2023 Natural Gas Development: Policy and Legal Considerations


Natural gas is among the fastest growing contributors to global energy demand, providing an affordable and cleaner alternative to conventional fossil fuels. However, in many countries natural gas is a very underutilized resource due to poor development and use policies; underdeveloped infrastructure and markets; and unsupportive legal and commercial frameworks.

This seminar examines issues using policy, regulatory and commercial lenses to provide a strategic level understanding of the natural gas value chain and the contributing factors for successful natural gas sector development. In addition, drafting contracts in the natural gas sector carries a complexity above and beyond what is normally found in conventional oil-based projects. The regional nature of the business and the need for infrastructure to get natural gas to market requires careful consideration of commercialization issues from the initial investment in the upstream and continuing until volumes are physically delivered to end users in the power industry.

This seminar will further examine contracts and legal structures necessary for each stage of natural gas development. Upstream contracts, host government instruments, and investment laws will be discussed, highlighting key natural gas provisions and drafting issues. A discussion of Midstream natural gas agreements will follow, covering processing, fractionation, transportation, and storage. Material is delivered through a variety of methods including reference reading, in-class lectures, case studies, industry panels and, interactive group simulations and workshops.


The seminars are currently offered both in-person and online simultaneously, at the choice of the participant. This choice must be indicated at the time of registration. A small number of courses are scheduled to be delivered exclusively in person or online, and are indicated as such in the 2023 schedule. In-Person Only seminars usually start at 9:30 am Washington D.C. time. Daily sessions usually end at 4:00 pm. Breaks (including the lunch break) are allocated as appropriate. Online Only seminars will be delivered through five (for 1-week course) or ten (for 2-weeks course) live online sessions via videoconferencing platform. Each session will last approximately 3.5 hours and will be scheduled to start within a time window of 7:00 am – 8:30 am Washington D.C. time. Hybrid In-Person/Online seminars will start at a time most convenient to both in-person and online participants, and will generally follow the In-Person seminar format. We expect the classes to be highly interactive and can include presentations, case studies and exercises.

Course Outline

  • Natural Gas Role and Benefits in Meeting Global Primary Energy Demand
  • Understanding the Natural Gas Value Chain
  • Global Gas Markets and Trade
  • Principle-Based Approach to Natural Gas Policy Formation
  • The Role of the Public and Private Sector in the Development and Governance of the Sector
  • Natural Gas Pricing Policy and Methodologies
  • Natural Gas Revenue Management
  • Commercial Aspects of Natural Gas Purchase and Sale, and Gas Transportation
  • Geopolitics of Natural Gas
  • Liquified Natural Gas (LNG): Critical Success Factors for Import and Export Projects
  • Natural Gas Value Chain
  • Overview of Natural Gas Agreements
  • Natural Gas Aspects of Upstream Agreements (Granting Instruments and JOAs)
  • Special Provisions for Natural Gas Development in Investment Laws
  • Midstream Agreements: Gathering & Processing, Gas Transportation, Fractionation, and Storage
  • Joint Marketing and Separate Marketing of Natural Gas and LNG
  • Marketing: NAESB, Gas Sales and Offtake, LNG MSAs, LNG SPAs, and Products Marketing
  • Joint or Combined Stream Marketing of Natural Gas
  • Separate Marketing of Natural Gas and Gas Balancing Agreements
  • Cross-Border Gas Sales
  • Pipeline Gas Sales Agreements
  • LNG: Project Structuring, Pre-FEED, FEED, LNG vs FLNG, and LNG Gas Sales Agreements
  • Downstream LNG Agreements: Tolling and Regasification Capacity

Course Advisor

Robert Lesnick is an Executive Advisor to businesses and governments seeking to develop projects which expand development and use of natural gas. Mr. Lesnick recently retired from the World Bank as its Oil and Gas Program Coordinator after a successful 30-year career in the private sector. He has extensive experience in the petroleum sector, including commodity trading, project development, and natural gas field operations. Robert has over 25 years of international experience as a manager and lead negotiator for the development of energy infrastructure projects. He has conducted business in more than 60 countries on 6 continents.

James English is a senior counsel at Clark Hill Strasburger, specializing in oil & gas industry commercial transactions, infrastructure projects, and acquisitions. His practice focuses on: International and U.S. upstream oil & gas transactions; International and U.S. natural gas/LNG infrastructure projects & marketing; U.S. midstream projects and commercial agreements; Mediation and regulatory advocacy of oil & gas industry disputes. Before joining Clark Hill Strasburger, Mr. English worked at Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. His responsibilities included deepwater transactions and new ventures in Asia Pacific, Africa, Australasia, Canada, and the Caribbean. While at Anadarko, Mr. English also worked extensively with natural gas commercialization and marketing projects in West Africa, East Africa, Central Asia, Trinidad, Australia, and New Zealand. Mr. English served on the board of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators both an officer and a director and is currently a co-chair for the LNG SPA (long term) model contract drafting committee.