The range of disputes that the industry is experiencing is evolving with the onset of environmental and climate change concerns. Currently the industry is defending an ever-growing list of climate change cases as activists begin to be more assertive, often through judicial review challenges. In 2020, several judicial reviews were brought by environmental campaigners seeking to limit or prevent oil and gas exploration activity.
Allied to this, The CMS Oil and Gas Disputes Survey respondents identify protestor disruption as a major area of risk for oil and gas players. A range of protest actions have occurred seeking to disrupt both onshore and offshore oil and gas operations, including in the fracking industry.
The CMS Oil and Gas Disputes Survey participants also acknowledge the risks associated with tax disputes, which arise in large part because international tax regimes relating to the oil and gas sector are hugely complex and increasingly so.