Robert Desbarats  , Q.C. - Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Robert Desbarats , Q.C.

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2006

Rob has represented Canadian, U.S.-based and international clients in complex domestic and cross-border energy transactions. He has extensive experience in transactions related to the oil and gas and power generation industries, including in the acquisition and disposition of energy assets and energy corporations. Rob has advised clients on joint ventures and corporate finance matters in relation to crude oil, natural gas and LNG transportation and marketing. He also has extensive experience advising energy corporations in their participation in oil sands projects in northern Alberta and is recognized both in Canada and internationally as a leading energy lawyer.

Additional Information

Notable Matters
  • Devon Canada in the disposition of some of its Canadian conventional assets to Canadian Natural Resources Limited for $3.125 billion.
  • Talisman Energy Inc. and its affiliates in the disposition of their 12% equity interest in the Oleoducto Central SA (Ocensa) crude oil pipeline in Colombia for approximately $595 million.
  • PetroChina Company Ltd., a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC), on its acquisition of a 20% interest in Royal Dutch Shell PLC's Groundbirch shale gas project in north-eastern British Columbia.
  • Nexen Inc. in its sale of a 40% working interest in shale gas assets in northern British Columbia to Inpex Corporation and in the creation of a strategic partnership with a consortium led by Inpex Corporation to develop shale gas assets in the Horn River, Cordova and Liard basins in northeast B.C.[November, 2011].
  • Talisman Energy Inc., in the sale of a 50% working interest in its Cypress A shale gas project to Sasol Limited for a total consideration of $1,050 million. [June, 2011].
  • Talisman Energy Inc. in the formation of a strategic partnership with Sasol Limited of South Africa to develop shale gas properties in British Columbia and assess the feasibility of establishing a facility to convert natural gas to petroleum liquids (GTL) in Canada, including the sale of a 50% working interest in its Farrell Creek shale gas project to Sasol.
Part 2
  • PetroChina Company Limited in respect of its negotiation with Encana Corporation respecting its proposed but aborted purchase of an undivided interest in shale gas properties in western Canada for an aggregate purchase price of $5.4 billion. [Winter and spring, 2011].
  • Talisman Energy Inc.  in respect of certain aspects of the joint purchase by it and Ecopetrol S.A. (the national oil company of Colombia) of BP Exploration Company (Colombia) for a purchase price of $US 1.75 billion [January, 2011].
  • Canadian Natural Resources Limited in respect of its participation with North West Upgrading Inc. in the construction and ownership of a multi-billion dollar bitumen upgrader to be constructed in the Fort McMurray area of Alberta [February, 2011].
  • Talisman Energy Inc. in respect of its joint venture with Statoil for the exploration and development of shale gas properties in Texas [October, 2010].
  • Northern Blizzard Resources Inc. with respect to its acquisition of heavy oil properties in northeaster Alberta and northwestern Saskatchewan from Nexen Inc. for approximately $975 million [June, 2010.]
  • China Investment Corporation in respect of its multi-billion dollar partnership arrangement with Penn West Petroleum Ltd. for the exploration and development of oil sands deposits in the Peace River area of Alberta [May, 2010].

Part 3
  • Talisman Energy Inc. in respect of the sale of its Bakken oil and gas interest located in SE Saskatchewan, SW Manitoba and Montana to Crescent Point Resources LP and Tristar Oil and Gas Ltd. for a purchase price in excess of $700 million [March, 2009].
  • ConocoPhillips in its $ 1.0375 billion sale of four subsidiary corporations to Pengrowth Energy Trust.
  • BG Group plc in the recognition of certain Canadian assets and the sale of the shares of BG Canada Exploration and Production Inc. to Progress Energy Limited for cash proceeds of $526 million.
  • The sale of Pioneer Natural Resources Company’s common stock in its Canadian subsidiary, Pioneer Natural Resources Canada Inc., to Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC for cash proceeds of $540 million.
  • NAL OIL & Gas Trust in its acquisition of Seneca Energy Canada Inc. for $245.1 million and public financing of $225 million.
  • Anderson Energy Ltd. in its acquisition of oil and gas assets in its core area of greater Sylvan Lake for total cash consideration of $116.1 million.
Part 4
  • Delphi Energy Corp. in connection with the exchange of its 50% working interest in the Jean Marie Natural gas assets in the Bigfoot area located in northeast British Columbia for certain conventional multi-zone natural gas assets in the Hythe area located in northwest Alberta.
  • Dana Gas PJSC in its acquisition of Centurion Energy International Inc. for an aggregate cash consideration of $1.14 billion.
  • Pristine Power Inc. in its $55 million initial public offering.
  • East Windsor Cogeneration LP, a limited partnership formed between Pristine Asset LP and Fort Chicago Canadian Power Ventures Limited Partnership, in connection with a private placement of $179 million secured debentures with certain institutional investors to fund the design, engineering, procurement and construction of a 84 MW cogeneration project to be located in Windsor, Ontario.
  • Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. in its US $4.1 billion acquisition of Anadarko Canada Corporation.
University of OttawaUniversity of OttawaBASc
Canadian Petroleum Law Foundation [now known as The Canadian Energy Law Foundation]Canadian Bar AssociationAlberta Law SocietyLaw Society of Upper Canada

Office Location

TransCanada Tower, Suite 2500
450 First Street, SW
Calgary, AB T2P 5H1

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2013 Lawyer of the Year in Natural Resources Law of the Calgary Metro Area
Robert Desbarats , Q.C. has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2013!

Practice Areas

Corporate Law
Natural Resources Law (Oil & Gas)