Energy contracts are negotiated with a view to allocate benefits and responsibilities for years to come. Negotiating such complex and lengthy contracts is a challenge under any circumstances. However, governments often face challenges associated with a lack of expertise, imbalance of financial resources, time pressure and other factors, not necessarily always within their control. Thus, it is important to support governments to acquire expertise in contract negotiations for complex and long term projects. A well negotiated contract, with the full understanding of the government of all the potential policy options involved, reduces potential conflicts and facilitates its correct implementation for the benefit of both the parties, the country and the foreign investor.
Therefore, this Handbook makes an attempt to offer guidance to governments on possible drafting and negotiation approaches that can be considered on a voluntary basis when preparing for entering into complex negotiations in the energy sector. The Handbook is divided into several chapters, most frequently encountered or otherwise dealt with in complex agreements in the energy sector. Energy projects differ in scope, have unique technical facets, and are subject to numerous legal requirements, including those arising from international law and relevant supra-national and national legal systems.
The Handbook is a result of the vast experience of the Energy Charter Secretariat blended with a valuable support of the Legal Advisory Task Force (LATF), which currently consists of over eighty senior legal experts from leading energy companies, academic institutions and international law firms. The Energy Charter Secretariat is open to and grateful for any suggestions and opinions that may come forth in the process of going through the Handbook, and it will continue working on further refining and broadening thereof.