Total Value of Contracts Exceeding $20B
Our lawyers have negotiated, drafted, evaluated tenders for, and advised on the implementation and amendment of a range of oilfield supplies and services contracts, including:
Integrated Services Contract
A billion-dollar-plus integrated services contract for a major oil field. Contracting for all oilfield services with one contractor can reduce the contract administrative burden for the field operator, enable the transfer of some functions usually undertaken by the operator, such as obtaining licences and approvals, to the integrated services contractor, and allow for the transfer of some risk to the integrated services contractor. Particular care needs to be taken to clearly delineate responsibilities and liabilities as between the parties. In emerging markets, integrated services contracts may prove difficult for the host country to approve, as it may reduce the opportunities for local service providers to bid for services unless local content obligations are passed on to the integrated services contractor. Care also needs to be taken at the contracting stage as to how, at the time of the termination of the integrated services contract, continuity of services can be ensured from sub-contractors, particularly in remote areas where a broad pool of contractors may not be available.
FEED, EPC and EPCM Contracts
Contracts for engineering, design services, procurement, major construction, installation, and construction and commissioning management. Contracts we advised on were for a full range of oilfield requirements, including early works, stabilisation and sweetening trains, processing facility and reinjection capacity expansion, civil works, well hook-ups, and gas turbine power generating facilities.
Main Works Contract
A billion-dollar-plus main works contract for the construction of processing facilities and pipelines (including early works, civil works, mechanical works, including construction of buildings, pumping stations, supply and installation of equipment, commissioning, transportation, and logistics). Amendments to the cost structure of a main works contract from reimbursable and unit rates to a lump sum basis. Amendments to the procurement of materials from free-issued to contractor procurement. An agreement for clearing-out several hundred variation orders. An agreement for ongoing works, pending the resolution of a dispute.
Well Engineering Services Contracts
A number of well engineering services contracts for the provision of drilling and workover rigs and associated services, both onshore and offshore.
Land Leases and Commercial Office Leases
Numerous land leases for land on and around rigs and oil fields and commercial office leases for clients. Although the operator of an oil field will have general rights of access and use of land necessary to carry out its activities, care should be taken to ensure that there are no further regulatory or commercial requirements for the use of land, with hidden costs. We do not carry out conveyancing, but we have advised on commercial leases.
Materials Supply Contracts
Numerous contracts for goods, including for gas turbines, casings, valves, and tubular services.
Fair Billing Policy
During the first six months of 2018 we carried out a survey of senior lawyers and general counsels in the oil industry and other industries. As none of these were clients, they were able to be frank.
The level of annoyance with services provided by the law firms was shocking. Most of the grievances boiled down to billing practices - in particular being billed for time that it was felt was unfair to bill for - such as internal law firm briefings, the client educating the firm and the client improving contracts drafted by the firm.
To address these concerns we have implemented an 8-point fair billing policy, under which we do not bill for time spent on these activities. This has been very well received and makes for a much better relationship.