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About Alastair

Alastair Young serves as co-chair of the firm’s oil and gas projects practice group. He is a corporate lawyer who focuses on the energy and natural resources sector. His experience includes UK and international mergers and acquisitions, long-term and high-value contracts, cross-border joint ventures and the development of major energy projects.


Recent Notable Matters

SPE Guinea Bissau AB (a wholly owned subsidiary of Svenska Petroleum Exploration AB) — agreement to sell participating interests in the Sinapa and Esperança oil and gas licences, offshore Guinea Bissau, to CNOOC

Apache Corporation — sale of multiple UK North Sea upstream oil and gas assets to Chrysaor Limited

Eni S.p.A. — sale of interests in Egypt’s super-giant Zohr field to Rosneft for $1.125 billion and BP for $375 million

Apache Corporation — disposal of its operated interest in the SAGE System, a major gas pipeline system and gas processing terminal in the UK, to Ancala Partners, and on Apache’s associated long-term gas transportation and processing agreement

Apache Corporation — $800 million sale of its oil and gas business in Argentina to YPF S.A.

Apache Corporation — disposal of its interests in the Scott and Telford oil fields in the UK North Sea to Edison

Apache Corporation — acquisition of Mobil North Sea Limited (holding significant UK North Sea assets) from Exxon Mobil for $1.75 billion

BG Group — in relation to its assets in Brazil

EOG Resources, Inc. — in relation to its assets in Trinidad

Sinopec — acquisition of 49 percent of the shares in Talisman Energy (UK) Limited (holding significant UK North Sea assets) for $1.5 billion

TAQA — establishment of the Bergermeer Gas Storage Project in the Netherlands and its strategic partnership agreement with Gazprom, the supplier of supply cushion gas to the project

San Leon Energy plc — £31 million AIM placing and farm-outs in Poland to Talisman and Palomar Natural Resources

OGX — acquisition of upstream oil and gas assets off-shore Brazil from Maersk

Serica Energy — sale to KrisEnergy of a group of its Dutch BV and Singaporean subsidiaries holding upstream oil and gas assets including the Kutai and East Seruway PSCs in Indonesia

Suncor Energy Inc — €445 million sale of its upstream oil and gas business in the Netherlands to Dana Petroleum plc

Administrators of Oilexco North Sea Limited — $505 million sale of the shares in Oilexco to Premier Oil

BP plc — establishment of its joint venture with Rio Tinto for the development of hydrogen power projects around the world

GDF Suez (now Engie) — acquisition of a gas storage project in the UK

Publications and Speeches

“Use it or Lose it,” Petroleum Review, May 2018.

“Penalty Clauses Redefined by the English Courts,” IFLR, January 2016.

“What Constitutes a Reasonable and Prudent Operator?” International Law Office, November 2015.

“Fracking in Europe - EU Parliament Votes to Require Environmental Impact Assessments for Shale Gas Developments,” Oil & Gas Financial Journal, October 2013.

“Backing Fracking: UK Government Lays Out Shale Gas Incentives,” Oil & Gas Financial Journal, September 2013.



University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia,
Australian National University, Canberra, Australia,

Bar Admissions

Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales
Solicitor in New South Wales, Australia



Use it or lose it

May 14, 2018
Petroleum Review

Offshore: Deals and cases

April 27, 2014

New York law firm in Africa push via UK

July 1, 2013
Press and Journal (Aberdeen)

A message to you from Rudy

March 5, 2013
Lawyer (Online), The



New International AIPN Oil and Gas Farm-Out Agreement

In June 2019, the oil and gas industry body, the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN), published a revised version of its model form international farm-out agreement. The publication of this new model form agreement is a reflection of the increased sophistication, and continuing evolution, of the...

UK Government announces major tax cuts for the oil and gas industry

March 16, 2016

UK Government announces major tax cuts for the oil and gas industry Earlier today, the UK government announced its budget for 2016. A copy is available by clicking here. See pages 54 in Chapter 1 and 109 in Chapter 2 in particular for details in relation to the oil and gas industry. The UK government has said that it wants to ensure that the tax regime supports the objective of maximising economic recovery of oil and gas while ensuring a fair return on those resources for the nation. The government has also announced its intention to help to support the industry through the challenging...

What Constitutes a Reasonable and Prudent Operator?

November 13, 2015

The English Commercial Court interprets the definition of the standard of a "Reasonable and Prudent Operator" in the context of a dispute relating to long term gas sales agreements The phrase "reasonable and prudent operator" is frequently used in commercial contracts in the oil and gas industry to specify the standard at which a party must perform a particular obligation (or group of obligations). Helpfully, contracts often define the phrase in order to give the content of that standard greater substance, albeit a definition that inevitably imports a degree of subjective judgement. In a...

The UK's New Reporting Obligations on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking

October 30, 2015

A "Race to The Top" to Tackle an Atrocious Global Problem Introduction Companies or partnerships carrying on business in the UK with an annual turnover of £36 million (around US$55.5 million) or more will now, for the first time, be required to publish an annual statement setting out the steps they have taken to ensure that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in their own business and their supply chains. This is not sector specific such that only banks or energy companies (for example) are impacted. This is relevant for all companies who fall within these new reporting...

UK Government announces major North Sea tax cuts

The existing tax regime for exploration and production of oil and gas in the UK and UK Continental Shelf ("UKCS") comprises three elements: (i) Petroleum Revenue Tax ("PRT") at a rate of 50% which is levied on profits from fields given development consent before 16 March 1993; (ii) Ring Fence Corporation Tax at a rate of 30% levied on the post-PRT profit of companies engaged in oil and gas extraction activities; and (iii) Supplementary Charge at a rate of 30% (with effect from 1 January 2015, prior to the 2014 Autumn Statement this was levied at a rate of 32%) which is levied on the post-...

Latest UK Onshore Licensing Round Announced

July 28, 2014

The UK Government has today announced the opening of the eagerly anticipated 14 th onshore oil and gas licensing round, with applications invited until 2pm on 28 October 2014. Hundreds of blocks are available in the bidding process. The Government is keen to encourage onshore exploration and drilling and to facilitate the development of a shale industry in the UK. The previous onshore licensing round was in 2008. For more information, refer to the Government guidance at: https://www.gov.uk/oil-and-gas-licensing-rounds .

"Friendly Discussions" Obligation is Enforceable Under English law

July 15, 2014

The English High Court has overruled an arbitrators' decision to hold that a clause requiring "friendly discussions" prior to commencing arbitration is an enforceable condition precedent to arbitration under English law. This judgment is interesting because mere "agreements to negotiate" are generally unenforceable under English law because they are too uncertain to enforce (Walford v Miles [1992] 2 AC 128). This case is especially interesting for the energy sector because it deals with the English law interpretation of escalation or multi-tiered dispute resolution clauses that are common...

U.K. Announces Unconventional Petroleum Licensing Model Clauses

June 25, 2014

Energy Minister Michael Fallon took the opportunity on 24 June 2014 at the UK Shale Conference to cite the energy security crises in the Ukraine and Iraq as further reason for the UK to focus on shale gas and oil exploration. In the latest step towards the development of the UK shale industry, revisions to petroleum licence Model Clauses will be implemented to accommodate the practicalities of fracking compared with recovery of conventional resources. Specifically, and recognising that shale plays may cover vast areas (see, for example, the Bakken formation in North America and the Bazhenov...

The Future of the UK North Sea: A New Game with More Rules

March 5, 2014

On 24 February 2014, Sir Ian Wood delivered his Final Report (the " Report ") on the future of the UK Continental Shelf (" UKCS "). The Report sets out a number of conclusions and recommended actions relating largely to more stringent regulation, a focus on regional development and better industry co-operation. If the recommendations are implemented, they will fundamentally change the North Sea oil and gas industry. The Report's overriding message is that for production from the UKCS to be prolonged, a change to both the regulatory and commercial landscapes will be required. The Report...

Fracking in Europe "“ EU Parliament has voted to require Environmental Impact Assessments for shale gas developments

October 22, 2013

On 9 October 2013, the European Parliament narrowly voted in favour of an amendment to the EU's Environmental Impact Assessment Directive (EIA Directive) which would require environmental impact assessments (EIAs) to be performed for hydraulic fracturing for coal bed methane, and in shale and formations with shale-like permeability and porosity. If the amendment becomes law, the amended EIA Directive would require all private and public shale gas and many other unconventional exploration projects involving hydraulic fracturing in the EU to undertake an EIA. The effect of this change would be...

Investor Challenges Ahead for Junior/Mid-Cap Oil & Gas Companies

June 18, 2013

The harsh reality is during times of market volatility, the old adage "survival of the fittest," applies to all companies, but especially junior/mid-cap oil and gas companies. Unpredictable equity and commodity markets, and lower investor confidence in particular, can make it difficult for junior exploration and production companies to raise capital on the markets, particularly if the company is heavily exposed to development costs and has little to no production revenue. Although, there are still ideal opportunities available for the junior/mid-caps with good acreage in the underexplored...



The Legal 500 United Kingdom
Projects, Energy and Natural Resources – Oil & Gas, 2014 - 2018-19
Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC
IFLR1000 Financial & Corporate Guide
United Kingdom, 2017 - 2020
Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC
IFLR1000 Energy & Infrastructure Guide
Latin America, 2015