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, o...
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.
CMS strengthens Middle East construction and engin...
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.
CMS opens new office in Oman, strengthening 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 negotiati...
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.