Update on the AIPN Joint Operating Agreement

Recorded On: 12/03/2020

Drafting Committee Co-Chairs
Shona Walker, Commercial Manager, Shell Oil Company
Paul Deemer, Retired Partner in Residence, Vinson & Elkins
Ed Harper, Project Leader, Business Development, Equinor

Drafting Sub-committee Speakers
Stuart Carter, Partner, Keystone Law
Nick Scott, Business Development Advisor, ExxonMobil

Tom Booth, Senior Legal Counsel, ABC/AML Americas, Shell Canada Limited
Marty Tate, Head of Upstream Agreements, BHP Billiton Petroleum
Mark Beeley, Partner, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
Pat Appel, Senior Counsel, Chevron Global Upstream & Gas

This webinar gives an update on the progress of AIPN's Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) drafting committee. The model contract drafting committee is currently updating the 2012 JOA in light of experience with its use over the past 8 years and includes four sub-committees focused on Decommissioning, ABC/Sanctions, Dispute Resolution and Human Rights. The drafting co-chairs, along with their sub-committee representatives, provide an update on the committee’s progress, provide an interesting update on a number of key issues, as well as touch base on the critical issues that are being considered within the draft.


Shona Walker

Commercial Manager, Shell Oil Company

Shona Walker is a Commercial Manager based in Houston, leading a team which supports a varied portfolio of US Gulf of Mexico assets and deep-water projects. Shona is a qualified lawyer in Scotland, England and Texas. Prior to joining the commercial ranks, Shona was a Senior Legal Counsel for Shell’s Deepwater business and in this role, Shona supported a varied portfolio of operated and non-operated US Gulf of Mexico assets in addition to Mexico upstream ventures. Shona joined Shell in 2016 as part of the BG Group combination, having moved to Houston to work on BG’s US energy projects and international business development. She started her career in private practice in the UK, working for multinational law firms before moving in-house where she has worked in various locations advising on the entire lifecycle of upstream ventures, from exploration through to decommissioning, as well as on several new country entries and incident management. Shona has worked in the North Sea, US GOM and Canada and in several emerging markets, including playing a key role in leading Shell’s deal team on the new entry into offshore Mexico. She is passionate about our industry and has participated in several industry working groups, co-chairing the revision of Oil and Gas UK model contracts and working with the UK Government to obtain the first license extensions for production licenses nearing the end of their 30-year term.

Paul Deemer

Retired Partner in Residence, Vinson & Elkins

Paul Deemer is a Retired Partner in Residence in the London Office of Vinson & Elkins RLLP.  Paul has worked extensively on international energy projects, including upstream oil and gas projects, the acquisition and disposal of oil and gas assets (and companies owning those assets), cross-border oil pipeline projects, and electric power projects in Europe, Asia, the FSU, and the Middle East. He has also advised clients on renewable energy projects, and has represented developers and lenders on energy project financings.

 Paul was based in the Beijing Office of Vinson & Elkins from 1997 until 1999, and from 2002 until 2013, and in the firm’s London, Moscow and Singapore offices prior to that. He is a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London, an Adjunct Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University Law School, and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law. Paul is admitted to practice as a Solicitor in England and Wales, and in the State of Texas.

Ed Harper

Project Leader, Business Development, Equinor

Edward Harper is currently employed as a Project Leader in Business Development at Equinor, in Houston, Texas. Ed has over twenty-nine years of experience in Business Development in the energy industry. He began his career handling matters relating to the U.S. onshore, and throughout his career has worked on business development projects and negotiations (acquisitions and divestitures) for Canada, the U.S. (Alaska, onshore and Gulf of Mexico), Mexico and Argentina. Ed graduated from the University of Houston in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and major in Petroleum Land Management. Ed began his career with Fina Oil and Chemical, and then worked with Total and BP before joining Equinor in 2007.

Stuart Carter

Partner, Keystone Law

Stuart Carter has worked extensively in-house where he has held a number of senior legal and management roles, in addition to over 10 years’ City practice experience. Stuart has advised on transactions and projects across Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America, South East Asia and on the UKCS where he has acted for a broad spectrum of clients, including small to mid-cap E&Ps, multi- and super-nationals, service companies, NOCs and government departments.

Nick Scott

Business Development Advisor, ExxonMobil

Nick Scott has a degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Sheffield University. After graduation Nick joined Boots the Chemist finance graduate training scheme in 1999 and worked in retail, the set-up of Boots.com,  manufacturing and supply chain before moving to ExxonMobil in 2005. Starting in ExxonMobil’s finance department on financial reporting for the UK operated assets in the North Sea. Nick then spent several years in different roles in finance, planning, commercial, business development and JV asset management for ExxonMobil's the UK and Dutch non-operated portfolio. In 2016 Nick moved to the Africa exploration commercial team and has worked on projects in Mozambique, Namibia and Angola where he negotiated exploration and production contracts, farm-ins, farm-outs and JOAs with governments, NOCs and other international and local joint venture partners. Currently Nick is working on the Area 4 LNG development in Mozambique.

Tom Booth

Senior Legal Counsel, ABC/AML Americas, Shell Canada Limited

Tom Booth is a lawyer with more than 15 years of broad-based experience in Ethics & Compliance, Commercial, Corporate, and Regulatory matters. He has particular expertise in advising global businesses in the Energy Industry on Anti-Bribery and Corruption (FCPA, UKBA, and CFPOA), Anti-Money Laundering, and Antitrust / Competition Law compliance. Drawing also on experiences as a commercial lawyer, Tom’s current role at Shell involves finding a practical way to navigate compliance risks in a wide range of transactions and situations (eg. M&A, development and execution of business strategy, expansion of markets or lines of business, compliance and due diligence program review and design, employee training, and internal investigations and audits). Tom has advised businesses around the world, with his most extensive experience gained in the Americas (Canada, the United States, Brazil, Mexico and Trinidad) and, more recently, the Middle East.

Marty Tate

Head of Upstream Agreements, BHP Billiton Petroleum

Marty Tate received Bachelor of Science degrees in economics and psychology from Texas A&M University in 1989 and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Texas Tech University School of Law and became a member of the Texas State Bar in 1993.  After law school he worked from 1993-1998 as an associate attorney at Stibbs & Burbach in the Woodlands, focused primarily on commercial and insurance defense litigation. Since 1998 he held various roles starting with Occidental Energy Marketing, Nexen Petroleum, and BP America. In 2012 he joined BHP Billiton Petroleum as Senior Manager for Upstream Agreements. During his time at Nexen and BP, Marty’s primary responsibility was to provide legal support for exploration, midstream and production teams, with a focus on typical Gulf of Mexico matters. As a member of BP’s Gulf of Mexico legal team he provided legal support for the Deepwater Horizon crisis response, was responsible for managing the Macondo Operating Agreement dispute with Anadarko and Mitsui and later served as the senior attorney for the team responsible for implementing the technical and organizational changes called for by BP’s Deepwater Horizon Accident Investigation Report.  Since joining BHP in 2012, he has served as Senior Manager of Negotiations and Upstream Agreements for the Gulf of Mexico and in September of 2017 became Head of Upstream Agreements for BHP’s conventional petroleum business. Marty is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators, and the OCS Advisory Board.

Mark Beeley

Partner, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe

Mark Beeley acts as advocate and counsel in international arbitrations (both commercial and investor-state) and in litigation in the English and DIFC courts. He has particularly deep experience in energy disputes, but also regularly acts in construction, technology, insurance, shareholder and white-collar/civil fraud matters, as part of a broader commercial practice.

Mark has acted in arbitrations under the ICSID, LCIA, UNCITRAL, ICC, HKIAC, SIAC, LMAA, DIAC, AAA and other arbitration rules in disputes seated around the globe concerning multiple governing laws and is recognised in the leading directories for arbitration and natural resources disputes. In addition, he sits as arbitrator (including both as chairman and sole arbitrator). He previously practiced in Dubai as a Registered Foreign Lawyer and maintains a practice as advocate (and solicitor) in both the English and DIFC Courts (along with supervising cross-border litigation in multiple jurisdictions). Mark has been recognised as a foreign expert in disputes in both the UAE and India by Chambers.  He has been consistently ranked by Chambers for arbitration, as well being recognised in Legal 500 for both arbitration and commercial litigation.

He has a particular interest in energy sector disputes, including those in the upstream and LNG areas (he was described by Chambers & Partners UK 2018 as “an excellent litigator” knowing “oil and gas inside out” and is recognised in Who's Who Legal for Energy), but has dealt with matters across the industry, running the gamut from seismic acquisition agreements through to IP disputes involving refined products, carbon trading agreements and the construction of renewable projects. He currently leads the AIPN Model Form Revision sub-committee focusing on the dispute resolution aspects of the model form JOA.

Beyond energy, Mark has acted in the infrastructure/construction, technology, insurance, crypto-currency, fintech, pharmaceutical, telecoms, insurance and finance sectors (amongst others) and also advises extensively on white-collar/fraud matters, including money laundering, bribery, sanction and export control issues.

Originally called to the English Bar and now practicing as a solicitor-advocate, Mark frequently publishes and speaks on arbitration and energy matters, including on questions of sovereign immunity, res judicata, arbitration procedure, the award of interest and other questions on damages. He features in two categories of Who’s Who Legal, Arbitration and Energy 2020.

Pat Appel

Senior Counsel, Chevron Global Upstream & Gas

Patrick Appel has been representing clients in domestic and international energy projects for over 30 years, with an emphasis on international upstream projects since he began working for Chevron in 2003.

He counsels clients on obtaining rights to develop oil and gas projects in Africa and Latin America, and he regularly negotiates and structures a variety of investment vehicles – including joint ventures, joint operating agreements, farm-in/farm-out agreements, and joint bidding agreements – relating to the development of major energy and infrastructure projects. He also provides operational support and general counsel for Chevron’s affiliates engaged in frontier exploration activities. In the past, he also negotiated EPC and supplier agreements for Chevron’s major capital projects around the world.

While still outside counsel, he was a former Director of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators, where he received the President’s Award for his efforts in starting AIPN’s online presence.

Mr. Appel received his B.B.A. in Finance from the University of Texas in 1982 and his J.D. magna cum laude and Order of the Coif from University of Houston Law Center in 1985. Before starting with Chevron, he represented Chevron and other energy clients as a partner at Adams & Reese LLP and shareholder at Meyer Orlando & Evans PC. He is licensed to practice in Texas and California, and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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