Where do the disputes come from?

A collection of inter-related activities and business relationships pose a considerable challenge to oil and gas industry players. Projects and supply chains are complex, while joint ventures can be tested by financial constraints and tighter profit margins.

At the same time, oil and gas businesses are at the forefront of attention from many host states and regulators as a result of (i) the current increasing focus on ESG issues and environmental targets and (ii) the need for the relevant government to use oil operations as a source of state revenue. In some regions, those challenges are accompanied by local content laws and nationalistic policies which add to the complexity. In a generally harsh global business environment made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is logical, that industry players would be wary of disputes and their possible consequences.

Senior level engagement at the right time - too early or late and it is ineffective but at the right time can cut through the dispute. Requires good internal briefing and focus on overall objectives/goals. Keep team focused on ultimate goal. Honesty internally about strength of own case - avoids creating barriers to resolution that are harder to break down.
General Counsel at an independent oil company

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Phillip Ashley
Phillip Ashley

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