Plains Exploration & Production Co. (PXP) of Houston turned to lawyers from Latham & Watkins in its pending $5.55 billion purchase of Gulf of Mexico oil and gas properties from BP America Production Co. and BP Exploration & Production Inc.

BP, a UK company, turned to a team from Gardere Wynne Sewell.

Additionally, Bracewell & Giuliani is handling financing for PXP.

On Sept. 10, PXP announced a definitive agreement to buy the deepwater Gulf of Mexico properties from BP. The properties include the BP-operated Marlin, Dorado, King and Horn Mountain Fields, all with a 100 percent working interest; the Holstein Field (50 percent working interest); BP non-operated Diana-Hoover Field (33.3 percent working interest) and non-operated Ram Powell Field (31 percent working interest).

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year, and it would be effective Oct. 1. It is subject to preferential rights, title and environmental due diligence and other customary closing conditions.

John Wombwell, executive vice president, general counsel and secretary of PXP, is relying on a team of Latham & Watkins lawyers in Houston including partners Jeffrey Munoz and Michael Darden and associates Stephen Szalkowski, Wesley Thoman, Christopher Bennett and Dane Johnson.

Mergers-and-acquisitions partners Douglas Eyberg and Timothy Spear of Houston lead the Gardere team representing BP in the transaction, with assistance from associates Eunice Song and Rex Baker IV of Houston; Jennifer Smith of Austin; and Austin Ke of Dallas. Others, all of Houston, are partners Charles Meacham and Frank Putman and associates Khurram Jiwani and Felisa Sanchez.

The Bracewell lawyers working on financing for PXP include partners Mark Holmes and Heather Brown of Houston, and Robin Miles of New York City.

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