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International Energy Arbitration

Thompson & Knight’s international energy arbitration group is unlike virtually any other, because it combines our transactional expertise in the upstream, midstream, and downstream segments of the international energy sector with our experience in conducting energy-focused arbitrations, both ad hoc and under the rules of the major arbitral institutions.

Overview

International arbitration is complex, especially in the international energy sector. So, it is key to have attorneys who are deeply knowledgeable in the business side of the industry, have drafted and negotiated the contracts used in the industry, and have prosecuted and defended disputes involving those contracts and investments. That’s what we do.

It’s also what makes us different than most other firms. We negotiate host government granting instruments—on both sides of the table. We also negotiate and draft all of the upstream, midstream, and downstream contracts used in the international energy sector, from joint operating agreements and unit agreements to pipeline agreements to hydrocarbon purchase and sales agreements. In these transactions, we negotiate and draft the international arbitration clauses that will be invoked should a dispute arise.

Our insight into these contracts helps us provide strategic advice to our clients if a dispute arises. If that dispute formalizes to arbitration, our transactional experience helps our clients develop winning strategies and arguments for their case. Our collective experience in arbitrations includes disputes around the globe, governed by the Common Law and the Civil Law, and in diverse languages. These arbitrations have been administered by the ICC, ICDR (AAA), LCIA, CRCICA, and the Iran-US Claims Tribunal. This experience gives us unique knowledge of arbitrators, expert witnesses, and opposing counsel, which adds value to the prosecution or defense of the case.

Experience

  • Represented an international energy company’s affiliate in a AAA arbitration involving claims for breach of contract
  • Represented an international energy company in an ICDR arbitration involving claims for breach of contract and declaratory relief
  • Prosecuted claims in an ICC arbitration for an international energy company regarding breaches under a joint operating agreement governing a host-government contract in South America for improper cash calls, improper awards of contracts by the operator, a refusal to withdraw, and gross negligence of the operator in conducting joint operations
  • Represented an independent energy company in a AAA arbitration involving the breach of a purchase-and-sale agreement for certain oil and gas assets
  • Represented an international energy company’s affiliates in an ICDR arbitration involving claims for breach of contract and other relief
  • Defended a foreign subsidiary of an international oil and gas company in a PCA arbitration about challenges to an expert redetermination under a unit operating agreement governing an oil field in West Africa
  • Defended a Canadian company in an ICDR arbitration against claims about the scope of a net profits interest in an upstream hydrocarbon contract in Colombia
  • Defended an Argentine company in an ICC arbitration involving a force majeure claim under a natural gas sales contract exporting to Chile
  • Representing a Canadian company in an ad hoc arbitration under the Arbitration Act (Alberta) regarding payments made under a farm-in agreement and obligations under a draft joint operating agreement with respect to two upstream hydrocarbon contracts in Colombia
  • Represented an energy company in connection with a potential arbitration involving the interruption to supply of a natural gas pipeline through the Sinai desert
  • Represent two international energy companies in an ICDR arbitration involving claims for declaratory relief regarding the interpretation of an oil and gas contract
  • Secured an arbitration award for an oil and gas exploration and production company in an international arbitration proceeding concerning claims of fraud, misrepresentation, and breach of contract in a dispute between joint operators of an oil and gas concession in the Middle East
  • Represented a global oil company in an international arbitration for one of the largest of the claims (US$1.6 billion) arising out of the Iranian Claims Tribunal; the client was an owner in a large offshore producing field that was nationalized and pursued arbitration against the Government of Iran as a consequence of the Algerian Accords; the case was heard in The Hague and resulted in one of the largest awards in favor of a claimant granted by the Claims Tribunal
  • Represented a global energy company in an ICC arbitration in Paris involving claims against the Libyan National Oil Company; our client, a leading producer of petroleum and petrochemical products, invoked the force majeure clause in the contract, which was related to one of the largest work commitments in an oil and gas contract at that time; the arbitration resulted in an exceptionally favorable result for our client
  • Represented an oil and gas company in an ICDR arbitration regarding an oil field project in Bolivia
  • Prosecuted various claims under the United Kingdom-Egypt Bilateral Investment Treaty in an ICSID arbitration stemming from an upstream investment in the hydrocarbon sector
  • Prosecuted claims for an oil and gas company in a Cairo Regional Centre of International Commercial Arbitration asserting various claims arising from host-government upstream contracts
  • Prosecuted claims in an ICC arbitration for an international oil and gas company involving preemption right and withdrawal provisions under a joint operating agreement in North Africa
  • Prosecuted claims in an ICC arbitration on behalf of an international oil and gas company involving the application and scope of a preemption right provision under a joint operating agreement in West Africa
  • Defending a state-owned energy company in an LCIA arbitration involving a failed LNG cargo in an LNG swap transaction
  • Prosecuting NAFTA claims on behalf of a U.S. oil and gas company against Mexico involving breaches of Mexico’s investment treaty obligations related to an oilfield service contract
  • Prosecuting claims against Mexico in USMCA dispute resolution proceedings involving breaches of Mexico’s investment treaty obligations related to oilfield services contracts
  • Represented an international energy company’s affiliates in connection with the confirmation of an ICDR arbitration award
  • Defended discovery requests on behalf of a state-owned energy company arising from an international arbitration under 28 USC § 1782 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
  • Defended discovery requests on behalf of an oilfield services company arising from an international arbitration under 28 USC § 1782 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • Defended discovery requests arising from an international arbitration under Texas procedural rules and 28 USC 1782 in Texas state court and the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware

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