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About Paul

Paul Jones is dedicated to providing transactional and regulatory advice in the energy sector. He advises a range of private and public sector clients on upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas acquisitions, disposals, projects and joint ventures.

Paul’s practice has a particular focus on the Middle East and Africa. He has deep African market experience having spent more than a year on secondment to law firms in Ghana and Tanzania and having advised clients on transactions across the continent.


Recent Notable Matters

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

BG Group — various commercial and regulatory aspects of its operations in Tanzania, including in relation to the Tanzania LNG project

ExxonMobil — various commercial and regulatory aspects of its operations in Tanzania

Petrobras — $1.636 billion sale of its 35 percent stake in the Parque das Conchas (BC­-10) project offshore Brazil

Petronas — a range of gas sales, gas transportation and tie-­in agreements related to its assets in Nigeria

Sterling Resources — gas sales agreement with British Gas Trading Limited

Conflicts Committee of the Board of Directors of VTTI Energy Partners GP, LLC — acquisition of interests in VTTI MLP B.V. (operator of a number of major petroleum products storage facilities)

Seven Energy — a range of gas sales, gas transportation and tie-­in agreements related to its assets in Nigeria

Various advising lenders — financing of the acquisition of upstream assets in Nigeria

Oyster Petroleum — acquisition of interests in the Handcross and Ainslie prospects in the UKCS from Ithaca Energy

Large independent oil and gas company — various acquisitions, disposals and other commercial issues in jurisdictions including Congo­-Brazzaville, Ethiopia and Kurdistan

Impact Oil & Gas — 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

State-­controlled European oil and natural gas company — prospective LNG projects in Iran and Algeria

Oil and gas company — prospective purchase of producing assets in Malaysia

Independent oil and gas company — production sharing agreement negotiations and other regulatory issues in various East African jurisdictions

State­-owned petroleum company in Ghana — arrangements with one of the world’s leading commodity trading companies

Independent exploration company — joint bidding arrangements in relation to UKCS licence interests

Major international bank — financing of crude oil supply arrangements

International oil and gas company — a gas sales agreement in Tanzania

Oil and gas service companies, including Halliburton, National Oilwell Varco and CHC Helicopter — operations in Tanzania

Sponsor — participation in various renewable energy projects in jurisdictions, including Ethiopia, Ghana, Cameroon, Zimbabwe and Uganda

Sponsor — participation in a Jordanian solar power project

Songas — various commercial and regulatory issues related to its operations in Tanzania

Major photovoltaic cell manufacturer — proposed joint venture in South Africa

Investment fund — proposed investment into solar and wind power projects in Tanzania

Publications and Speeches

“Strategies to Survive and Thrive in a Low Oil Price Environment,” Pipeline Magazine, January 2017.

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

“In the Eye of the Storm – Changes to Contracting Strategies Across the LNG Market,” Petroleum Review, January 2016.

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

“Refining the Rules – the Lucrative East African Market for Natural Oil and Gas,” Legal Week, March 15, 2013.

East Africa Upstream Summit, Petroleum Institute of East Africa



Oxford Institute of Legal Practice,
Merton College, University of Oxford,

Bar Admissions

Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales


Law Society of England and Wales
Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN)



For oil and gas M&A, it's a Buyers' Market

May 16, 2017
Oil & Gas Financial Journal - Online

In the Eye of the Storm

January 30, 2016
Petroleum Review


July 15, 2015
Energy & Mining International

East Africa Licensing Update

June 1, 2014
Petroleum Africa - Online



For Oil & Gas M&A, It’s a Buyers’ Market

April 25, 2017

For the majority of global oil and gas companies, 2016 was a tough year. Buffeted by depressed crude oil and natural gas prices, corporate profits were squeezed, sparking widespread restructurings, layoffs and in certain cases bankruptcies. In normal circumstances, such conditions would be a boon for merger and acquisition (M&A) activity. But uncertainty over the length and severity of the commodity price downturn created a value mismatch between buyers and sellers. The result was a moribund M&A market in the oil and gas sector. In fact, according to business advisory firm Deloitte,...

Strategies to Survive and Thrive in a Low Oil Price Environment

January 10, 2017

Adapting business strategies to navigate a prolonged period of lower oil and gas prices is a challenge that many companies throughout the Middle East and wider world are currently facing up to. While surviving such a volatile commodity cycle is the main priority for some, other corporates are using sub $50 a barrel oil as an opportunity to innovate and recalibrate their businesses. This was certainly the key takeaway from the recently held Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC), where the overall mood amongst major companies at the industry symposium was upbeat...

Shale Play South Africa - An update on shale gas exploration

March 16, 2016

Progress Report: Shale Play in South Africa Legal basis In June 2015, South Africa's Department of Mineral Resources ( DMR ) published Regulations for Petroleum Exploration and Production (the Regulations ) which introduced guidelines covering onshore hydraulic fracturing ( fracking ) to be read in line with the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 (the Act ). Exploration and production operations will now be subject to the additional requirements set out in the Regulations which cover areas including environmental impact assessment; well design and construction; management...

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...

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...

International Pipeline Projects - Key Considerations for East Africa

October 31, 2014

The majority of landlocked Uganda's estimated 6.5 billion barrels of crude oil reserves are destined to be pumped to the East African coast for export (potentially linking up with supplies from Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia along the way). While preferred export routes continue to be debated, it is likely that multiple pipelines stretching across the East Africa region will be developed in the near future. The development of such infrastructure will be heavily dependent on project finance. In this article, we consider some key issues affecting international pipeline projects that sponsors...

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...