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Stacey Kivel

A commercially orientated upstream oil and gas lawyer with extended experience advising on the acquisition and divestiture of exploration / production assets and on M&A deals as well as overseeing legal and commercial transactions of oil operators and service companies in Africa. Furthermore, Stacey is an FCA regulated financial advisor and has additional legal and commercial experience in the acquisition of mining rights, litigation funding, corporate finance, lending, enforcement and intellectual property licensing in the entertainment industry.

What we say about Stacey

Stacey is an expert in the legal and commercial aspects of oil exploration in emerging and developing countries, primarily in Africa. She specializes in the acquisition and divestiture of oil exploration and production rights as well as advising exploration companies on all commercial aspects of their business.

What is unique about her practice is that she has had repeated success in acquiring exploration rights in countries new to the E&P industry such as São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana and Southern Sudan where she successfully negotiated with governments to assure their newly created oil and gas practices align with industry standards for the benefit of her clients.

Stacey speaks fluent French and has handled many transactions in Francophone West Africa, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, the Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and Senegal. In addition, Stacey has advised oil service companies, governments and financial advisors on a variety of transactions.
Her thirteen years as in-house corporate counsel for junior exploration companies has given a broad commercial and financial perspective to her legal practice and has enhanced her knowledge of the specifics of running oil operations internationally. Below is some examples of the work Stacey has accomplished for her clients and her achievements;
Acquisition of rights:
• to the two most sought after oil blocks in the Nigerian 2005 license round for a US$485 million signature bonus in partnership with the Korea National Oil Company and Sinopec, China;
• to the most sought after exploration block in Democratic Republic of Congo opposite discoveries in Uganda;
• to the first two blocks to be allocated in the São Tomé and Príncipe EEZ licensing round, 2011;
• to one of the two most sought after blocks in the Sierra Leone licensing round 2012;
• to the Conoco Philips divestiture of assets to Oando in Nigeria for US$1.2 billion;
• by drafting a successful proposal to acquire rights deep water Block 1 in the São Tomé and Príncipe JDZ; and
• to a farm in to one of the most sought after deep water blocks offshore Ghana next to 7 discoveries;

M&A and IPO’s
• Supporting the listing of Equator Exploration on AIM of the London Stock Exchange;
• Reverse takeover by integrated oil company, Oando Energy Resources, of a TSX listed company;
• Potential takeover of AIM listed San Leon Energy by a Chinese conglomerate;
• Originated the sale of two producing fields in Argentina to a TSX listed exploration company; and
• Originated the sale of a German state owned pipeline company, Hans Brochier, to a private UK investor.

Corporate Finance
• Assisted with two private placements totalling US$310 million for AIM listed Equator Exploration;
• Drafted secured bridge loan agreements for US$200 million and organized a corporate restructuring for Equator;
• Raised seed funding for a TSX listed E&P company, Canoel International Energy;
• Secured a commitment of litigation funding of US$3 million to finance a US$2.5 billion claim for a PSC breach and closed a secured bridge loan to the claimant.

Debt recovery
• Responsible for the return of US$161 million signature bonus paid for Nigerian exploration blocks by the Nigerian government to an exploration company;
• Recovery of unpaid fees for an oil service company in East Africa as a consultant to Smithfield Partners solicitors;

In addition she has handled:
• Corporate governance policies including indigenous community relations, social and training programmes;
• Company secretarial: drafting board documentation, running board meetings, and incorporating subsidiaries;
• Investor relations including the delisting of company from AIM, warrant and option issue; performance bonds, preparation of annual reports;
• Government relations;
• Supplier contracts, PSC’s, JOA’s, joint venture agreements, farm out agreements, employment;
• Equipment licensing including offshore drilling rigs and an FPSO;
• Defending an arbitration claim;
• Crisis management when her company’s oil rig workers were kidnapped three times.

Highlights

Stacey qualified to practice law in the USA and is a member of the State Bar of California. She started her career in the entertainment industry as corporate counsel and head of business development for a film distribution company where she helped to significantly increase turnover by negotiating licenses for independent films rights. She then advised African governments on investment strategy before becoming corporate counsel for AIM listed Equator Exploration which was eventually taken over by Oando Plc, the largest indigenous Nigerian oil company. She also worked as corporate counsel for H Oil & Minerals and advisory corporate counsel to AIM listed Tower Resources, Minexco Petroleum and DIG Oil. In addition, some of her clients include: Mart Resources (TSX listed), Century Energy Group (oil services), Nomad Energy, Signet Petroleum, Anglo-Suisse Capital (financial advisor), the Republic of Gabon, Consensus Group (property finance), Geotech S.A (oil services), the International Herald Tribune, Papis Energy Solutions, PVE Consulting (E&P acquisition and divesture) and Canoel International Energy (TSX listed).