Oil and Gas Operations in Areas Disputed Between States


Where which State is entitled to control oil and gas resources in a particular area is disputed, companies wishing to exploit those resources face risks not experienced by most projects. These particular risks arise from the fact that the legal foundation for engaging in oil and gas activity depends upon the authority of a governmental body to grant a license or concession, and that authority may be contested. The identification of these risks, their management during a project, and the resolution of disputes arising from them form the subject of this seminar, which is a joint initiative of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators and ASIL.

With over 150 unresolved inter-State disputes concerning entitlement to control land territory and maritime areas, this is an important issue for energy companies, governments and others affected by these disputes. A panel with representatives from academia, industry, and legal practice has been convened to address this topic, with particular reference to the following issues: 

  • Situations of persistent illegality
  • Issues of State succession and secession
  • Strategies for operating in areas subject to a chronic dispute
  • Joint development zones
  • Dispute resolution


  • Ben Juratowitch, head of public international law practice, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 
  • Helen Mulvein, legal counsellor, United Kingdom Mission to the United Nations
  • Sean Murphy, member of the International Law Commission and professor, George Washington University Law School 
  • Ed Turner, counsel, ExxonMobil 

Moderator: Ben Love, senior associate, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; AIPN New York sub-chapter director

Date and Location

Monday, October 24, 2016 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Address 1: 
601 Lexington Ave
Address 2: 
Suite 31
New York