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Exploration & Production Companies

Exploration & Production Companies

Exploration & Production Companies team
We have E&P specialists across all legal disciplines. We have grown up with the industry in the UK and have expanded to include E&P negotiations relating to Cameroon, Dubai, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, France, Mauritania, Netherlands Niger, Norway and Romania.

Our day-to-day involvement in upstream and midstream transactions means that we understand the commercial, operational and technical context of our E&P clients, whether they are super-majors or junior independents. Our services include:

Acquisitions & Divestments
Capital Markets
Projects & Infrastructure
Health, Safety & the Environment
Supply Chain & Procurement
Employment & Pensions
Dispute Resolution
Corporate Crime

Acquisitions & Divestments

We advise on the acquisition & disposal of upstream assets, farm-outs and share deals.   Our deal team is led by partners with in-house legal and commercial management experience.  This ensures that our due diligence is focussed on what is important to our clients.  We have experience of a wide range of deal structures, including those relating to contingent consideration and decommissioning liabilities, and of the additional issues involved in transferring the operatorship of producing fields including those where the new operator intends to outsource day-to-day operations to a “duty-holding” contractor at completion.

Capital Markets

We have acted for E&P companies on pre-IPO funding, AIM flotation, and secondary placings.  We have also acted on the takeover of AIM listed E&P companies.

Projects & Infrastructure

We advise on the agreements required to develop and operate a field including:

  • joint operating and unitisation agreements,
  • joint development and shared facility agreements
  • construction & tie-in agreements
  • production & operating service agreements
  • transportation & processing agreements
  • sales agreements.

In the UKCS, we have experience of every major pipeline system. Internationally, we recently completed the $12 bn West Nile Delta negotiations for the development of five fields offshore Egypt using third party facilities. 

Health, Safety & the Environment

We are known for our niche offshore oil and gas safety practice.  We provide sensible and commercially focussed compliance advice and training. A key aspect of our service is emergency response and we have lawyers available to travel to any site (including BOSIET certified lawyers for offshore sites) to provide immediate support following an incident. Whether you require advice on a police or regulatory investigation or you need legal representation at a formal interview or legal proceedings we will ensure that you and your employees get the right advice at the right time.

Supply Chain & Procurement

We advise E&P companies on the full range of UKCS and international supply chain and procurement agreements including:

  • FPSO construction, financing, leasing and services contracts
  • duty holding contracts for outsourced operations
  • drilling contracts
  • seismic contracts
  • decommissioning contracts
  • arrangement varying the remuneration of a contractor or a group of contactors relative to cost, schedule, uptime or other targets 
  • arrangements whereby the contractor contributes its own capital and its remuneration is linked to the outcome of the project
  • deferred payment arrangements including those triggered by first oil
  • charterparty contracts for offshore supply and safety vessels

Employment & Pensions

We understand the unique working environment and the employment relations issues of E&P companies.  We act for a range of leading players within the sector and have recently been at the forefront of two industry test cases which were heard by the UK Supreme Court. 

With the only dedicated pensions team based in Aberdeen, we have the specific sector knowledge necessary to help you with contentious and non-contentious pensions issues. Our services include:
project specific or continuing provision of legal advice to employers and trustees; document reviews;  bespoke trustee training; and independent trustee services through our trustee company, Burness Paull Pension Trustees Limited.  Pensions is also key factor where operatorship of a producing field is being transferred from a company which has a defined benefits scheme.

Dispute Resolution

We have advised E&P companies on a broad range of disputes including those relating to sale and purchase agreements, transportation & processing agreements and joint operating agreements.  Our advice has covered expert referral, arbitration and litigation in the Scottish and English courts. 

Corporate Crime

We advise on all aspects of ABC compliance, fraud, international sanctions and export controls combined with practical guidance and training on implementing robust anti-bribery systems. We offer 24/7 emergency and dawn raid response and representation during any regulatory or police investigation or prosecution.