It gives me great pleasure to present the seventh issue of the International Arbitration 1/3LY. In this issue, we take a look at an industry which has seen some of the biggest challenges in the global market over the last two years: oil & gas. Following a prolonged period of oil price volatility, companies in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors have had to adapt their businesses to the changing landscape, resulting in job losses and cuts to projects. As we emerge from this downturn, we assess how disputes have affected the industry and provide practical tips for in-house lawyers to assist them in dealing with such issues.
Has the low oil price had an impact on the day-to-day issues faced by in-house counsel? Has there been an increase in the number of disputes in the oil & gas industry? We put these questions to General Counsel of Total S.A., Maarten Scholten and find out how life has changed inside Big Oil. We also take a look at the market through the lens of a forensic accountant and discuss insolvency, fraud and international disputes with Diane Hughes, Managing Director at AlixPartners.
Elsewhere in this publication, partner Richard Power discusses alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in price reopener provisions with a detailed analysis of expert determination and Med-Arb.
We also summarise recent case law and assess the implications for the oil & gas industry: Richard Devine outlines what you need to know about drop or drill and carry provisions; Stewart Perry discusses the current position on the primacy of insolvency law over agreements to arbitrate; and I take a closer look at contractual interpretation.
Finally, in a special report, we turn our attention to doing business against the backdrop of political intervention and sanctions. John Whittaker outlines practical considerations for investing in Iran, with a discussion on the governing law and forum for dispute resolution with Iranian counterparties; and Maurice Kenton looks at upstream oil & gas disputes in Sub-Saharan Africa.
On behalf of Clyde & Co, I would like to express my gratitude to Maarten Scholten and Diane Hughes for sharing their expert opinions and providing us and our readers with a unique insight into the oil & gas market. I also wish to thank my colleagues from the firm’s global arbitration group and oil & gas group for their interviews and articles.