Oil & Gas

Our experienced Oil & Gas legal team regularly publishes articles and updates – the full list of publications appears below. These publications provide a snapshot of the latest legislation, court cases, policy changes and contentious issues. If you'd like to be notified when we add new publications to the site, please go to our subscription page to sign up for email alerts or, alternatively, you can subscribe to our RSS feed.

For publications in other legal areas see our recent publications page.

Oil & Gas Publications

  • Client Update: Innovation and competitiveness agenda to benefit the resources and energy sectors

    6 November 2014

    The Federal Government has released its Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda, the industry-led growth and innovation component of its broader Economic Action Strategy reform. Industry participants in the resources and energy sectors will benefit from proposals which aim to increase competitiveness and drive economic growth in these prioritised sectors. Partner Igor Bogdanich and Lawyer Ellie Mulholland report on the proposals.

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  • Focus: 'Publish what you pay' may be on its way!

    3 November 2014

    A new Bill has been introduced into the Federal Parliament, which might herald the arrival of 'publish what you pay' legislation in Australia. Partner Igor Bogdanich and Senior Associate Penny Alexander examine the background to the Bill, together with the implications for Australian companies operating in the resources sector if it becomes law.

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  • Focus: Unlocking the tax value of greenfield exploration expenditure

    20 October 2014

    Draft legislation has been released that contains details of the Exploration Development Incentive announced as part of the 2014-15 Federal Budget. The scheme is designed to encourage equity investment in greenfield explorers, by enabling explorers to issue 'exploration credits' to its investors. Partner Martin Fry and Senior Associate Jennifer Richards report.

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  • Focus: Federal Government takes next step in energy review

    26 September 2014

    The Federal Government has issued a Green Paper to inform the preparation of its Energy White Paper, which is due for release by the end of 2014. Partners Paul Kenny, Government Sector Leader, and Anna Collyer, Power and Utilities Sector Leader, provide an overview.

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  • Client Update: Major changes proposed to environmental regulation in Queensland

    24 September 2014

    The Queensland Government has introduced amending legislation that will result in new flexibility, new obligations and higher penalties in relation to environmental regulation in Queensland. Partner Bill McCredie and Senior Associate Gobind Kalsi report.

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  • Focus: Changes to tax rules for offshore investment

    17 September 2014

    A Bill is currently before Federal Parliament that will more closely (but not completely) align the foreign non-portfolio dividend NANE treatment with debt/equity concepts. Partner Martin Fry and Senior Associate Jennifer Richards report on the changes.

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  • Client Update: First step to implement a Common Resources Act in Queensland

    17 September 2014

    The Queensland Government has passed legislation (now currently awaiting assent) that is the first stage of a program to rationalise the regulatory regime for all types of resources tenure in Queensland. Partner Ben Zillmann, Managing Associate John Hedge, Senior Associate Gobind Kalsi and Associate Andrea Moffatt report on the legislation and the important changes that have been included since the draft legislation was first introduced into Parliament.

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  • Focus: Repeal of the Minerals Resource Rent Tax

    3 September 2014

    One year on from its election victory, the Federal Government has fulfilled its commitment to repeal the Commonwealth Minerals Resource Rent Tax and related tax measures, by passing a repeal Bill through the Senate yesterday. The repeal is expected to take effect later this year. Partner Martin Fry and Senior Associate Julian Feiner explain the context and implications.

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  • Focus: Queensland's new framework for the development of the deep gas and oil industry

    1 September 2014

    The Queensland Government has released a plan to encourage the viability of the emerging 'unconventional' deep gas and oil industry. Partner Igor Bogdanich, Managing Associate John Hedge and Lawyer Ellie Mulholland analyse the recommended changes to Queensland's onshore petroleum regulatory framework, which are aimed at reducing regulatory and commercial barriers to investment, and ensuring that the industry develops in an environmentally and socially responsible way.

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  • Client Update: Amending Mongolia's Minerals Law

    29 July 2014

    The Mongolian Parliament has passed amendments to the country's Minerals Law which should be of interest to foreign investors and mining companies. Partners Igor Bogdanich and Kate Axup, and Senior Associate Steven Local, look at what certain of the amendments may mean for Mongolia's mining sector.

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  • Client Update: Anti-corruption reforms: a view from the B20 Australia

    25 July 2014

    Anti-corruption was high on the agenda at the B20 Australia summit recently held in Sydney. Allens Partner Rachel Nicolson, a director of the UN Global Compact Network Australia and convenor of its Anti-Corruption Leadership Group, attended the summit and provides an overview of the issues discussed.

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  • Focus: Shareholder activism in Australia

    24 July 2014

    The past few years have seen a dramatic rise in shareholder activism across Europe and the US. This trend is now becoming increasingly common in Australia. Following an unsuccessful attempt to gain control of the board of ASX-listed Antares Energy Limited by a US-based hedge fund, Partner Tim Lester, together with Litigation Partner Kim Reid, Managing Associate Matt Ireland and Senior Associate Stacey Hahn discuss the lessons learnt and those things directors of listed companies should be doing to prepare for an approach from activist shareholders.

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  • Focus: Japan and Australia - a new era of opportunity

    11 July 2014

    This week's historic visit to Australia by the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has been widely lauded as the beginning of a new era in the relationship between the two countries. Japan Sector Leader and Partner Tim Lester and Senior Associate Penny Alexander report on the opportunities this new 'special relationship' will bring for both Australia and Japan.

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  • Client Update: Reforms to resource royalty administration and collection in Queensland

    27 June 2014

    Legislative amendments have been passed in Queensland recently to strengthen the State Government's ability to administer its resource royalty regime. Partner Ben Zillmann and Lawyer Giselle Kilvert consider the changes and what they mean for resource companies and, importantly, their executives.

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  • Focus: First step towards a Common Resources Act in Queensland

    12 June 2014

    New legislation has been introduced into the Queensland Parliament that will mark the first stage of a program that will attempt to rationalise the regulatory regime for all types of resources tenure in that state. The new legislation also introduces a number of major reforms to the land access and restricted land framework, overlapping coal and coal seam gas tenure, and to the mining lease application and objection process. Partner Ben Zillmann, Senior Associate John Hedge, Lawyers Andrea Moffatt and Hannah Lilley, and Law Graduate Daniel Bradford report.

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  • Focus: Greater flexibility for onshore petroleum tenure holders in Queensland

    3 June 2014

    Queensland's petroleum legislation was recently amended to provide greater flexibility to onshore petroleum tenure holders for a variety of matters, including extensions to work programs and terms of authorities to prospect, relinquishment conditions and work programs, and greater flexibility in both the reserves required for the grant of a petroleum lease and timing for commencement of production. Partner Ben Zillmann, Senior Associate John Hedge and Lawyer Andrea Moffatt report on these amendments, which have been designed to better align tenure issues with the practicalities of large-scale multi-tenement projects, but also to offer flexibility for smaller projects.

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  • Client Update: Negative report on floating LNG technology in WA

    19 May 2014

    A major report on the economic viability of using floating LNG technology in WA has found it has the potential to impact negatively on that State's domestic gas supply and the State Government's revenue base. Partners Tracey Greenaway and Mark McAleer and Lawyer Anne Beresford consider the key findings and implications of the report, especially for those contemplating/planning a floating LNG project in WA waters.

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  • Focus: Queensland's coal and CSG overlapping tenure regime getting a makeover

    1 May 2014

    The Queensland Government has released proposed changes to the legislative framework for regulating overlapping coal and coal seam gas tenure, which has been a vexed issue since the emergence of the coal seam gas industry in Queensland. The changes principally reflect the industry proposal in the Queensland Resources Council's 2012 White Paper, including permitting grants of overlapping production tenements and providing a statutory right of way for coal development (albeit conditional on certain requirements). It also includes transitional arrangements, such that the existing regime will continue to apply to numerous existing coal and coal seam gas projects. Partner Ben Zillmann and Senior Associate John Hedge comment on the proposed changes.

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  • Focus: Using 'reasonable endeavours' - the importance of internal contractual standards

    28 April 2014

    The High Court has recently highlighted the significance of internal contractual standards when interpreting an obligation to use 'reasonable endeavours'. Partner Nick Rudge and Lawyers Goran Gelic and Timothy Leschke report on this development and its implications.

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  • Focus: Productivity Commission - third party litigation funding and contingency fees

    17 April 2014

    The Productivity Commission's draft report on its inquiry into Australia's system of civil dispute resolution has now been released. The comprehensive review focuses on ways to constrain costs and promote access to justice. One of the areas the Productivity Commission is examining is Australia's private funding for litigation regime, focusing on third party litigation funding and contingency fees. Partner Peter O'Donahoo, Senior Associate Tim Maxwell and Lawyer Simone Kaser report

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  • Client Update: Queensland Government proposes land access reforms

    15 April 2014

    The Queensland Government has released a discussion paper setting out proposed reforms to the State's land access regime for public and private land. The paper closely follows other discussion papers released recently in respect of proposed reforms to restricted land and the process for notifying and lodging objections to an application for a mining lease or environmental authority. Partner Ben Zillmann and Lawyer Giselle Kilvert comment on the latest proposed reforms.

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  • Client Update: Release of 3rd Edition Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations

    10 April 2014

    The ASX Corporate Governance Council has released the 3rd edition of its Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations. Although the 3rd edition largely reflects the amendments proposed in the earlier consultation draft released in August 2013, a number of new amendments have been added that will have implications for listed entities' corporate governance practices. Partner Robert Pick and Senior Associate Hannah Biggins discuss these key changes.

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  • Focus: Queensland reviews mining lease objection process and land access regime

    26 March 2014

    As part of its ongoing initiative to reduce red tape and streamline application and approval processes for the resources industry, the Queensland Government has released two discussion papers simultaneously proposing amendments to the objection regime for mining leases and also to the regulation of 'restricted land' as it affects all resource authorities (including petroleum tenements). If all of the changes proposed in the discussion paper are implemented, it will affect who can object to mining leases in the future. The changes would also standardise the restricted land provisions across all resources authorities, but, at the same time, introduce advantages for some tenement holders in relation to land access. Partners Ben Zillmann and Bill McCredie consider the issues and the changes that might be made.

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  • Client Update: Changes recommended to the Regional Planning Interests Bill

    19 March 2014

    The Queensland State Development, Infrastructure and Industry Committee has recommended aspects of the Regional Planning Interests Bill 2013 be amended. Partner Bill McCredie and Senior Associate Michael Zissis outline the committee's key recommendations and the next steps towards the implementation of the new approvals regime for resource activities in 'areas of regional interest' in Queensland.

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  • Client Update: High Court rules mining leases and native title can co-exist

    13 March 2014

    Yesterday, the High Court ruled that certain mining leases in Western Australia did not extinguish all native title rights, but rather the mining rights and native title rights co-exist. In doing so, the High Court took the opportunity to clarify the test for determining when native title rights will be extinguished by statutory grants at common law. Partners Ben Zillmann and Marshall McKenna look at the findings of the court and the implications of the case.

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  • Client Update: Streamlining environmental approvals for offshore petroleum projects

    6 March 2014

    A new regime that streamlines the environmental approvals process for petroleum activities in Commonwealth waters will place a greater responsibility on the titleholder of a tenement rather than the operator. Partner Chris Schulz and Senior Associate Eve Lynch provide an overview of the changes.

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  • Client Update: Streamlining the regulation of environmental offsets in Queensland

    25 February 2014

    Legislation recently introduced into the Queensland Parliament will establish a new regime for the provision and regulation of environmental offsets in Queensland. Partner Bill McCredie, Special Counsel Rosanne Meurling and Lawyer Julieane Bull report on the key changes and identify some matters yet to be addressed.

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  • Focus: Sidestepping arbitration clauses - a potentially explosive business!

    28 January 2014

    The Supreme Court of Western Australia has rejected a wide-ranging attack, by a contracting party preferring litigation to arbitration, on the operation of an arbitration clause. Partner Andrew Maher reports.

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  • Focus: When will a WA court restrain an adjudicator from making a determination?

    29 November 2013

    The WA Supreme Court recently looked at whether interlocutory relief should be given to restrain a subcontractor from progressing an adjudication application and an adjudicator from making a determination. Partner Stephen McComish and Lawyers Andrew Kirk and Helen Dolling report.

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  • Focus: Increased regulation for resource activities in Queensland regions

    25 November 2013

    Legislation that will add another level of regulation and a new approval requirement for resource activities in areas of regional interest has been introduced into the Queensland Parliament. Partner Bill McCredie, Special Counsel Philip Murray and Lawyer Gobind Kalsi report.

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  • Client Update: New offshore petroleum application fees

    15 November 2013

    Participants in the oil and gas sector in Australia should be aware that registration fees payable for the approval and registration of transfers and dealings relating to offshore petroleum titles have been replaced with fixed application fees. Partners Anthony Patten and Mark McAleer and Lawyer Anne Nguyen provide an overview of the new application fees regime.

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  • Focus: New oversight mechanism for private military and security companies

    17 October 2013

    In recent years, there has been an increase in the use of private military and security companies by corporations that have operations in conflict affected areas. Recently, the first multi-stakeholder initiative has been established to provide an oversight mechanism for the compliance of private military and security companies with international law and industry standards. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Senior Associate Dora Banyasz and Lawyer Alyse Richmond report.

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  • Client Update: NSW's latest proposal to put CSG activities 'off limits' in residential areas and villages

    9 October 2013

    The New South Wales Government has released new mapping to support its growing package of measures to regulate coal seam gas activities in the State. Partner David Maloney and Senior Associate Michael Zissis review the implications of the Government's latest announcement.

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  • Paper: Natural Gas (Canning Basin Joint Venture) Agreement Act 2013

    20 September 2013

    The Western Australian Government recently enacted legislation, the Natural Gas (Canning Basic Joint Venture) Agreement Act 2013 (WA). Partner David Maloney analyses the new legislation and its impact on the Petroleum Work Program Bidding System and the use of State Agreements in Western Australia.

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  • Focus: New arbitration law for Western Australia

    16 September 2013

    New legislation implementing a major overhaul of arbitration law in Western Australia has come into effect. Partner Stephen McComish, Lawyer Kristian Maley, and Law Graduate Emma Cundale report on the Act that brings Western Australia into line with the uniform domestic arbitration law developed by the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General.

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  • Focus: Clearer waters - commercial native title fishing rights

    20 August 2013

    The High Court of Australia has confirmed the recognition of a native title right to take fish for commercial purposes in the waters of the Torres Strait. Partner Marshall McKenna, Senior Associate Emily Gerrard and Lawyer Tim Farhall look at the decision and what it means for native title law in Australia.

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  • Focus: High Court upholds validity of the MRRT

    13 August 2013

    The High Court has dismissed Fortescue Metals Group's challenge to the constitutional validity of the Commonwealth minerals resource rent tax. Partner Katrina Parkyn and Lawyer Scott Lang discuss the High Court's decision and the implications it has for the interaction between Commonwealth and state taxes generally.

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  • Focus: A different roadmap for investor-state dispute settlement?

    23 July 2013

    The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development has identified key shortcomings of the current system of investor-state dispute settlement, and has outlined five broad paths for reform in a recent report. The negotiation and implementation of these reforms will affect foreign investors and policymakers globally. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Senior Associate Hilary Birks and Lawyer Laura Bellamy report.

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  • Client Update: Queensland streamlines processes for taking security over mining and petroleum interests

    22 July 2013

    Recent Queensland legislation reforms the way financiers effect security over mining and petroleum interests. Instead of having to apply for Ministerial approval or lodge caveats, the law now allows financiers to electronically lodge and register mortgages over 'mining tenements' and 'petroleum authorities' with the Department of Natural Resources and Mines. Partner Karla Fraser and Law Graduate Riley Downie report.

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  • Focus: Exploration expenditure and the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax

    21 June 2013

    A recent Administrative Appeals Tribunal decision has provided guidance on the scope of exploration expenditure deductions under the petroleum resource rent tax laws. Partner Martin Fry and Law Graduate Chris Lum explain. Includes a pdf, 'Roadmap to the ZZGN decision' that sets out the different categories of expenditure and the treatment of each category under s37 of the PRRT Act.

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  • Focus: Malaysian risk service contracts - the implications

    13 June 2013

    The offshore licensing unit of Malaysia's national oil company recently invited bids for 10 marginal fields in its third risk service contract licensing round in as many years. Partners Igor Bogdanich and Anthony Patten, and Lawyer Ainsley Reid-Willet, discuss the background to the need for such contracts, and the implications of the new contracts for oil and gas companies looking at investing in Malaysia.

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  • Focus: Key changes to working conditions for offshore oil and gas projects

    3 June 2013

    A proposed amendment to Australia's migration legislation seeks to ensure that foreign offshore oil and gas workers will require a 457 visa and be subject to Australian employment law. If this change is made, owners and operators of offshore oil and gas projects will need to ensure they and their contractors are aware of, and comply with, their obligations regarding visas and the application of Australian employment laws. The proposed amendment will also most likely increase the scope for union activity on these projects. Special Counsel Eleanor Jewell reports.

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  • Client Update: Changes to Vietnamese production sharing contract

    17 May 2013

    A new standard form of production sharing contract containing significant changes has been issued by the Government of Vietnam for use in Vietnam's upstream oil and gas sector. Partner Marae Ciantar, Senior Associate Theresa Tayabali and Associate Ngoc Anh Tran report.

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  • Focus: Workplace Relations

    17 May 2013

    We report on union eligibility rules; what constitutes an offer of acceptable alternative employment; the consequences of an employee's refusal of a settlement offer; an ATO ruling on ordinary hours of work; and whether a complaint about employment made to an employer can constitute a 'workplace right'.

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  • Focus: New EU financial disclosure requirements for resources and logging sectors

    24 April 2013

    Companies listed in the EU and large private companies in the EU that operate in the extractives and logging industries will need to report on payments made to host governments, both on a country and project basis, under a new EU legislative proposal that is part of a trend towards improving transparency in the extractives sector. Compliance costs will be significant and companies need to start preparing now, as Partner Anthony Patten, Senior Associate Dora Banyasz and Lawyer Raquel Dos Santos report. 

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  • Focus: Softening the investment rules in Mongolia

    23 April 2013

    Foreign investment in Mongolia fell away dramatically after the Mongolian Government last year introduced laws regulating foreign investment into strategically important business areas as well as investment by state-owned entities. Now the Government has introduced amendments which soften some of those restrictions in an effort to again encourage inbound capital. Lawyer Anthony Lepere looks at the amendments and their significance to foreign investors.

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  • Focus: US Supreme Court reins in scope of Alien Tort Claims Act

    19 April 2013

    In the much-awaited decision of Kiobel v Royal Dutch Petroleum Company, the US Supreme Court has determined that the Alien Tort Claims Act cannot be used to bring claims for alleged violations of customary international law where the relevant conduct occurs outside the US. The court remained silent on the question of whether corporations can be held liable for breaches of customary international law under the statute. Partner Louise Jenkins, Senior Associate Dora Banyasz and Lawyer Freya Dinshaw report. 

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  • Focus: Workplace Relations

    19 April 2013

    We report on the clarification of when an 'arrangement' could meet the transfer of business test; changes to the Fair Work legislation; under what circumstances a termination payment is a genuine redundancy payment; issues when seeking to stay a reinstatement order; and policy requirements for avoiding vicarious liability for an employee's unlawful sexual harassment.

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  • Linklaters Insights: Outlook for M&A in 2013

    15 March 2013

    Global economic uncertainty has hindered M&A activity. Cautious corporates have generally elected to use their profits to fund working capital rather than pursue acquisitions. Could this begin to change in 2013?

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  • Linklaters Insights: Directors' Remuneration Report Guide for 2012 reporting year

    7 March 2013

    Our global alliance partner Linklaters has compiled an updated Directors' Remuneration Report Guide for the 2012-13 reporting season.

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