
  • Sound influencing, negotiating and facilitation skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively engage with business clients and stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated record as a self-starter, yet comfortable to escalate issues and seek support.
  • Ability to think strategically and to appreciate both the immediate and longer-term impacts on the business of different courses of action.
  • Ability to handle sensitive government and joint venture co-owner relations.
  • Ability to prioritize time spent on matters by value and risk.
  • Global mindset and ability to work virtually with lawyers in other regions.

An innovative place to work
Shell is helping solve one of the biggest challenges facing the world today: bringing the benefits of energy to everyone on the planet, whilst managing the risks of climate change.

Join us and you’ll add your talent and imagination to a business with the power to shape the future – whether by investing in renewables, exploring new ways to store energy or developing technology that helps the world to use energy more efficiently.

An inclusive place to work
To power progress together, we need to attract and develop the brightest minds and make sure every voice is heard. Here are just some of the ways we’re nurturing an inclusive environment – one where you can express your ideas, extend your skills and reach your potential.
  • We’re creating a space where people with disabilities can excel through a transparent recruitment process, workplace adjustments and ongoing support in their roles. Feel free to let us know about your circumstances when you apply, and we’ll take it from there.
  • We’re closing the gender gap – whether that’s through action on equal pay or by enabling more women to reach senior roles in engineering and technology.
  • We’re striving to be a pioneer of an inclusive and diverse workplace, promoting equality for employees regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • We consider ourselves a flexible employer and want to support you finding the right balance. We encourage you to discuss this with us in your application.

A rewarding place to work
Combine our creative, collaborative environment and global operations with an impressive range of benefits and joining Shell becomes an inspired career choice.

We’re huge advocates for career development. We’ll encourage you to try new roles and experience new settings. By pushing people to reach their potential, we frequently help them find skills they never knew they had, or make career moves they never thought possible.

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