Picture of Matthew Culver

Matthew Culver

Head of Oil and Gas, Middle East

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
Cannon Place
78 Cannon Street
United Kingdom
Languages English

Matthew Culver is Head of the Oil and Gas Practice Group in the Middle East and is based in the Dubai and London offices.

Since setting up the Dubai office in 2012, Matthew has advised on a number of high value projects in the Middle East region including in Iraq and Kurdistan and is presently assisting a number of companies seeking to do business in Iran.

He advises on the acquisition and disposal of oil and gas interests worldwide (upstream, midstream and downstream) and on joint venture arrangements, including all aspects of joint operating agreements such as operatorship, pre-emption, assignment, default and withdrawal. Matthew is a contributing editor of the Getting the Deal Through – Oil Regulation – Iraq publication and CMS Middle East is co-founder of the DMCC ‘Energy Club’ based in Dubai.

Prior to his move to Dubai, Matthew worked in the London office of CMS for 12 years. During that period, he spent time on secondment with BP, ExxonMobil and Talisman. He assisted ExxonMobil in the sale of a number of its North Sea interests and worked with BP on its TNK joint venture. He has advised a number of oil and gas companies on various acquisitions and divestments in Russia, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, United Kingdom (offshore and onshore), France, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Spain and Turkmenistan.

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Relevant experience

  • Gazprom Neft Middle East on its oil and gas activities in Kurdistan.
  • European oil company in relation to the development of a gas field in Kurdistan.
  • Major UAE oil company in relation to its Middle East oil and gas interests including in Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Algeria.
  • Oil Major on its drilling activities in Southern Iraq.
  • Major European oil and gas company in relation to its Iraq oil and gas interests including on issues concerning default, assignment and withdrawal.
  • Premier Oil on its Middle East oil and gas interests.
  • Excelerate Energy in relation to its FSRU charter with DUSUP.
  • An international oil and gas company on the farm-out of certain oil interests in Egypt.
  • An international oil and gas company on its drilling and supply chain management contracts in Iraq.
  • ExxonMobil on the disposal of various oil and gas interests and on expert determination for decommissioning.
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2000 - Legal Practice Course, The College of Law, Guildford

1999 - Common Professional Examination, The College of Law, Guildford

1998 - BA (Hons) Modern History, University of Warwick, Warwick 

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Member, UK Energy Lawyers Group

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CMS ad­vises In­nova Cap­it­al, private equity fund, on...
Oil & Gas JOA De­faults: Eng­lish Court of Ap­peal up­holds re­straint...
The Court of Ap­peal has up­held a de­cision of the High Court in which an oil com­pany was found in con­tempt of court for hold­ing an op­er­at­ing com­mit­tee meet­ing in the ab­sence of an al­leged de­fault­ing party (see Pan Pet­ro­leum Aje Ltd v Yinka Folaw­iyo Pet­ro­leum.
CMS strengthens Middle East con­struc­tion and en­gin­eer­ing...
Oil & Gas: M&A Loan Note Guar­an­tee – Es­tab­lish­ing dis­charge by mis­rep­res­ent­a­tion
In Ab­bot In­vest­ments (North Africa) Ltd v Nestoil Ltd [2017] EWHC 119 (Comm) a dis­pute arose con­cern­ing al­leged rep­res­ent­a­tions re­lat­ing to an oil rig owned by the tar­get com­pany pri­or to the sale of that tar­get com­pany to a new own­er.
CMS opens new of­fice in Oman, strength­en­ing Middle...
Oil & Gas: JOAs – Re­strain­ing rem­ed­ies for de­fault
In the event of a fail­ure to pay a val­id cash call, un­der oil and gas joint op­er­at­ing agree­ments (“JOAs”) the non-de­fault­ing parties are tra­di­tion­ally gran­ted a series of rem­ed­ies against the party in de­fault.
Road to re­cov­ery
This art­icle was first pub­lished in Pet­ro­leum Re­view in March 2017 and li­censed for print and elec­tron­ic dis­tri­bu­tion to CMS and sites owned by CMS ex­clus­ively. Mat­thew Cul­ver takes a closer look at some of the latest oil and gas de­vel­op­ments in the Middle.
Oil & Gas: M&A ‘War­ranties’ are not rep­res­ent­a­tions
What con­sti­tutes a war­ranty or a rep­res­ent­a­tion in the con­text of an oil and gas sale and pur­chase agree­ment is of­ten the source of much ne­go­ti­ation with­in the trans­ac­tion doc­u­ments. The re­cent case of Idemitsu Kosan.
Oil and Gas Con­tracts: Mis­rep­res­ent­a­tion in ter­min­a­tion ne­go­ti­ations
The Com­mer­cial Court has re­cently de­cided that a con­tract­ing party to an oil and gas re­lated con­sultancy ser­vice agree­ment could be held li­able for the mis­rep­res­ent­a­tions made to an­oth­er con­tract­ing party when those mis­rep­res­ent­a­tions were made by a third party.
Oil & Gas: "com­mence­ment of drilling" the same as "spud­ding"?
The Com­mer­cial Court was re­cently tasked, in Vit­ol E & P Ltd v Africa Oil and Gas Cor­por­a­tion [2016] EWHC 1677 (Comm), with de­cid­ing wheth­er the words “com­mence­ment of drilling” in a sale and pur­chase agree­ment for an oil com­pany meant “spud­ding” of a well.