Andrews Kurth Middle East Newsletter The Driving Force For Your International Business

Andrews Kurth Middle East
Newsletter
The Driving Force For Your International Business
November 2014
STRAIGHT TALK IS GOOD BUSINESS.
Welcome to the November 2014 issue of the Andrews Kurth Middle East Newsletter.
In this edition, we look forward to ADIPEC in Abu Dhabi next week, look at developments within the
Norwegian domestic oil and gas market, and report on themes from recent oil and gas industry events that
we have attended in Aberdeen and Amsterdam. We also introduce a special seminar that we will hold in
conjunction with the Energy Industries Council in Abu Dhabi in January, as part of our ongoing intelligent
energy law series.
The drive towards advanced technology solutions continues to be a key theme for the energy industry in
the Middle East and will be the focus for our seminar during ADIPEC looking at exploiting and protecting
advanced energy technology in the region.
Affordable energy is a strategic preoccupation for the industry and technology developments will be fundamental to the efficient
recovery of oil and gas assets worldwide. In higher cost production areas, including Norway, the current focus on cost reduction
will almost certainly provide a spur to innovation and incline the service sector towards exploring other energy markets, including
the Middle East.
We will be exploring many of the issues that companies either entering or expanding in the Middle East must consider in a
seminar in Abu Dhabi in January, in partnership with the EIC.
In the meantime, if you are coming to ADIPEC we hope that you will have the opportunity to visit us at the Energy Industries
Council Pavilion, Hall 9, Stand 8140E, or to attend our seminar on 11 November, further details below.
Best regards,
Hugh Fraser, Office Managing Partner, Dubai
STRAIGHT TALK IS GOOD BUSINESS. ®
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Middle East Oppor tunities and Challenges in Focus at ADIPEC
Andrews Kurth Middle East Newsletter
November 2014
The major issues facing the energy industry in the Middle East will be in focus this month when ADIPEC marks its 30th
anniversary in Abu Dhabi. The show and conference, which runs from 10 to 13 November, will attract around 100,000
delegates from around the world. Themes high on the region’s energy agenda will include gas supply and demand in the
domestic market, the impact of the oil price slippage and the industry’s gravitation towards advanced technology solutions.
Members of the Andrews Kurth Intelligent Energy Law team from Dubai and Houston will be in Abu Dhabi for the event and
will deliver a seminar exploring the issues around protecting and exploiting advanced energy technology in the region.
Colleagues from the Beijing office of Andrews Kurth – partner Jerry Jie Li and associate Jane Jiang – will also be present to
support work on the introduction of Chinese companies into the Middle East.
The Middle East is experiencing an increasing demand for advanced technology and expertise at a time when the industry
globally is changing its approach to acquiring, transferring and protecting its intellectual capital. The factors influencing this
shift include enhanced oil recovery, sour gas, heavy oil, tight gas, LNG, GTL, “clean fuels” refineries, carbon capture and
storage, nuclear and solar technologies.
A further drive to advanced technology will certainly follow if the current and prospective Red Sea and East Mediterranean
exploration and appraisal programmes bring deepwater fields into play in a region historically dominated by onshore and
shallow water production.
Hugh Fraser, managing partner of Andrews Kurth’s Dubai office, said: “The region’s technology needs are evolving fast and
the question companies in the market, or those wishing to enter it, need to ask themselves is whether their IP strategy is fit
for purpose. However, this is not just a regional concern. The dynamics of the energy IP market are moving towards those of
the major international technology markets and the energy sector needs to review and adapt accordingly. If technology is
what generates value for your business, you need to be thinking about whether your strategies and safeguards are
adequate.
“There are a number of fundamental commercial and legal considerations for market entrants. These include territorial
application of patent rights, who owns new IP that arises from work, specialist personnel contracts and restrictive covenants
that reflect the increasingly mobile and consultant-heavy workforce, licensing and enhanced technology services
agreements, and infringement monitoring, defense and indemnities. Appropriate weight must also be given to the governing
law of contracts and statutory laws, dispute resolution planning and jurisdiction issues.”
“With an increasing amount of private equity investment in the service sector, businesses also need to be planning ahead
for corporate exit strategies and due diligence, including establishing IP asset registers and audits,” said Hugh Fraser.
These issues are arising against a backdrop of significant change in how the energy industry trades in IP and technology.
Houston-based partner Jeff Dodd, who chairs Andrews Kurth’s Intellectual Property and Technology Transactions group,
explained: “The oil and gas industry has traditionally been heavily invested in technology and innovation embodied in
tangible products, principally equipment, or in connection with services. The primary change now occurring is that
transactions involving oilfield technology are becoming international, market-driven deals with new participants getting
involved. At the same time, we are seeing a deconstruction of product and service components from IP and technology
components. In other words, oil and gas is becoming like the other major, global technology markets.
“The industry’s traditional IP value chain – comprising the creation, securing, acquisition and monetisation of IP – now has
many complicating factors.”
STRAIGHT TALK IS GOOD BUSINESS. ®
Ar ticles
“It is in the monetisation of IP where perhaps the greatest changes are occurring. The industry is increasingly
deconstructing IP from products or services to provide greater control over distribution and income streams. Monetisation of
IP is considered earlier than ever before and market forces that compel mining of IP to identify and unlock value drive this.
The market drives more aggressive IP acquisition or blocking, challenge and assertion, and IP is being evaluated more
thoroughly for repurposing in other industry sectors,” said Jeff Dodd.
There is a corresponding change in how companies are seeking to protect their IP, according to Greg Porter, a partner and
patent and trade secret law specialist with Andrews Kurth in Houston. “The energy industries currently rank 14th out of the
20 major technology industries in terms of patent litigation but we can reasonably expect this to change in an increasingly
competitive market where IP is traded as a commodity separate from the traditional products and services,” said Greg
Porter.
“Part of protecting against such litigation will involve strong employee and confidentiality agreements, maintaining a robust
patent portfolio and carrying out cost-effective freedom to operate searches and clearances.”
Visit the Andrews Kurth team during ADIPEC at the Energy Industries Council (EIC) Pavilion, Hall 9, Stand 8140E, or email
Nicole Parry ([email protected]) to register to attend the ‘Protecting and Exploiting Advanced Energy Technology’
seminar on 11 November 2014, which runs from 10:00am – 11:30am in Capital Suite 16 on the Mezzanine Floor of ADNEC.
A past performance or prior result is no guarantee of a similar future result in another case or matter. Andrews Kurth is responsible for the content of this
website. Andrews Kurth, the Andrews Kurth logo and Straight Talk Is Good Business are registered service marks of Andrews Kurth LLP. Andrews Kurth LLP is
a Texas limited liability partnership. Andrews Kurth (UK) LLP is authorized and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority of England and Wales (SRA
Registration No.598542). Andrews Kurth (Middle East) DMCC is registered and licensed as a Free Zone company under the rules and regulations of DMCCA.
STRAIGHT TALK IS GOOD BUSINESS. ®
Ar ticles
NCS Cost Controls May Dr ive Technology Development
Andrews Kurth Middle East Newsletter
November 2014
Recent developments in the Norwegian oil and gas industry are likely to drive new technology development and push
companies to explore opportunities in the Middle East to develop new revenue streams.
In Norway, 2014 has been dominated by Statoil’s freeze of new projects on the Norwegian Continental Shelf and major cuts
in modification, upgrading and rig hire activities. The move has been partly driven by the increasing cost of production, and
the service sector in particular is now looking at how it can reduce costs.
Companies operating in the UK Continental Shelf are undergoing a similar realignment, with some of the major service
companies having already announced cost reduction programmes in response to pressure from operators.
Stavanger-based attorney Lisbeth Maier, who rejoined the Andrews Kurth Middle East team in October, has gained valuable
insight into what lies ahead for Norwegian companies through her participation in a series of recent events, including
Technology Days in Bergen and a meeting of the Norwegian Business Group in Dubai, which focused on managing local
partner agreements and dispute resolution.
Lisbeth has lived and worked in Egypt, Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates but is now based in her home city of Stavanger
and a member of INTSOK – Norwegian Oil and Gas Partners – which was established in 1997 by the Norwegian oil and gas
industry and the Norwegian government. INTSOK works with companies throughout the upstream oil and gas industry to
expand their business activities in the international oil and gas markets on the basis of the industry’s leading-edge
experience, technology and expertise.
Lisbeth Maier said: “The current situation in the Norwegian market is having a major impact on the service sector and some
companies will be seriously affected by the cuts. However, many of the service companies agree that there needs to be a
realignment of costs within the industry. Service prices have climbed too high in recent years and something has to be done
to make future E&P projects sustainable and economically attractive.
“One likely outcome is that cost reduction will lead to new technology development and cost-efficient solutions. Norwegian
technology companies have a history of improving methods to meet harsh NCS environment and tough safety regulations.
Secondly, Norwegian companies will increasingly seek new revenue stream in international markets and the Middle East is
an attractive proposition for many of their technologies.”
A past performance or prior result is no guarantee of a similar future result in another case or matter. Andrews Kurth is responsible for the content of this
website. Andrews Kurth, the Andrews Kurth logo and Straight Talk Is Good Business are registered service marks of Andrews Kurth LLP. Andrews Kurth LLP is
a Texas limited liability partnership. Andrews Kurth (UK) LLP is authorized and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority of England and Wales (SRA
Registration No.598542). Andrews Kurth (Middle East) DMCC is registered and licensed as a Free Zone company under the rules and regulations of DMCCA.
STRAIGHT TALK IS GOOD BUSINESS. ®
Ar ticles
Towards the Goal of Affordable Energy
Andrews Kurth Middle East Newsletter
November 2014
Oil and gas industry events during October served to underline the critical role that technology development will have in the
future of the oil and gas industry. Andrews Kurth team members recently attended the Deep Offshore Technology
International Conference & Exhibition in Aberdeen and the Society of Petroleum Engineers Annual Technical Conference
and Exhibition and Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference events in Amsterdam. The theme of affordable energy was
prevalent at all of these events and at Offshore Northern Seas in Stavanger in August, with widespread recognition that
advanced technology will be responsible for enabling the cost-efficient recovery of hydrocarbon assets in the years ahead.
The global energy industry is currently at something of a crossroads. The worldwide demand for energy is expected to
increase by almost 40% between now and 2040 yet the sector is heavily reliant on mature petroleum assets. More will have
to be done to maximise recovery from existing assets and to bring new assets into production to meet this demand.
Subsea is one area where technology development is going to be essential for the industry. Speaking at a dinner during
Deep Offshore Technology, Neil Gordon, chief executive of industry body Subsea UK, highlighted subsea and deepwater
activity as a priority area, including seismic reservoir characterisation and management, drilling efficiencies and subsea
production.
Hugh Fraser, managing partner of Andrews Kurth’s Dubai office, said: “Deepwater has not been a significant feature of
Middle East oil and gas production to date but activity in the East Mediterranean, Red Sea and offshore Oman is likely to
change this. The relevance of subsea technologies to the region will increase and companies with expertise developed in
the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea may well find it an increasingly receptive market for their technologies and know-how.
“With our Intelligent Energy Law portfolio of services and experience we are strategically positioned to support technology
migration from the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea into the Middle East. Drawing upon our offices and experience in all
three locations, we anticipate growing demand in this area.”
As part of this proposition, Houston-based partner Greg Porter and associate Lee Davis, both of whom practice in the field
of intellectual property, will be supporting Andrews Kurth’s provision of solutions to clients while Scandinavian attorneys,
Lisbeth Maier and Stine Thorup, bring knowledge of the Scandinavian and Middle East markets to the growing Intelligent
Energy Law practice.
A past performance or prior result is no guarantee of a similar future result in another case or matter. Andrews Kurth is responsible for the content of this
website. Andrews Kurth, the Andrews Kurth logo and Straight Talk Is Good Business are registered service marks of Andrews Kurth LLP. Andrews Kurth LLP is
a Texas limited liability partnership. Andrews Kurth (UK) LLP is authorized and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority of England and Wales (SRA
Registration No.598542). Andrews Kurth (Middle East) DMCC is registered and licensed as a Free Zone company under the rules and regulations of DMCCA.
STRAIGHT TALK IS GOOD BUSINESS. ®
Ar ticles
Legal and Contractual Risk Seminar
Andrews Kurth Middle East Newsletter
November 2014
Managing legal and contractual risk in the Middle East will be the focus for a special, one-day event in Abu Dhabi in early
2015. Andrews Kurth Middle East, in conjunction with the Energy Industries Council (EIC), will provide an insight into the
key legal issues that UK companies need to be aware of in order to enjoy successful business practice in the region.
The EIC is the leading trade association providing dedicated services to help members understand, identify and pursue
business opportunities globally. Established in 1943, the EIC is a not-for-profit organisation with a membership of over 650
UK-registered companies which deliver goods and services to the energy industries worldwide.
Billed as a survival guide for UK companies, the seminar takes place on 27 January at the Yas Island Rotana Hotel in Abu
Dhabi, starting at 11.30am. The day’s agenda will include setting up and expanding businesses in the Middle East, dealing
with local partner agreements, client and supplier contracts, employment contracts, intelligent energy law, taxation and
customs duties, business ethics and anti-corruption, use of free zone and offshore companies, legal and business
structures, and an update on trade sanctions. Hugh Fraser, managing partner of Andrews Kurth’s Dubai office, and senior
attorney Heather Williams will be presenting.
Hugh Fraser said: “The geographical area covered by the Dubai Office of the EIC, led by Terry Willis, extends eastwards
from Kazakhstan, across the Caspian into the Middle East and on to North Africa and Algeria in the west. This
encompasses an area that holds over 55% of the world’s total oil reserves and 58% of the total gas deposits. With this in
mind and taking into account the predictions that world energy demand is expected to outstrip supply in the not too distant
future, the Middle East is critical to the longer term oil and gas outlook.
“We are delighted to be working with Terry and his team in Dubai to deliver this seminar that will equip companies entering
the market or expanding in the region with a clear picture of all the issues they need to address to achieve a successful
operation.”
For more information on the seminar, please email: [email protected]
A past performance or prior result is no guarantee of a similar future result in another case or matter. Andrews Kurth is responsible for the content of this
website. Andrews Kurth, the Andrews Kurth logo and Straight Talk Is Good Business are registered service marks of Andrews Kurth LLP. Andrews Kurth LLP is
a Texas limited liability partnership. Andrews Kurth (UK) LLP is authorized and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority of England and Wales (SRA
Registration No.598542). Andrews Kurth (Middle East) DMCC is registered and licensed as a Free Zone company under the rules and regulations of DMCCA.
STRAIGHT TALK IS GOOD BUSINESS.
Intelligent Energy Law in the Middle East Protecting and Exploiting Advanced Energy Technology
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 | 10:00AM - 11:30AM
Capital Suite 16 on the Mezzanine Floor of ADNEC
ADIPEC | Abu Dhabi, UAE
Andrews Kurth is on the forefront of addressing the legal issues related to the increasingly complex technologies used by
international energy companies. We call this Intelligent Energy Law. We have advised companies in the energy industry since our
founding in 1902, and apply our deep and rich experience to anticipate and resolve the legal and contractual challenges posed by
deploying advanced energy technologies.
At our seminar, we will discuss the trends we are seeing in the market and the best practices for protecting and exploiting advanced
technology assets. We look forward to seeing you there.
Upcoming Events
We are pleased to announce that Andrews Kurth will be attending the following upcoming events. If you have plans to be at any of
these conferences, we would be delighted to meet with you. If you would like to meet with us or have any questions, please contact
[email protected]
•
Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference (ADIPEC 2014)
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (10-13 November 2014)
Please visit Andrews Kurth at booth 8140E.
•
World Future Energy Summit
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (19-22 January 2015)
•
Energy Industries Council (EIC) Training “Managing Legal and Contractual Risk in the Middle East:
A Survival Guide for UK Companies”
Dubai, United Arab Emirates (27 January 2015)
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Talk Is Good Business are registered service marks of Andrews Kurth LLP. All Rights Reserved. This brochure
has been prepared for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal counsel. This information is
not intended to create (and receipt of it does not constitute) a lawyer-client relationship. Readers should not act
on this information without seeking professional counsel. A past performance or prior result is no guarantee of
a similar future result in another case or matter. Andrews Kurth (Middle East) DMCC is registered and licensed
as a Free Zone company under the rules and regulations of DMCCA. Andrews Kurth (UK) LLP is authorized and
regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority of England and Wales (SRA Registration No.598542). Andrews
Kurth LLP is a Texas limited liability partnership. Attorney Advertising. 14471
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