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International Energy Transactions

Course Catalog Number:
Course Credits:
Course Type:
Course Priority:
General Enrollment Course
Graduation Requirements:
International / Comparative
Full Year Course:

Course Description

The petroleum industry and the electric power industry are two of the largest industries in the world. And increasingly, these are international industries. Major petroleum companies have operated on an international stage for more than a century, but the trend toward international transactions has grown. The operations of electric power industries were historically local or regional in nature, but many of these companies now obtain fuel, equipment, or consulting services in the international market, and occasionally they even sell power across borders. The international energy transactions of both of these industries raise complex legal issues. Some of these are public law issues—the Law of the Sea Treaty, the legal principles used to resolve border disputes, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other anti-corruption laws that have extraterritorial effect, the rights of indigenous peoples when energy companies propose development projects, international environmental law, and human rights issues that can arise when a company operates in a poorly-governed area. About half of this course deals with these public law issues that international energy companies face. The other half deals with the ways that these companies use their contracts to give effect to their business deals, govern how disputes relating to the contracts will be resolved, and even protect their interests against the possibility that the government of a country in which they operate will nationalize their assets or enact new laws that radically change the economics of an existing transaction.