Energy & Natural Resources

CLDP’s Energy and Natural Resources team provides legal technical support to governments grappling with the challenge of meeting national demand for reliable energy and mineral resources to ensure sustainable economic growth.  We advise ministries, regulators, and State-owned entities on issues across the energy spectrum, including: fiscal and regulatory frameworks for upstream oil and gas investment; developing national and cross-border gas and power markets; importing and establishing regulatory frameworks to support downstream markets for liquefied natural gas (LNG); power sector reforms including incorporating renewables, distributed generation and electric vehicles and allowing micro-grids to be constructed, operated and integrated into the central transmission grid; mining and minerals governance; and structuring financeable power projects in accordance with international best practices.  CLDP is a partner implementer with Power Africa and Asia EDGE (Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy).

Upstream Oil and Gas

Petroleum is a major component of most countries’ economies. Many governments rely on the royalties and dividends from state-owned companies to sup ort their budgets, and, in turn, their national economic growth and social safety nets. Yet petroleum is also a challenge: new projects are among the largest and most capital-intensive in the world; oil and natural gas markets are volatile; and regulating petroleum sectors is extremely complex.  Successfully leveraging private investment towards exploring for and producing new commercially viable resources – onshore or offshore, in shale and other unconventional formations, or through enhanced recovery – requires a reliable regulatory framework, competitive terms, significant institutional capacity, and a transparent process of licensing and managing blocks.  CLDP assists governments on the policies, laws, regulations, and contracts that underpin petroleum sectors built on private investment.

Gas Markets and LNG

Gas is no longer the unwanted cousin of oil, only commercial if piped to nearby cities or markets just across the border.  A rapid rise in natural gas demand, the shift to competitive gas markets, and the transition to a global LNG market have governments seeking natural gas as a cost-competitive source of energy as well as a viable transitoin fuel in the quest to decarbonize the power, transportation fuel, and other sectors. CLDP advises governments on the policy changes that will enable a competitive gas market, and advises regulators and gas utiltiies on the regulations that will incentivize entrants to compete, including to sell regasified LNG into that market. CLDP advises on cross-border trading in natural gas, on options available for making "stranded" gas commercially feasible, and on inter-ministerial cooperation. CLDP leverages the lessons learned from the U.S.'s restrucutring of its natural gas market, and its oversight of new pipeline and port infrastructure for LNG.


In recent decades, the traditional model of power infrastructure built around large-scale generation projects and expanding central transmission grids has given way to a more diivse market with smaller scale generators and more decentralized grids. CLDP assists governments to successfully manage that transition to open market structures, working at both the policy and commercial level.  In the policy space, CLDP helps governments reconcile their overlapping roles as power market regulators, project partners, and power customers.  CLDP also works at the commercial level to prepare governmetns to negotiate with private power project developers and lenders to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.

CLDP organized the "Understanding" series on power sector development under the aegis of Power Africa and with support from USAID in partnership with stakeholders such as the African Legal Support Facility.  Following a collaborative method the handbooks sought to incorporate the input of African governments, private sector experts, and multilateral institutions:

  • Understanding Power Purchase Agreements
  • Understanding Power Project Financing
  • Understanding Power Project Procurement

CLDP is expanding the "Understanding" library to include dedicated handbooks on transmission financing and energy storage. 

Mining and Minerals

The global economy depends on a reliable supply of metals and minerals.  Although many countries are endowed with significant deposits, governments are challenged to manage their development - how to incentivize investment and ensure environmental and social oversight.  Recently, the U.S.State Department, Bureau of Energy Resources, launched its Energy Resource Governance Initiative (ERGI) to promote resilient and secure energy resource mineral supply chains for the US and its partners.  Under the aegis of ERGI, CLDP provides assistance to governments to develop national and provincial investment frameworks for sustianable mining in key minerals.  CLDP advises on best principles in mineral extraction governance and best practices for regulators, and assists in the development of regulations that promote transparent, competitive, and sustainable mining.

Upcoming Programs

July 1, 2020 - August 31, 2020

Most of Iraq’s hydrocarbons are located in the province of Basrah. In spite of these mineral resources, unemployment is high in the province. To increase the likelihood that university graduates will be hired, since the summer of 2019, CLDP, in close cooperation with the University of Houston/Petroleum Technology Initiative (PTI), has been conducting a program to equip students from four Basrah universities with the skills sought by International Oil Companies (IOC) that operate in the province. A key skill required from new hires by the IOCs is competence in project management. To this end, PTI, under a contract with CLDP developed and taught in Houston in August 2019, a two-week course on “Project Management in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production”. This course was taught to delegations from four Basrah universities: Basrah University, Southern Technical University, Basrah University for Oil and Gas, Basrah Oil Training institute. Each university was supposed to send one professor and three students to Houston. Unfortunately, for reasons beyond their control, three of the professors were unable to attend the two-week course in Houston, a course that was very well-received by the lone professor and by all the students. Therefore, at CLDP’s request, PTI will now develop an online version of this course, to be used by the universities of the professors who could not go to Houston in August 2019. This development will take place in July and August 2020. 

July 1, 2020 - September 30, 2020

In July, August, and September 2020, CLDP, in collaboration with USTR and the University of Missouri, will provide virtual business fundamental courses to 20 Salvadoran textile representatives. CLDP has partnered with a textile and apparel expert who will conduct group sessions, as well as tailored sessions depending on the needs and businesses of the selected representatives. Lessons will cover business plan development and implementation, mentorship opportunities, local business resources, and personnel management. Furthermore, the sessions will give the Salvadoran textiles representatives the opportunity to begin developing comprehensive plans to effectively disseminate the knowledge they acquire during this program broadly across the industry with other textile professionals in El Salvador. Participants, who represent the Salvadoran private sector, key government agencies, and academia, will continue to engage their U.S. counterparts in this project for the remainder of the CLDP programming throughout 2021. This project is a part of CLDP’s and USTR’s capacity-building program to improve regional prosperity by fostering human and institutional capacity to improve the competitiveness of the Salvadoran textile industry.

CLDP in Action

July 30, 2020

As part of an ongoing collaboration with the Department of Commerce’s Office of Russia, Europe, and Eurasia (ORUE)CLDP participated in a video meeting with Javlon Vakhabov, the Ambassador of Uzbekistan to the United States on June 25, 2020, to discuss Uzbekistan’s Strategy for the Development of Agriculture in 2020-2030.