David Sweeney Authors Article on Oil and Gas Industry Joint Operating Agreements

LexisNexis Practice Advisor has published the article “The Basics of Oil and Gas Joint Operating Agreements,” written by Akin Gump oil and gas partner David Sweeney.

The article first gives some background on the definition of a joint operating agreement (JOA), describing it as “a contract that governs how two or more co-interest holders in an oil and gas project explore for, develop and produce hydrocarbons from a project area, abandon the project at the end of its life, and remediate the project site.” Sweeney writes that most JOAs “are based on forms that have evolved to deal with the peculiarities of the oil and gas industry in specific jurisdictions.”

Sweeney then discusses what happens in the absences of a JOA and what the scope of a JOA generally is. He also writes about a JOA’s title provisions, the governance of operations and issues pertaining to defaults, among others.

Sweeney concludes by observing that JOAs provide a working understanding of industry-wide issues that are “a necessary precursor to the development of the complex, creative solutions to operational problems that will drive the industry into the future.”