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HFW Offshore Bulletin February 2016

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Welcome to the February edition of our offshore bulletin.

With oil prices tumbling at an alarming rate and now at a 13-year low, it is not just the oil-producing companies that are affected, but all those working in the services industry. In this issue, we look at some of the main challenges faced by those operating in Africa and the Middle East, and discuss some of the steps operators can take to minimise the impact of the downturn on their businesses.

In addition to these market troubles, the owners, operators, charterers and insurers of FPSOs and other floating offshore units are also often faced with difficult legal and regulatory issues, in particular the extent to which they may be able to limit their liability for claims in respect of physical damage, personal injury or pollution. The latter issue may be one step closer to clarity, following recommendations made by an IOPC Working Group onwhether FPSOs and other offshore units are ‘ships’ for the purposes of the CLC 1992. We summarise the main recommendations of the Working Group’s final report.

Turning to contractual issues, although intended to avoid litigation between parties operating in an offshore field,  knock-for-knock clauses are a complex area and often give rise to disputes. With the assistance of Tove Dickman Haugvaldstad of Advokatfirmaet Thommessen, we examine a recent case where the Norwegian court upheld an English law knock-for-knock clause.

Finally,  BIMCO are in the process of updating their SUPPLYTIME 2005 charterparty. We examine some of the likely areas of focus, and discuss some possible improvements that could be made.

If you require any further information or assistance on any of the issues raised in this edition, please do not hesitate to contact any of the contributors or your usual contact at HFW.


Our team of transactional and dispute resolution lawyers have expertise at every stage of the energy chain, from exploration and production, storage and transportation, LNG, refining, trading and sale of oil and gas, to electricity generation, energy management, renewables and carbon trading. We advise oil companies, service contractors, investors and insurers and have an emergency response team who are experienced in advising on all aspects of any casualties or disasters that may occur. » Read more


We specialise in energy and natural resources, and major infrastructure projects, such as ports and terminals. Projects are frequently complex and multi-jurisdictional, and our lawyers regularly work as part of a team with technical and financial advisers, as well as lawyers from other jurisdictions.
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India Maritime Summit 2016

12 February 2016

Decommissioning & Abandonment Summit

23-25 February 2016

Offshore seminar: Getting Paid: Dealing with Insolvency and Payment Risks

25 February 2016

For more information about our events, please click here or contact events@hfw.com


© 2016 Holman Fenwick Willan LLP. All rights reserved

Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of this information at the time of publication, the information is intended as guidance only. It should not be considered as legal advice.

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1 comment

MARCO FUENTES February 5, 2016 - 12:38 PM

FELICITACIONES / Congratulations


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