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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 Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe 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. The 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
Course description Week 1: Introduction to the oil and gas as industry
Week 2: Introduction to the legal framework
Week 3: Ownership and control of hydrocarbons
Week 4: Rights to explore for and produce oil and gas
Week 5: Commercial Arrangements I - Joint Ventures and the Joint Operating Agreement
Week 6: Commercial Arrangements II - Operational contracts and decommissioning
Week 7: Commercial Arrangements III - Acquisitions and disposals
Week 8: The transportation and trading of oil and gas
Week 9: Environmental issues
Week 10: Contracting with states

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Please contact the online learning team at
Additional Costs Students should have regular and reliable access to the Internet.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 40, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 156 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One essay of up to 4,000 words (60%); one individual assignment (20%); portfolio of contributions made to weekly online discussions throughout the semester (20%).

Requirements for all course assessments will be outlined to students within the individual courses at the start of each semester.
Feedback Students will have the opportunity to obtain formative feedback over the course of the semester. The feedback provided will assist students in their preparation for the summative assessment.

Details of the School's feedback policy will be available at the start of the course.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate a deeper understanding of the legal issues arising in the oil and gas industry,
  2. articulate a deeper and more focused understanding of the operation of international law;
  3. engage in debate as to the efficacy of the different solutions to the legal issues arising in the industry and your critical awareness of the economic and political aspects underpinning the various legal issues.
Reading List
A list of key course readings will be available in advance of the course. Detailed reading lists are then available each week.
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will develop their skills and abilities in:

1. Research and enquiry, through e.g. selecting and deploying appropriate research techniques;
2. Personal and intellectual autonomy, e.g. developing the ability to independently assess the relevance and importance of primary and secondary sources;
3. Communication, e.g. skills in summarising and communicating information and ideas effectively in written form;
4. Personal effectiveness, e.g. working constructively as a member of an online community;
5. Students will also develop their technical/practical skills, throughout the course, e.g. in articulating, evidencing and sustaining a line of argument, and engaging in a convincing critique of another's arguments.
Special Arrangements This course is taught by online learning.
Additional Class Delivery Information This course is taught by online learning.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr Paul Morton
Course secretaryMs Clare Polson
Tel: (0131 6)51 9704
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