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Lizel Oberholzer


Lizel Oberholzer

Cape Town

T:+27 21 405 1296

Lizel is an oil and gas lawyer based in Cape Town.

She is an admitted attorney in South Africa with over 15 years’ experience in the energy sector in Africa. Her experience in the energy sector together with the good relationships she has established with key regulatory figures in Africa is invaluable when advising and representing clients.

She focuses on the upstream, midstream and downstream regulatory field of oil and gas, as well as the negotiating and drafting of various oil & gas contracts in many jurisdictions in Africa. Local and international clients rely on her extensive knowledge of the mineral and petroleum legislation in Sub-Saharan Africa. Industry associations rely on her to represent them at workshops with the Department of Mineral Resources and to comment on proposed changes in law.

Prior to joining our practice, she was the head of the oil and gas department at another leading law firm, and has also worked as in-house counsel to an oil major and the Petroleum Agency of South Africa.

Lizel was a member of the team that was awarded “The Oil and Gas Deal of the Year” by the Africa Investor in 2010 and leader of the team that was awarded the Oil and Gas Law Firm of the year award at the Oil and Gas Summit in 2013.

Lizel has been listed as a leading lawyer in the financial and corporate space in IFLR1000, 2016. She was also endorsed as a leading Energy and Infrastructure Lawyer by IFLR1000 and Petroleum Economist and was listed as a recommended labour and employment lawyer in Legal500, 2015.

Lizel is the co-author of the Juta Publication Mineral and Petroleum Law of South Africa, Getting the Deal Through - Oil Regulations (SA) (2012 and 2013), International Legal Comparative Studies, Global Energy Insights (2013) and International Legal Comparative Studies (2013).

She is a member of the AIPN, a member of the Cape Law Society and established the Onshore Petroleum Association of South Africa.

Lizel has a B.Proc, LLB and LMM (law of contract). She also furthered her studies in the United States of America and the United Kingdom in order to gain further knowledge on, in particular, LNG and Gas Sales Agreements.

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  • Representative experience
    • Advised on the first exploration and production rights granted offshore South Africa as well as the first shale gas applications in South Africa.
    • Advised on the drafting and negotiating of the Participating and Joint Operating Agreements based on the AIPN Model Contracts including the related cession and assignment of rights and relevant ministerial approvals in various African countries including South Africa, Namibia, Tanzania and Kenya.
    • Performed various due diligence investigations on the regulatory compliance of oil and gas majors in South Africa regarding their midstream facilities.
    • Advised on the transaction documents of the sale of an LPG Business.
    • Advised on the potential licensing requirements, in respect of the import, and trade of petroleum products under South African law.
  • Publications

    Tailor made oil and gas legislation

    On 8 November 2016, the DMR presented to the NCOP Select Committee on Land and Mineral Resources and provided an overview of the changes to the MPRDA .

    November 30, 2016

    The Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Bill sees the light

    On 16 January 2015 the President referred the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Bill 15 of 2013 (Bill) back to the National Assembly based on reservations that it would not pass the constitutional muster. One of unconstitutional grounds was the lack of public consultation at the level of the National Council of Provinces. The National Assembly adopted the report prepared by the portfolio committee for Mineral Resources (Portfolio Committee) on 1 November 2016 in terms of which the Portfolio Committee agreed with the majority of the President’s reservations. Within only a few weeks the Bill then proceeded to the Select Committee on Land and Mineral Resources (National Council of Provinces) and on 8 November the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) provided a briefing on the Bill to this committee..

    November 10, 2016

  • News

    Mining Weekly - Lizel Oberholzer

    Lizel Oberholzer comments on the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) Amendment Bill in relation to investment activity in Africa.

    January 20, 2017

    Business LIVE - Lizel Oberholzer

    Lizel Oberholzer talks to Business Day TV about proposed Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act amendments in the mining sector..

    December 02, 2016