African Law & Business
Tom Edwards represents clients in the energy industry – with a focus on upstream and midstream Oil & Gas – helping his clients to protect, develop and commercialise their investments, primarily through projects and transactions.
Mr. Edwards advises the owners and operators of upstream and mid-stream assets – across the field life-cycle – on legal and contractual matters relating to: granting instruments (including licence and concession models, production sharing agreements, and risk service contracts); exploration activities; joint venturing; field development and decommissioning operations (including security arrangements); and hydrocarbon lifting, transportation, processing, and sales arrangements - including gas contracts. Mr. Edwards also advises clients on the procurement of drilling and other oilfield services.
Mr. Edwards' clients include governments, national oil companies, super majors, utilities with upstream investments, and independents: he has been engaged in representations across the globe, advising clients on their activities in the North Sea, Africa (North and Sub-Saharan), Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Europe. In 2017, Mr. Edwards practiced as a Registered Foreign Lawyer whilst on secondment to the Singapore office of another U.S. law firm.
Prior to that, Mr. Edwards practiced in Aberdeen from 2010 to 2014, focusing primarily on North Sea assets. During that period, he lectured and tutored students at the University of Aberdeen on legal concepts and agreements specific to the oil and gas industry. Mr. Edwards has been awarded the BOSIET and MIST safety accreditations, necessary to attend to client matters on offshore installations in the UKCS.
- The Government of the United Kingdom – on its statutory management of the interests of National Iranian Oil company in the Rhum gas field in the North Sea, including advising on all aspects of the field restart; upstream and mid-stream transportation arrangements; gas and liquids sales arrangements including advising on multiple gas sales arrangements into the National Transmission System; shipper arrangements in various North Sea transportation systems; and advising on aspects of the interaction of the field activities with U.S. and EU sanctions arrangements;*
- The State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) – on the renegotiation, extension, and restatement of the Azeri-Chirag-Deepwater Guneshli (ACG) Production Sharing Agreement with a consortium of eight international oil companies led by BP and including ExxonMobil, Chevron and Statoil; advising on the associated entry of the SOCAR participant into the field JOA and the amendment of related midstream transportation arrangements. ACG, in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea, is one of the world’s largest producing offshore fields and the PCG renegotiation resulted in a reported US$40 billion investment commitment from the international consortium;*
- A European oil & gas major – on the drafting and negotiation of agreements (farm-in, joint operating, security and project) for various acquisitions of unconventional oil & gas interests in the Neuquén Province (Vaca Muerta) of Argentina (two involving YPF and the other involving Shell);*
- A European independent oil & gas company – on its proposed entry into two concessions with ADNOC covering producing oil & gas fields offshore Abu Dhabi;*
- Sumitomo Corporation – on the upstream aspects of the sale to Ithaca Energy of its interests in the Pierce, Cook and Wytch Farm fields for circa US$170 million; including advising on a pre-sale reorganisation of the group's UK assets including an interest in the Elgin-Franklin field complex and related infrastructure;*
- Shell – on virtual secondment to its Aberdeen in-house legal team, assisting with offshore transportation matters, field development agreements and Execution Deeds. This assignment included assistance with the amendment of the Northern Leg Gas Pipeline TPA under which comingled third party production from West of Shetland and Northern North Sea fields was exported via the Brent field infrastructure. The amendment of the TPA was necessitated by the decommissioning of the Shell operated Brent Alpha Platform, and the associated Brent Bypass Project under which the subsea infrastructure was re-routed, to ensure the continued availability of the export route;*
- The substitute commercial operator of a North Sea gas field – on its dispute with the third party owners of its host platform and facilities, regarding the proposed conversion from tariff to opex based charging under the TPOSA pursuant to which the host platform provided transportation and processing services. The TPOSA imposed a bespoke expert determination process applying to opex conversion disputes;*
- A Middle Eastern national oil company – on the development of its standard petroleum contact (services model) for exploration, field development and operational activities;*
- A shipper in a major UKCS trunk gas transportation system – on its gas transportation arrangements including advising on a novel post-terminal CO2 blending arrangement and the associated procurement of low CO2 gas flow services from a shipper in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea;*
- An independent U.S. oil & gas company – on its farm-in to exploration acreage offshore Trinidad, and on the associated field tie-in arrangements (turn-key drilling, CTIA, and TPOSA) to adjacent third-party field infrastructure;*
- A European Oil & Gas major –on a transportation services agreement for a gas transportation system offshore Angola;*
- A U.S. independent oil & gas company – across its portfolio of exploration, producing and late-life UKCS assets including: (i) advising on the unitization of its operated interest in a greenfield gas and condensate asset whilst in development and then production; and (ii) on the decommissioning of four late-life fields*;
- The upstream arm of a European utility provider – on various matters across its portfolio of North Sea gas fields, including advising on both joint venture and decommissioning security matters arising from a co-venturer disposal of an interest in an operated asset, which included a stratigraphic carve-out from the unit area;* and
- A UKCS asset owner – on a joint venture dispute with its operator in respect of liability for the costs of a rig supplied under a federal contract whilst demobilised from joint operations.
International Comparative Legal Guides Online
ICLG.com - African Law & Business
UK Completes Successful 32nd Offshore Licensing Round Against a Backdrop of Energy Transition InitiativesClient Updates