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About Ben

Ben is an energy lawyer with a particular focus on the oil and gas sector. He has advised clients on the development, sale, purchase and financing of oil and gas assets across the value chain, from wellhead to market. Ben has particular experience in relation to African transactions, having advised on deals in more than 25 jurisdictions across the continent.

Clients highlight ‘his ability to understand our drivers and motivations and to help us achieve what we want through tailored advice.’
Chambers UK, 2019

Experience

Recent Notable Matters

Genel Energy plc — in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq on its farm-in to the Chevron operated Sarta and Qara Dagh blocks, the development and commercialization of its Miran and Bina Bawi gas discoveries for export to Turkey, the acquisition of OMV's interest in the Bina Bawi Block, the farm-down of the Chia Surkh block, crude transportation and marketing arrangements

Savannah Petroleum plc — material aspects of its ongoing takeover of the Seven Energy Nigerian business, including relating to the re-organisation of the Uquo onshore gas field and the Accugas gas processing facility; on crude oil commercialisation arrangements in Niger

Anglo African Oil and Gas plc — Tilapia field operations in the Republic of Congo

HKN Energy (part of the Perot Group) — operatorship of the Sarsang field in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Impact Oil & Gas Ltd — expansion of its African exploration portfolio, including the acquisition of upstream blocks in Gabon, Namibia, the Senegal-Guinea Bissau AGC and Guinea Bissau; the farm-down of the AGC block to Woodside Energy; its equity fundraising

Hunt Oil Company — operatorship of the Ain Sifni field in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Rhino Resources, Ltd — building of an African upstream exploration portfolio in South Africa, Namibia, Comoros Islands and Senegal-Guinea Bissau AGC

Ophir Energy plc — $2 billion floating LNG project offshore Equatorial Guinea, including host government arrangements, LNG sales agreements, chartering agreements, joint venture arrangements, project financing and construction

Trident Energy Management Limited — acquisition financing to acquire, in partnership with Kosmos, Hess’ business in Equatorial Guinea

GAIL (India) — LNG cargo swap transactions around the globe

Chevron — exit from Mauritania

Gran Tierra Energy, Inc. — crude sales and marketing arrangements in Colombia and Ecuador

Publications and Speeches

“Progress Report – Shale Play in South Africa,” Petroleum Africa, April 2016.

“Risk Analysis: Libya’s Oil and Gas Market Remains Risky for Companies Opening in the Territory,” Energy & Mining International, Summer 2015.

Credentials

Education

Oxford Institute of Legal Practice,
Legal Practice Course
2002
University of Cambridge, England,
B.A., Honours in Law
2001
University of Poitiers, France,
Legal Diploma
2000

Bar Admissions

Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales

Languages

French

News

News

Tactical switch for Opec

October 10, 2016
Petroleum Review

Libya

July 15, 2015
Energy & Mining International

East Africa Licensing Update

June 1, 2014
Petroleum Africa - Online

Insights

Insights

Africa Energy Update

April 4, 2016

Africa Energy Update

May 13, 2015

Progress Report: Shale Play in Algeria

May 12, 2015

Legal basis The 2013 amendments to Algeria's 2005 Hydrocarbon Law (the " Law ") provided a legislative framework for the exploration and production of unconventional hydrocarbons. In addition to wider changes to the Law designed to revive foreign investment in Algeria's oil and gas sector, the amendments were expected to kick-start exploitation of Algeria's estimated 707tcf and 5.7 billion barrels of technically recoverable shale gas and oil reserves (estimated to be the world's third largest) [1] . The most significant amendment to the Law links taxes on International Oil Companies ( IOCs...

Risk Analysis: Libya's Oil and Gas Market

May 12, 2015

Libya is reputed to hold the ninth largest proven oil reserves in the world (approximately 38% of Africa's total proven crude reserves) [1] making it a key player in the global energy market. Since 2011 however, the country and its energy sector has been in turmoil and there are currently two rival governments struggling for control over Libyan territory and resources. In this article, we highlight the five major legal risks currently facing companies operating in the territory (or indeed outside when handling Libyan crude exports). Disputed sovereignty Most fundamentally, the Libyan civil...

Africa Energy Update

February 10, 2015

Nigeria: what consents are now required in upstream M&A transactions?

February 9, 2015

The recent Moni Pulo decision of the Nigerian High Court [1] has changed the settled understanding of when Ministerial consent is required in Nigerian upstream M&A deals. This article considers the consequences of that court decision, the effects seen in recently completed transactions, and the implications when structuring acquisitions/disposals of Nigerian upstream interests. The Moni Pulo decision and its background A typical feature of petroleum legislation across the world is the need for prior governmental consent before any change is made to the identity of the upstream concession...

Gabon 2014 update: The Gabonese farm-out market "“ ripe for the picking

February 9, 2015

The Gabonese oil and gas industry shifted into "full steam ahead" mode in 2014. Confronted with over a decade of falling oil production, Gabon has decided to actively engage with the industry that still accounts for 80-90% of its total export earnings. On 4 August, Gabon completed a 13-block offshore licencing round which was launched in 2013 and on 28 August, the long-awaited new Petroleum Code became law. It is also rumoured that a further licensing round will be launched in Q3 of 2015 after the government completes the interpretation of 3D seismic data that is currently being acquired...

Africa Energy Update

November 3, 2014

The Transparency Initiative: Are You Ready?

October 31, 2014

Are you a UK company that operates in an EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRY? If so, do any 2 of the following apply to you: You have a balance sheet in excess of £18 million; You have net turnover of over £36 million; or You have more than 250 employees If so, do you make annual payments to any Government of over £86,000? If the answer to the above is YES , then from 1 January 2015 you will most likely be required to comply with the UK's new Transparency Initiative Regulations . Introduction The UK is set to become the first EU member state to transpose the most recent EU directives on accounting and...

East Africa Licensing Update - Q4 2014

October 30, 2014

With Tanzania in the final stages of evaluating bids for oil and gas blocks offered in its latest bidding round which closed in Q2 2014, it was Mozambique's turn to announce its latest round in London on 23 October. Uganda and Kenya are also expected to embark on fresh licensing next year to complete a busy period for East African block auctions. Country-by-country Tanzania The Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) recently announced that it was in the final stages of evaluating five bids submitted by CNOOC, RAK Gas, ExxonMobil/Statoil, Mubadala and Gazprom back in May and would...

East Africa Licensing Update

May 19, 2014

When bidding in Tanzania's 4 th Offshore Licensing Round was officially closed on 15 May, the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) announced bids by CNOOC, RAK Gas, ExxonMobil/Statoil, Mubadala and Gazprom and with other licensing rounds in the region scheduled; there remain opportunities for exploration companies with an eye on the market to secure fresh acreage. Country-by-country Tanzania 4 th licensing round (consisting of seven offshore blocks and the onshore North Lake Tanganyika block) closed on 15 May 2014 with five bids submitted by CNOOC (Block 4/3A), RAK Gas (Lake...

Noteworthy

Noteworthy

Chambers UK
Energy & Natural Resources: Oil & Gas, 2016 - 2019
The Legal 500 United Kingdom
Projects, Energy and Natural Resources – Oil & Gas, 2014, 2017 - 2018-19
The Legal 500 EMEA
Regional Summary - Africa, 2016 - 2017
Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC
IFLR1000 Energy & Infrastructure Guide
Sub-Saharan Africa, Leading Lawyer, 2016; Latin America, 2016
Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC
IFLR1000 Financial & Corporate Guide
Highly Regarded: Project Finance, 2017 - 2019; Project Development, 2018 - 2019; Energy and Infrastructure, 2018