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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: International Oil and Gas Law (LAWS11304)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaLaw Other subject areaNone
Course website Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course provides a grounding in the legal issues arising in the international oil and gas industry. The course will begin with an overview of the industry and the key economic and political actors and provide an introduction to the role of oil and gas in international relations and to the economics of the industry. The course will also provide an introduction to the principles of public and private international law relevant to the industry and how these operate in practice with reference to industry- specific contracts, agreements and instruments. There will be a detailed analysis of "upstream" issues and the legal issues surrounding exploration, including a comparative analysis of the different legal regimes surrounding exploration rights and specific problems with exploration, such as joint exploration and exploration in disputed territory. The course will analyse the various commercial arrangements in the industry such as Joint Ventures (with an emphasis on Joint Operating Agreements) and will also look at arrangements regarding infrastructure. There course will also cover "downstream" issues such as the trading and transportation of oil and gas, with reference to industry specific contracts. Finally the course will analyse the particular issues concerning the States as actors in the oil and gas industry including stabilisation clauses, state immunity and international dispute settlement.

Through the use of primary sources, secondary literature and case studies, the course aims to promote a deeper understanding of the operation of the international oil and gas industry, of the legal issues facing the industry and the various solutions. The course also aims to develop students understanding of the operation of international commercial law in a practical context. The course aims to assist students in taking a critical and comparative approach to the relevant legal issues and to view these in their economic and political context.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Please contact the distance learning team at
Additional Costs Students should have regular and reliable access to the Internet.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesPlease contact the distance learning team at
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Class Delivery Information This course is taught by distance learning.
Course Start Date 13/01/2014
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 40, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 156 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
By the end of the module students should:
1. have a deeper understanding of the legal issues arising in the oil and gas industry,
2. have a deeper and more focused understanding of the operation of international law;
3. be able to engage in debate as to the efficacy of the different solutions to the legal issues arising in the industry and to be aware of the economic and political aspects underpinning the various legal issues.
Assessment Information
One essay of up to 4,000 words (60%); one individual assignment (20%); contribution to weekly online discussions throughout the semester (20%). Requirements for all module assessment will be outlined to students within the individual modules at the start of each semester.
Special Arrangements
This course is taught by distance learning.
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus 1. Introduction to the oil and gas as industry
- Industry overview and key players
- Exploration, production, transportation and trading
- Basic petroleum economics

2. Introduction to the legal framework
- Oil and gas and international politics/ international relations
- Sources and key principles of private international law
- Sources and key principles of public international law

3. Exploration I - Rights to explore for and produce oil and gas
- Historical development of rights (law of capture, etc.)
- Ownership vs. non-ownership systems
- Arrangements with host governments; comparative analysis of
1. Licences/Concessions
2. Production Sharing Contracts
3. Service Contracts

4. Exploration II - Cross-border development and the impact of public international law

5. Commercial Arrangements I Joint Ventures and the Joint Operating Agreement
- Purpose and historical background (AIPN and OGUK models)
- Main provisions
- Operatorship and liability

6. Commercial Arrangements II infrastructure and services
- Decommissioning and decommissioning security
- Service contracts/sub-contracts

7. Commercial Arrangements III acquisitions and disposals
- Buying and selling upstream assets
- Asset vs. share transactions, farm-in agreements
- Risk allocation

8. The transportation and trading of oil and gas
- Offtake, lifting and marketing/sale of production
- Oil and Gas trading agreements
- Oil and Gas charterparties

9. Legal issues involving states, including
- The State as a sovereign entity/ contracting party
- Applicable law
- Sovereign Immunity
- Stabilisation Clauses
- International Investment Protection

10. Dispute Settlement Processes
- The role of the national Courts
- International Commercial Arbitration
- International Investment Arbitration
- Inter State dispute settlement
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr David Holloway
Tel: (0131 6)50 2063
Course secretaryMs Clare Polson
Tel: (0131 6)51 4411
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