Article from: OGEL 1 (2003), in Editorial
Oil-gas-energy law (OGEL) has over the last decade transcended national borders. With privatisation, restructuring, the emergence of competitive markets, cross-border energy trade and regional integration, legal instruments from one jurisdiction (countries; international organisations; professional and industry associations; civil society forums, internal corporate codes) have a bearing on others - they provide a model, a legal precedent, a directive, standard or guideline for further regulatory implementation.
Providing a global overview
There are challenges from human rights, the environment, extraterritorial application; agreements with or between regulatory agencies, international ‘technical’ standards of an increasing ‘legal’ relevance, a combination of regulatory economics with the design and application of legal instruments. OGEL has been launched in order to offer a global overview, and to provide more detailed identification and analysis of specific instruments that have a wide relevance.
Other information sources
Information on such developments is currently available from a number of sources: academic/professional journals (such as the International Bar Association’s Journal of Energy & Natural Resources Law or the International Energy Law and Taxation Review); high-quality newspapers (such as, in particular, the Financial Times or the Wallstreet Journal); legal information services (eg Lexis-Nexis), occasional and sometimes excellent newsletters produced by international law firms; the petroleum trade journals (Oil & Gas Journal; Petroleum Review; Petroleum Economist and others) or region-focused services (Russian Petroleum Investor; MEES etc).
If one follows the internet and subscribes to special regional services, one can also keep abreast of developments. Official reports - by the IEA, the EU, the OECD, the World Bank, the UN, APEC, OLADE and other international agencies - are a useful source, but they are often too long and detailed, and not easily available in a ‘digest’ format.
OGEL desires to add significant value to all of these sources. It is based on the global network of the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy at Dundee University (CEPMLP) and the International Bar Association’s Section on Energy & Natural Resources Law. It uses the full potential of the internet and web-based data management to provide both a short newsletter, but also access to an extensive, and rapidly growing, database of ‘primary legal/regulatory’ materials. It includes short notes and Summaries - but with access to more comprehensive, in-depth studies and relevant primary material. The emphasis is not on a compilation of ‘clippings’ from newspapers, trade journals and the internet - as valuable as these are as a rapid item of information, but rather on ‘intelligence’, ie comment on the true significance, the essential elements and the wider implications of current developments written by oil-gas-energy lawyers and regulation specialists with an in-depth understanding of what a new development means - rather than just the reproduction of a press release.
OGEL will also include a selection of what we think are the most relevant recent publications (articles, notes, case reports, official international agency reports).
Plus a global internet forum
OGEL will also include a global internet forum. For the past four years, I have built up and developed ‘ENATRES’, a global internet information, intelligence and discussion forum in the field of natural resources, energy and international business law, policy and economics.
The new OGEL-I-Forum will branch off and provide a specialised oil-gas-energy-law forum - in order to broadcast new developments rapidly, to allow debate amongst the virtual OGEL community and to post queries on specific, professionally relevant practitioner queries.
Our new OGEL intelligence service initially stands on three pillars:
- The OGEL newsletter which can be downloaded by registered users as a pdf-file from the website. The newsletter includes a number of full articles and a series of concise abstracts. In most cases these abstracts will contain hyperlinks to more extensive and full articles, that can be accessed by the website. E-mail is used to notify registered users of new OGEL-editions and its index. The newsletter will be produced and distributed on a regular basis, ultimately aiming at monthly frequency;
- The OGEL database of past newsletters, an internet-based journal of longer articles, studies, and notes, providing ample options for cross-searching the OGEL newsletters and the separate database of bibliographic references, open for registered users
- The OGEL I-Forum, providing a free platform for communication and discussion by energy legislation professionals.
As a premium service OGEL is also constructing a Database of Legal and Regulatory Materials, that will become available in the coming 6 months at a extra fee for registered users.
And other services too
In addition, we will offer a specialised research service, a higher-value consultancy service and occasional training and conference services, often in collaboration with other established providers.
OGEL is a joint venture between Thomas Wälde & Associates, my consultancy firm, and MARIS BV. OGEL is also supported by CEPMLP/Dundee, the IBA, and CMS Cameron McKenna, the provider of the ‘Roundup of Articles’ section. But this is only the beginning. I have already invited leading law firms around the world and international agencies to join in. We will see how this develops and what these organisations can provide as value-added to an independent, professional and high-quality intelligence service.
Open to all to read and to contribute
But I would like OGEL to become the hub of a global professional and academic network. I therefore invite all those with an oil-gas-energy law and regulation interest to contribute. We are looking mainly for short comments on recent developments of broad interest. We would like where possible such comments to be backed-up by provision of in-depth notes and articles (which we will publish in our ‘knowledge bank’) and primary legal and regulatory materials. Please contact me if you want to participate in this global network: we are ready to publish contributions with name, photo, and brief biographical description - but we will also accept anonymous ones.
For registration and information on subscription, go to the OGEL Home page at www.ogel.org
Thomas W Wälde
Professor & Jean-Monnet Chair