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Handbook on General Provisions Applicable to Investment Agreements in the Energy Sector

Energy Charter Secretariat - 2017 

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.