Article from: OGEL 4 (2003), in Editorial
OGEL full service
This is the fourth issue of OGEL - OGEL 4 (2003). With OGEL 3 (2003), the full OGEL service has become functional: the hyperlinks of the OGEL newsletters to a full-text database (OGEL Journal, including a selection of relevant earlier publications in the oil-gas-energy field) and the growing OGEL Legal Knowledge Bank (archive of primary legal/regulatory materials). The OGEL Forum will, after some testing, enter into operation simultaneously with OGEL 4 coming on-line. The OGEL Forum will provide a communicative electronic network for the OGEL community with instant posting of news, short comment and discussion, both from the editorial team and participants in the OGEL Forum. We will establish more specialised subgroups - eg oil & gas, electricity, nuclear, environment, human rights and governance issues.
Global energy portal
The OGEL service has become the 'Global Energy Law Portal'. Different from the professional journals and newsletters around, it aims at being the comprehensive energy law portal. OGEL provides a 'digest' of authoritative comment for a rapid, user-friendly review, a reference to competent professionals (and not as the advert usually found in commercial publications), but in the form of direct reference examples reflecting the authors' expertise in specialised areas. It also provides longer analyses for specialised examination and we have now also added a 'Journal Archive' for longer articles that appeared before OGEL started in 2003.
Combined with access to the rapidly-growing primary legal materials database and an efficient search system, it now matches and exceeds by far what is offered by commercial and professional publications in the field. OGEL is aimed at professional use, emphasising quality, relevance and a high degree of user-friendliness, exploiting the opportunities of the internet and of sophisticated modern database software and design skills.
One advantage of the OGEL subscription - as compared to a commercial newsletter or professional journal - is that it can be accessed by the various units of a multinational organisation (company, law firm, bank, governmental and international agency) from wherever there is an internet access - without the need (usually illegally) to handling and circulating copies of articles around offices in several locations. With the now operational OGEL Forum, we will achieve the provision of instant news and comments currently only available for certain specialised electronic newsletters and very high quality daily newspapers - including a searchable 'clipping' service. It is not surprising that major international oil, gas and energy companies (including Saudi ARAMCO, Shell, TOTAL and others), the internationally operating and energy-specialised law firms (Herbert Smith, Cameron McKenna, Denton Wilde Sapte et al) and the key international organisations (World Bank, OPEC et al) have become multi-user subscribers.
Regular specialist features
OGEL 4 will continue the special 'columns' by the growing team of OGEL Associate Editors (Gunderson on Corporate Governance, Shoylekov on Law Department Management). Building on previous special sections within the overall OGEL content, OGEL 4 includes a special section on natural gas, greatly helped by Associate Editors Paul Griffin of Herbert Smith and Peter Storm of DONG/ International Gas Union. The current 'Profiles' in 'OGEL Law' focus on the OECD (by the Editor) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) by Norman Jennings. The special section on international dispute management in OGEL 2 (2003) is being continued and will be a permanent feature of OGEL. OGEL 4 (2004) starts with a leader (by the Editor) on current practice of investment arbitration under the Energy Charter Treaty.
Network of Corresponding Editors
A growing network of 'Corresponding Editors' is helping to increase geographical scope, extent of subjects covered and depth and variety of topics examined. With the growth of the full OGEL service, its searchable archives - for news, comment, analysis, in-depth studies and primary legal materials - will become one of the main knowledge assets of the service which, I suggest, no highly regarded company, firm, bank, public agency or NGO active in the field and with a claim to specialty, expertise and quality of professionalism, will afford to be able to do without.
Editor in Chief
Thomas W Wälde
Professor & Jean-Monnet Chair
And Principal, Thomas Wälde & Associates