University of Houston Law Center Logo
Give Now  
HOME Faculty

Printable Version

Fall 2023

5371 International Petroleum Transactions - WRIGHT- 12008

Professor(s): Denney Wright (OTHER FACULTY)

Credits: 3

Course Areas: Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law 
International Law

Time: 4:00p-5:30p  TTH  Location: 310 

Course Outline: International Petroleum Transactions provides an overview of the laws, contracts, and legal issues that arise between host governments and oil companies that seek to invest in and develop oil and gas owned by the host governments. The course includes: an overview of National Oil Companies (the largest reserve owners today), ascertaining title to the minerals, especially in federalist countries or countries with indigenous tribes; resolving boundary disputes between nations; a comparison of the most commonly used granting contracts (licenses, production-sharing contracts and service contracts); issues arising under the international Joint Operating Agreement; sustainable development in resource development, including social impact assessment, human rights issues and litigation, and liability for transboundary pollution and oil spills; anti-corruption laws and codes; international arbitration; and other issues as time permits. The course also provides a good background to the future of the western majors in the global context of international energy. The class will have several guest lecturers who are leading practitioners in specialized areas of international petroleum transactions, such as arbitration and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Course Syllabus: Syllabus

Course Notes: (Face-to-Face)  The UH registration system instruction mode for this course is listed in parenthesis. After student registration opens, there may be instruction mode changes to this course up through two weeks before the first day of classes for the term, but notice of such changes will be sent to then-registered students. For this instruction mode, instructors and students are expected to normally be physically present in the classroom. If the course has a final examination, it will be in a classroom requiring your physical presence. Other assessment, such as a mid term exam, may also be in a classroom. Whether this instructor will offer “remote presence” (starting a zoom meeting from the podium computer to enable student remote access on an occasional basis) for part or all of the semester is not known, but students should not rely on an expectation that remote presence will be available.

Prerequisites:  It is interesting to contrast international contracts with the private oil and gas lease system studied in Oil and Gas Law (which is largely Texas oil and gas law, including Texas regulation of oil and gas). But Oil and Gas Law is not a prerequisite and the system of private ownership is quite different from the international world.

First Day Assignments:

Final Exam Schedule: 12/5 4pm-7pm  310    

This course will have:

Satisfies Senior Upper Level Writing Requirement: No

Experiential Course Type: No

Bar Course: No

DistanceEd ABA: No

Pass-Fail Student Election: Available

Course Materials

Book(s) Required

King and Spalding, Upstream Government Petroleum Contracts, Juris Publishing, Inc., 2017 Ed. (ISBN 978-1-57823-507-0).

Other Text Resources (supplements to required text for optional reference)

Smith, Dzienkowski, et. al., International Petroleum Transactions, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, 3d Ed. 2010 (ISBN 978-1-882047-48-2). Page references will be included on Assignment Sheet FYI -- this book is available in the UHLC Law Library.

Jarlsby and Pereira, Petroleum Fiscal Systems, PennWell, 2018 Ed. (ISBN 978-1- 593704-80-3) – general supplement.

Johnston, International Petroleum Fiscal Systems and Production Sharing Contracts, PennWell, 1994 Ed. (ISBN 100-87814-426-9) – general supplement.