John Balsdon is a partner in the London office of Latham & Watkins and part of the Project Development & Finance Practice. Mr. Balsdon primarily advises on energy finance with an emphasis on the oil and gas sector, advising clients on matters ranging from project financing to structured trade finance, prepayments, and reserve-based lending.
Mr. Balsdon has more than 25 years' experience, working in both emerging and mature markets, advising on some of the major pan-European and West African energy project financings taking place within the sector, as well as on all major financing needs across the energy value chain.
A recent career highlight includes advising on the project finance aspects of a US$7 billion oil and gas project in Ghana with ENI supplying gas for power generation, reportedly the largest single project Foreign Direct Investment inflow to Ghana since Independence.* This deal won the Project Finance International African Oil & Gas Deal of The Year in 2016.
Mr. Balsdon’s recent highlights have included advising:
- EIB in respect of a US$1.6 billion financing package for Sweden’s Northvolt, a European sustainable battery developer and manufacturer specializing in lithium-ion technology for electric vehicles. The debt raise will support the creation of Europe’s first home-grown gigafactory for lithium-ion batteries. This deal won Europe Industrial Deal of the Year 2020 by PFI (Project Finance International) and Project Finance Deal of the Year at IFLR's Europe Awards 2021.
- Galaxy Pipeline Assets Bidco Limited (the Company) on its public offering of US$4 billion senior secured bonds, to part refinance a c.US$8 billion term acquisition loan which the company borrowed in June 2020 to finance the acquisition of a 47.7% stake in ADNOC Gas Pipeline Assets LLC (ADNOC Gas Pipelines). The Galaxy project is considered to be the largest infrastructure deal of the year in the O&G sector (US$8 billion). This deal won Middle East Infrastructure Deal of the Year 2020 by PFI (Project Finance International).
- Chevron Nigeria Limited and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in connection with the settlement and restructuring in respect of the Escravos gas-to-liquids project
- Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in connection with the financing and development of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas Pipeline and Stations Project in Nigeria
- Argentem Creek Partners in connection with the financing for G.N. Terminal Enterprises Limited
- Total S.A. in connection with its acquisition of a 37.4% stake in Adani Gas, an India-based natural gas distribution company
- Iberdola in connection with the sale of its 40% stake of East Anglia, a UK-based provider of energy services, to Green Investment Group
- Chevron in connection with the sale of its North Sea assets to Ithaca Energy Limited
- BNP Paribas in connection with the restructuring of the debt of Sabre relating to its interest in the Jubilee field in Ghana*
- The banks on the US$1 billion loan to Noble Energy Mediterranean Ltd, a limited recourse financing to fund the development of the Leviathan Field offshore Israel*
- Severneftegazprom on the €1.5 billion Russkoye project financing in Russia (PFI Europe Gas Deal of the Year, 2011)*
- BP on the financing components connected to its participation in the construction of the US$11.8 billion TANAP Pipeline*
- The lenders in relation to the €13 billion financing of the offshore section of the South Stream Gas Pipeline System*
- A group of 25 lenders on a US$4 billion reserve-based lending facility for Lundin Petroleum; in addition to being the largest-ever RBL facility, this transaction also includes the biggest-ever pre-development financing*
- Deutsche Bank, as the lead among the mandated lead arrangers, and the other lenders on a US$2 billion prepayment financing for Rosneft, with BP as the offtaker*
- A group of 13 lenders including BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered Bank, and Standard Bank on the US$450 million reserve-based funding to Oando Energy Resources Inc (Oando). The financing helped to secure Oando's US$1.65 billion acquisition of various Nigerian onshore and offshore oil and gas assets from ConocoPhillips.*
- Shtokman Development AG (a project company owned by Gazprom, Total, and Statoil) on the project financing of the Shtokman Field gas, LNG and condensate project in Russia, located in the Russian sector of the Barents Sea above the Arctic Circle*
- Three financing banks for Blue Stream’s US$3.2 billion Eastern European pipeline, hailed as a landmark in Russian project finance development (IFLR International Project Finance Deal of the Year 2000)*
*Matter handled prior to joining Latham