Article from: OGEL 2 (2003), in Editorial
I am pleased to introduce OGEL 2 (2003). The response to OGEL 1 has been overwhelming. We are read in all corners of the globe. I have received lots of comments, criticism - and increasingly more substantive contributions. This is all reflected in OGEL 2.
OGEL 2 continues the presentation of intelligence, insights, comments, news, digest of official reports, reference to selected relevant literature and interesting websites. The feature of a 'profile' of a relevant international energy organisation will continue - the OGEL 1 Profile was on the IEA, OGEL 2 is on OPEC. Our 'Digest of Official Reports and Cases' continues with a focus on recent EU Commission activities in the field of oil and gas. Several significant arbitration cases are commented on and I have read for the OGEL audience a number of relevant, recent articles.
Two new columns: corporate governance and managing a legal department
We also start two special columns written by former general counsels of leading oil-gas-energy companies: Jim Gunderson on corporate governance and Richard Shoylekov on managing a legal department. We plan to continue both columns until full practitioner manuals on both corporate governance and management of corporate law departments have emerged.
Unique feature on dispute management in the oil gas and energy industries
But I have also introduced a new feature: In addition - not in substitution - to our regular content, OGEL 2 contains what in essence is probably the most exhaustive and extensive collection of in-depth analyses, incisive comments, relevant current news, but also primary documents (institutional rules and guidelines; manuals; awards) on the management of disputes in the oil, gas and energy industries.
The special feature quite consciously uses the term 'dispute management' - and not arbitration or dispute resolution in the conventional terms. While we bring a wealth of intelligence on arbitration, this is contrasted with new forms of dispute management, in particular mediation.
My lead comment highlights the management perspective - rather than a more formal, black-letter only discussion of rules and procedures. It is followed by a lively, orchestrated discussion by noted practitioners on the pros and cons - I have rejected only comments that contain the text: 'As Professor Wälde so aptly puts it'.
If this were printed in full, it would be the equivalent of one or several large books. The strategy of OGEL is not just to publish papers, but to show the various facets of a rule, a procedure, an institution and the various experiences and views that professionals in the international oil, gas and energy industries are developing.
Be more informed than your colleagues
I think it is also by providing such an absolutely unique and novel interactive feature that we can add real value to our community - global, legal and other professions, professional and academic, but always cosmopolitan, curious and keen to debate.
OGEL 2 will also have fall-out from OGEL 1 - a number of comments related in particular to my 'lead comment' on Iraqi oil contracts.
OGEL readers and participants will as a rule be more informed, more insightful than their mundane colleagues (who are not - yet - OGEL users). I hope and I am sure that they can also provide better services and they naturally are worth more (and justify a higher price).
OGEL Internet Forum
We will be introducing shortly the OGEL Internet Forum. This will be a forum for instant broadcasting of news - by all members, and for posting of queries and debate. My experience with the two Internet Forums I currently manage - ENATRES (energy-resources) and OGEMID (oil, gas, energy, mining, infrastructure disputes) is that these interactive, high-value forums with their constant updating operate very much to the satisfaction and professional enrichment of all their members.
OGEL Knowledge Bank
The OGEL service will also shortly open up its database for primary legal materials ('OGEL Knowledge Bank'). We have already collected a large number of modern energy laws, arbitral awards, treaties and voluntary guidelines. They will be available to OGEL subscribers, as will the collective OGEL Archive ('OGEL Journal') which will bring together all existing contributions to the OGEL Newsletters, but also a relevant selection from the well-known and much-used CEPMLP Internet Journal.
I hope very much that you will subscribe to OGEL (and pay - we do need to cover our costs, there is no public subsidy here), participate actively and spread the message around the world in your professional contact groups.
Thomas W Wälde
Professor and Jean-Monnet Chair
And Principal, Thomas Wälde & Associates