Hero Oil Barrels

Oil and gas

Strategic, specialist legal advice for the oil and gas industry in the UKCS, and beyond.

Uisdean Vass and Laura Petrie lead Ledingham Chalmers’ Aberdeen-based oil and gas practice.

The oil and gas practice provides a seamless legal service for the oil industry, principally in the UKCS but also internationally.

The team advises upstream companies on a range of issues including exploration (contracting and regulatory matters); development (including acquisition, divestment and farm-in arrangements); operational matters (such as transportation and joint operations); and decommissioning (including security arrangements, contracting and regulatory matters).

In addition, Laura and Uisdean can advise on a wide range of construction and contracting issues for the service sector. Drawing on support from colleagues across Ledingham Chalmers, the team can also provide support in respect of general corporate issues, employment queries, dispute resolution and property-related matters.

Between them, Uisdean and Laura boast 30 years’ experience in working on UKCS matters. Uisdean has a further 17 years international experience living in the USA, Venezuela and Brazil. Since returning to Scotland in 2003, Uisdean has advised clients based in Africa, Middle East and Asia.

Some of the recent experience of Uisdean and Laura includes -

  • Providing material assistance and advice in the due diligence, preparation of the SPA and arrangements for allocation of decommissioning liabilities (and related security arrangements)  together with the transfer of such assets to completion for a multi-billion dollar acquisition of UKCS assets which concluded in 2017;
  • Leading as principal advisor in the preparation, negotiation and execution of the SPA (including related due diligence and allocation of decommissioning liabilities) for an acquisition of late-life UKCS assets with a potential value of over $250 million in 2017;
  • Advising a new entrant on bidding for and winning a licence with a gas discovery and negotiation and drafting of an advance sales gas contract and collaborative contracting structure to allow development (ongoing);
  • Advising a new entrant on the acquisition of multiple connected gas fields in the SNS including SPA negotiation and complex decommissioning liability allocations and security arrangements in respect of the same; Advising a UK based independent oil company on exiting a Tunisian block;
  • Drafting and advising on bespoke contracting arrangements (including general terms and conditions) and advising on and negotiation of industry standard form contracting arrangements (LOGIC, NEC3 etc.);  and
  • Advising a UK onshore oil company on joint venture strategy for a joint PEDL bid and joint operating agreement issues post bid.

Industry commentary and training expertise

Both Uisdean and Laura are well known oil and gas practitioners and noted commentators. They both frequently present to the industry in respect of key transactional topics (farm-in arrangements, transportation and decommissioning) as well as more regulatory and commercial topics (MER, collaboration and general contracting principles).  Both have recently contributed chapters to the forthcoming revised edition of Oil and Gas Law: Current Practices and Emerging Trends by Gordon, Paterson and Usenmez.

The team can also provide a range of training and development seminars including general sessions on key industry topics (including farm-in arrangements, decommissioning security, transportation and key contracting principles) as well as presentations tailored to meet exact client requirements, intended transactions or projects.

Ledingham Chalmers is a member of Oil & Gas UK and both Uisdean and Laura are members of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN). Uisdean is the Scottish Coordinator for the AIPN and is also Ledingham Chalmers’ Norway team leader.

Mike Cunningham

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