Upstream Oil and Gas Agreements on the UKCS
Produced in partnership with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP
Upstream Oil and Gas Agreements on the UKCS

The following Energy practice note Produced in partnership with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Upstream Oil and Gas Agreements on the UKCS
  • UKCS Petroleum Project Lifecycle
  • Licensing
  • Exploration
  • Appraisal
  • Development
  • Production
  • Transportation
  • Decommissioning

UKCS Petroleum Project Lifecycle

The lifecycle of a typical petroleum project on the UKCS can be viewed in the following stages:

Each stage of an upstream petroleum project will require several different legal contracts, the precise mix of which will depend on the project specifics, including the nature of the field, the parties to the project and the anticipated activities to be carried out. We set out below a brief overview of the most common commercial agreements found at each stage of a typical upstream petroleum project on the UKCS. The associated financial agreements required in connection with an upstream petroleum project and agreements relating to the acquisition and disposal of assets on the UKCS are outside the scope of this note.

Licensing

Licensing refers to the process by which a party bids for and is awarded a licence to explore for and/or to produce petroleum. For further information see Practice Note: Oil & Gas—UKCS licensing regime.

The most common legal contracts entered into during the initial licensing stage include:

Agreement TitlePartiesNature of the AgreementStandard Forms
Joint bid or joint study and bid agreement (JSBA)Companies (A,B,C)Multiple companies agree to bid jointly for a specific licence/share the costs of studying a development project, pre-Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) (with a JOA to follow if the bid is successful)
See Practice Note: Joint study and

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