Patrick Johnson’s most challenging project was also one of the first major U.S. offshore wind M&A transactions. Patrick represented Equinor in the sale of its stake in two projects to BP. “The bulk of the work on this deal happened in the summer and fall of 2020, i.e., the height of the COVID era,” he says. “And the deal teams were spread across time zones on both sides of the Atlantic. We spent countless hours on video conferencing platforms like Microsoft Teams working to pull the deal together.”
Which of your professional achievements are you most proud of?
“Most recently, I am proud of my role in our firm’s market-leading work in the renewables, carbon capture and energy transition space. This work includes representing Navigator CO2 Ventures in connection with transactions and agreements necessary to develop its Heartland Greenway carbon capture, transportation and sequestration system, and a number of other clients in CCS projects under development. I am also proud of my work advising clients like Equinor in the development of potential U.S. offshore wind projects. Deal-making in these projects frequently relies on a mix of tried and true commercial legal concepts from traditional oil and gas, and novel ideas.”
Describe a memorable professional experience.
“During my time as an in-house lawyer at Exxon Mobil, I worked on a gas project under development in the Black Sea offshore Romania. I frequently visited Bucharest, the capital city of Romania, for project meetings. On one trip, a few of us hopped in a van and traveled a few hours east to the Black Sea coast. We visited the development site for the shore crossing where the gas pipeline would come out of the water, connect to a processing plant, and, ultimately, the grid. The visit gave me a distinct sense of the sheer scale of the project and the technical challenges involved.”
What qualities do you think are necessary to be a good leader in the oil and gas industry?
“A good leader in the energy industry must be intellectually curious, collaborative, flexible and persistent. The industry is constantly evolving—it is important for a leader to understand both the history of the industry and where it may be headed. And energy is most certainly a team sport. Success requires input and perspective from a number of different disciplines.”
What keeps you motivated and passionate about working in the oil and gas industry?
“In a sense, energy is what makes the world go ’round. There is nothing more important to the successful functioning of our society than being able to meet our energy needs. As we continue to do so by traditional means and embark on the energy transition, this era in the industry will require patience, creativity, collaboration and foresight. I am excited to be a part of sorting through the many issues that will have to be tackled as we do so.”
- I come from a family of lawyers and was born and raised in Houston. Both my parents are lawyers, as are a number of aunts and uncles, and as was my maternal grandfather. Suffice it to say, I encountered the Socratic method early on!
- I am fascinated by World War II. I recently read Erik Larson’s “The Splendid and the Vile,” an incredible account of the Blitz, the Battle of Britain and Churchill’s leadership of the UK through those events.
- I was a high school quarterback and walk-on wide receiver at Vanderbilt University. A broken leg at practice during my freshmen year at Vanderbilt prompted me to hang up my cleats.