image of Emma CovacevichEmma Covacevich

Clayton Utz Partner , Brisbane T +61 7 3292 7304 +61 419 669 214

Emma is Clayton Utz's  Chief Executive Partner and is widely regarded as one of Australia's leading energy lawyers.

Emma's experience and capabilities are vast. In addition to overseeing Clayton Utz's key client initiatives, Emma has a proven track record advising on the acquisition, development and ongoing operation of significant oil & gas, LNG and other energy projects in both Australia and New Zealand. With close to 25 years' experience practising solely in the energy sector, her experience, operational knowledge and commitment to the energy sector is genuine and is what sets her apart. As a result, Emma offers a wealth of information and insight into the energy industry that goes well beyond legal advice.

From 2011 to 2013 Emma acted as General Counsel of Australia Pacific LNG and in recent years was lead adviser on a number of the most significant M&A transactions in the Oil & Gas sector.

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Oil & Gas


Senex Energy: Advised Senex Energy on the A$900 million takeover by POSCO International Corporation and Hancock Energy. Emma co-lead the team, which advised Senex in all stages of the takeover from initial strategy to closing.

Short-listed bidder: Advised a short-listed bidder for Eni's Northern Australian and East Timorese assets as part of Eni's proposed exit from these jurisdictions, prior to Eni withdrawing the assets from sale. This included advising on business separation and transition issues relating to Eni separating these assets from its global operations.

Short-listed bidder: Advised a short-listed bidder for ExxonMobil's Gippsland Basin assets prior to ExxonMobil withdrawing the assets from sale including collaboratively working with ExxonMobil on the business separation and transition issues relating to the separation of these assets from ExxonMobil's global operations.

ConocoPhillips: Acted for ConocoPhillips in relation to the US $1.4 billion sale of its Northern Australian and East Timorese assets to Santos in 2020.

Quadrant Energy: Acted for Macquarie, Brookfield, Wesfarmers & AMB in relation to the US $2.9 billion sale of Quadrant Energy to Santos in 2018, following initially proposed IPO. This deal was Awarded Australasian Law Awards – Energy & Resources Deal of the Year: 2019.

Repsol PNG: Acted for Repsol in relation to the sale of its Papua New Guinean oil and gas assets as part of a PNG-country-wide exit in 2019.

Lattice Energy: Acted for Lattice Energy in relation to the acquisition of Benaris' Otway Gas Project interest in 2017 and subsequent sell-down of an interest in 2018 to OGOG.

AMP Capital & CICC: Acted for AMP Capital & China Investment Corporation Consortium on its bid to acquire BG Group's A$6 billion QCLNG pipeline.

Origin Energy: Acted for Origin Energy in relation to its disposal of 50% of its coal seam gas interests in Queensland to ConocoPhillips for $9.6 bn.

Operations & Projects

Australia Pacific LNG:Adviser to the $35 billion 2-train CSG to LNG project since its inception in 2008.

APLNG: Advised APLNG in relation to its ~$3.4 billion gas purchase from QGC in 2018.

Hydro Tasmania: Advised Hydro Tasmania in relation to its wholesale gas portfolio and gas supply for the Bell Bay Power Station and in the first Australian Energy Regulator access arbitration in respect of access to the Tasmanian Gas Pipeline.

Senex Energy: Advised on:

  • its gas sale arrangements with various C&I customers;
  • the development of the Atlas gas project, including the partnering arrangement with Jemena to build, own and operate a gas processing facility and a 60km purpose-built pipeline to transport Senex gas from the Atlas Project to the domestic market; and
  • the development of the Roma North gas project, including processing facilities and gas transportation arrangements with Jemena.

Squadron Energy: Advising Andrew Forest's Squadron Energy on the development of the Australian Industrial Energy (AIE) Regasification Terminal at Port Kembla, including Squadron Energy's acquisition of former partners, Marubeni's and JERA's interests in the project. Emma is also advising on the proposed dual fuel (gas/hydrogen) power station that will have Commonwealth Government support.

Other Energy Transactions

Macquarie: Advisor to Macquarie on its interests in the Asian Renewable Energy Hub.

Confidential client: Advising a Queensland-based client on a confidential JV agreement for the development of a hydrogen project with two other Queensland-based energy companies.

Commonwealth of Australia: Advising the Australian Government in relation to the disconnection and rehabilitation of the Northern Endeavour FPSO in Northern Australia, which was abandoned after Northern Endeavour went into bankruptcy.

Financiers to offshore NT development: Advising the financiers to a significant petroleum project offshore Northern Territory that will produce feedstock gas for LNG, which involves ESG issues and significant due diligence that extends to the LNG processing and tolling arrangements.


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