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Karim Mahmud, Partner

Karim Mahmud


Head of Conventional Energy and Infrastructure MENA

Practice areas

  • Energy and infrastructure

Practice notes

Karim Mahmud is a partner who is head of Energy and Infrastructure for MENA.

He has worked on a number of major energy and infrastructure projects and has an in depth understanding of project structuring, joint ventures, construction (EPC and O&M) and development. He has over 25 years’ experience and has worked in over 40 countries in the Middle East (including all GCC countries), Africa, Asia, the CIS, Europe and North America.

In the course of his practice, he has acted for project developers/sponsors, governments, international multilateral agencies (including the IFC, World Bank and CIDA), construction and engineering companies and financial institutions. He also has experience in privatization projects.

Selected Experience Includes:


Oil and Gas

Has advised:

  • a Supermajor in the divestiture of its upstream interests in Southern Chad (sale of its 25% interest in a producing oil concession in southern Chad and the related Chad-Cameroon export pipeline interests to the Republic of Chad for approximately $1.3 billion).
  • a Supermajor on an upstream acquisition in Mauritania (the acquisition of a 30% participating interest in block C8 offshore).
  • a Supermajor on an unconventional gas joint venture with major GCC National Oil Company
  • a major Japanese trading company on multijurisdictional joint venture and asset ownership asset restructuring with leading international Japanese oil & gas company. Jurisdictions include UKCS, NCS, Middle Eastern, SE Asian and African upstream assets.
  • on the development of a $3.5 billion Liquefied Natural Gas receiving terminal on North America’s Atlantic coast. Led team dealing with construction matters regarding the re-gasification terminal including the EPC, Tank Works and Jetty development contracts. Also advised on LNG supply negotiations with various international LNG suppliers and downstream gas marketing negotiations
  • various energy companies on investments, divestitures, joint ventures, services agreements and licensing arrangements in Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Cameroon and South Africa.
  • Kufpec SEAR in various projects relating to Production Sharing Contracts, Technical Assistance Contracts and export processing facilities in Indonesia. Also advised on oil purchase contracts from offshore facilities in Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar
  • Morgan Stanley and an Egyptian state owned oil and gas producer on the disposition of upstream oil and gas assets valued at approximately $550- 700 million.
  • Saxon Oilfield Services on the acquisition of international oilfield operations and assets from Schlumberger in the U.A.E., Oman, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iraq and Venezuela. Led multi-jurisdictional due diligence team and provided Alberta law advice on this $400 million transaction.
  • a Dubai based oil and gas company on various construction and operational issues related to the development of Central Asian oil and gas producing properties.
  • ONGC Videsh on the acquisition of upstream properties in the Sudan and legal due diligence respecting additional upstream properties in Africa.
  • advised major oil & gas company on proposed Turkmenistan-Pakistan pipeline project.
  • Tatweer Petroleum on various operational and EHS issues related to the redevelopment of the Bahrain Field (onshore oilfield).


Has advised:

  • on the negotiations up to financial close of 18 Independent Power Projects in South Asia comprising over 2,000 megawatts and valued at approximately $2 billion. The work required a detailed understanding of greenfield BOT power projects using various fuel sources and all related legal and financial issues including drafting and negotiating Implementation/Concession Agreements, Power Purchase Agreements, Fuel Supply Agreements and all related financing documents (including Government Guarantees and Direct Agreements with lenders (private, Export Credit Agencies and multilaterals)). Also drafted and negotiated EPC and O&M Agreements.
  • NRG on major Indian renewable investment and related construction issues (EPC and O&M)
  • a major Middle Eastern power company with international operations on the development and implementation of a companywide anti-corruption policy and the integration of anti-corruption practices into ongoing operations.
  • a major Chinese utility on the development and construction (EPC and O&M) of power projects in India and Pakistan.
  • a Supermajor on the acquisition of a major European utility (gas and electric)
  • the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in negotiations for the 715 MW gas fired combined cycle BOT power project at Phu My, Ba Ria Vietnam. Drafted and negotiated BOT Contract, Power Purchase Agreement, Gas Supply Contract and Direct Agreement and all related security documents (including currency and availability guarantees). Sponsor consortium consisted of EDF, Sumitomo Corporation and Tokyo Electric.


Has advised:

  • Equinox on $1.2 billion acquisition of Citadel Resources mining assets in Saudi Arabia. Largest private sector mining deal in the KSA to date.
  • a major international aluminium producer on the development of a major West African project. Advice on the acquisition of bauxite licences, the development of bauxite mines, the construction of a bauxite slurry pipeline (or railway), the development and construction of an alumina refinery and the development of an aluminium smelter. This vertically integrated project (completed project value estimated at $3.7 billion) also involves the expansion and development of a port facility.
  • a major state owned Chinese utility on a joint venture with a Canadian mining company for the development of major copper mines in South America.


Has advised:

  • the Privatization Commission of Pakistan on the OGDCL GDR privatization. Financial advisor Citibank NV. The OGDCL transaction was the largest emerging markets energy privatization in 2014-15.
  • theGovernment of Sri Lanka on the restructuring and privatization of all government owned downstream refining, storage, transportation and marketing facilities in Sri Lanka (World Bank project).
  • a major North American pipeline company on privatization contracts (including asset divesting contracts, management transition and retention agreements, government guarantees and government consent and support contracts) regarding the planned privatization of Pakistan's national gas pipeline system (Sui Northern and Sui Southern Pipeline Companies).


Major Project Development and Construction

Has advised:

  • the Government of Tunisia on the structuring, tender, construction (EPC and O&M), and development of Tunisia’s first two PPP Pilot projects (wastewater facility and desalinization plant).
  • Air Liquide Arabia with respect to engineering, procurement and construction contracts related to the development of more than US$500-million industrial gas production facilities in Saudi Arabia.
  • the sovereign wealth arm of a major SE Asian government on the structuring, development and construction of a major Special Economic Zone project valued at US$1.4 billion covering a 40 square km area. Planned developments include a major terminal container port, tram rail system, power and wastewater facilities, commercial, residential and leisure infrastructure and a major hospital.
  • EnCana Corporation on the development and construction of the Bow project (Canada’s largest new office tower complex), a two million square foot, $1.5 billion dollar high rise project designed by Lord Norman Foster.
  • on the development and construction of the multi-billion dollar Peru LNG facility.
  • Suncor on joint venture with Total on the Fort Hills heavy oil project in Northern Canada valued at $13.5 billion. Advice included extensive due diligence on upstream licences, drafting and negotiation of joint venture agreements, construction agreements and offtake agreements.
  • Sasol on construction and development issues and disputes on a $11 billion GTL facility in Louisiana.
  • ThyssenKrupp on major engineering supply contracts (over $750 million) to a number of large oil sands projects. Contracts include the supply of a wet and dry crusher, sifting and slurry preparation system.

Social Infrastructure

Has advised:

  • North American University on a Qatar Hospital and Health Science Project – advice included negotiation of joint venture with Qatar based Foundation as well as construction and development agreements for a major Nursing School and Training Hospital in Doha.
  • Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital London on international joint venture healthcare projects in Qatar, Dubai and Kuwait. Advice included drafting and negotiating joint venture agreements, construction (EPC and O&M) tendering and agreement negotiation and dealing with local law issues.
  • the IFC on a major healthcare project in the Philippines
  • one of Canada's largest health region's on Public-Private Partnership projects including tender, financing and construction matters related to the construction of major children’s hospital and related parkade.

Rail, Tunnels and Airports

Has advised:

  • on commercial joint venture issues related to the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur High Speed Rail project and Toronto Metrolinx Rail Project.
  • a Turkish-Korean consortium on implementation agreement, joint venture and construction issues related to a US$1.1 billion road tunnel under the Bosporus in Istanbul (world's deepest road tunnel project).
  • a major energy company consortium joint venture on the development and construction of a multiple user private airstrip Joint Venture valued at $500 million.
  • on a concession agreement for partial privatization of Pakistan railway infrastructure to allow for the use of rail infrastructure by rail tankers owned/leased by private concession holders for delivery of fuel oil to private power plants.