Dale Smith is a partner in Willkie’s Houston office, where he is a member of the Corporate & Financial Services Department. 

Dale is an experienced project development and finance attorney with more than 25 years of energy sector experience. He has represented energy industry clients in a broad range of transactions across the sector, including upstream, midstream, and downstream oil and gas, conventional and renewable power and carbon reduction projects.

Dale regularly advises lenders and borrowers in secured and unsecured credit transactions, including asset-based financings, acquisition and project financings, syndicated and structured financings, borrowing base facilities, letter of credit facilities, working capital facilities, workouts, restructurings, and DIP and bankruptcy exit financings. He also guides energy industry clients on the development and commercialization of oil and gas properties, gas processing plants, renewable power generation facilities, ammonia and hydrogen production facilities, carbon capture projects, and hydrocarbon facilities across the value chain, including gathering, processing, fractionation, transportation and storage facilities. 


  • Best Lawyers, Banking and Finance Law, 2013 - 2023
  • Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, IFLR1000 Financial & Corporate Guide 2018 - 2020
  • The Legal 500 United States Commercial Lending: Advice to Borrowers, 2018; Commercial Lending: Advice to Lenders, 2018
  • Institute for Energy Law Advisory Board
  • State Bar of Texas Oil, Gas and Mineral Law Section
  • Houston Bar Association
  • Houston and American Association of Professional Landmen
  • Association for Corporate Growth
  • Houston Producers Forum
  • Independent Petroleum Association of America

Speaking Engagements

  • “Hydrogen Production Tax Credit,” American Petroleum Institute 88th Annual Federal Tax Forum – Westin Houston Memorial City (April 2023)
  • “Carbon Capture Use and Sequestration,” Southern Industrial Conference, Ritz-Carlton New Orleans (October 2021)
  • “Surface and Mineral Lease Issues Related to Carbon Capture and Sequestration,” Permian Basin Landmen’s Association Spring Education Seminar, Petroleum Club of Midland (April 2021)


  • “Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage: Class VI Wells and U.S. State Primacy,” Pratt’s Energy Law Report (October 2022) (co-author)
  • Represented Woodway Bluebonnet Pipeline LLC, a Texas limited liability company that owns and operates a natural gas pipeline, as borrower in a $92.5 million syndicated, multiple-tranche term loan facility with Truist Bank, as administrative agent.
  • Represented Enterprise Products Operating L.P., one of the largest midstream natural gas and crude oil pipeline companies in North America, in $6.5 billion of total bank credit facilities.
  • Represented a joint venture partner in connection with its midstream agreements for a crude oil terminal in Cushing, Oklahoma and a crude oil pipeline from Cushing to Tulsa, Oklahoma.
  • Represented COG Operating LLC in the contribution of saltwater disposal wells and produced water gathering pipelines to Solaris Water Midstream, LLC.
  • Represented Sabalo Energy, LLC in the divestiture of produced water gathering and recycling infrastructure assets in the Midland Basin to H2O Midstream LLC, including the negotiation of produced water gathering, disposal and recycling agreements.
  • Represented Halcón Resources Corporation in the $325 million divestiture of water infrastructure assets across the Delaware Basin to a subsidiary of WaterBridge Resources LLC.
  • Represented Phillips 66 Partners LP in joint venture construction and operating agreements with Andeavor in relation to the Gray Oak Pipeline, and in a joint venture with Buckeye Partners LP to develop the new South Texas Gateway Terminal at the mouth of Corpus Christi Bay.
  • Represented Apache Corporation in the formation of SCM Alpine, LLC, to own and operate a greenfield NGL y-grade pipeline, including transportation service agreements, tariffs and related regulatory matters.
  • Represented a major midstream MLP in ethylene, propylene, propane and butane Transportation Services Agreements, Product Storage Agreements, Pipeline and Terminal Connection Agreements and Y-grade for purity product exchange agreements.
  • Represented Rose Rock Midstream, an affiliate of Semgroup, in a Terminal Services Agreement with Suncor.
  • Represented a major US bank as agent with respect to a 21-bank syndicated secured $750 million revolving credit facility to an oil and gas exploration and production company.
  • Represented a lender in a $15.9 million secured loan agreement to a pipeline company to acquire and construct natural gas assets to serve residential customers in the City of Houston.
  • Represented an energy financial services firm in project finance loans to developers of solar and wind electric generation facilities plants located in New Jersey, Georgia and Texas, and a $50 million letter of credit facility backstop for an electric generation company's environmental remediation obligations.
  • Represented a major midstream MLP in the $2.15 billion purchase of natural gas and crude oil gathering, treating, compression and condensate processing services in the Eagle Ford Shale basin, including the negotiation and drafting of dedicated natural gas processing and transportation, natural gas liquids transportation and fractionation, processed condensate and crude oil transportation service, and export dock sales agreements.
  • Represented an international commodities trading company in the acquisition of over $1 billion of mineral interests and related midstream assets located in East Texas.
  • Represented a portfolio company of a private equity sponsor in a greenfield 75-mile interstate crude pipeline in the Permian basin, including acquiring right-of-way, regulatory filings and tariffs and the negotiation of anchor shipper agreements, interconnection agreements, terminal and storage agreements, and several gathering and transportation service agreements with crude producers and refineries.
  • Represented a midstream operator in the negotiation and drafting of several gas purchase contracts with major and independent oil and gas producers in the Permian basin.
  • Represented an independent oil and gas company and equity sponsor in the negotiation and drafting of several rich and lean gas gathering and processing agreements in North Louisiana and East Texas.
  • Represented a national telecommunications provider in the negotiation of several surface and roof-top cellular equipment lease agreements throughout Texas and Louisiana.
  • Represented a Texas electric generation company in the negotiation of engineering, procurement and construction contracts for several of its fossil fuel plants.
  • Served as project counsel for the Plum Point Energy Station, a 665-megawatt pulverized coal plant located in Osceola County, Arkansas.

*Dale advised on some of these matters prior to joining Willkie.




Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, J.D. (magna cum laude), 1998 The University of New Orleans, M.B.A., 1989 The University of New Orleans, B.S., 1983

Bar Admissions

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