DATES: OCT 26 - NOV 6, 2015
TUITION: $3950





Countries face many challenges related to sustainable development of their energy sectors. Governments must adapt policies and legal framework to efficiently develop their natural resources (both conventional and unconventional oil and gas resources, and renewables sources); attract capital and expertise to develop their entire value chains; capture economic rents to pass through energy sector benefits to local communities; ensure optimum local content development; improve linkages to power sector; foster transparency, corporate social responsibility and environmental stewardship - all of which is critical for securing the affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy supply and for building related value added segments in the industry to grow local economies.

This seminar examines issues using policy, legal and commercial lenses to provide a strategic level understanding of the sustainable energy value chain. Participants will receive a detailed review of the legal and commercial issues that must be resolved for successful sector development. Material is delivered through a variety of methods including: reference reading, in-class lectures, industry panels and interactive group simulations and workshops.


Course Outline


  • Global Energy Sector Overview
  • Petroleum industry fundamentals and structure
  • Goals and objectives of a host government, NOC and IOCs
  • Host country’s regulatory framework and fiscal regime
  • Negotiation framework, strategy and tools


Upstream Petroleum

  • Strategic policy issues
  • Upstream fiscal systems and taxation
  • Upstream contracts and key terms
  • Key issues in petroleum accounting


Midstream and Downstream Petroleum

  • Strategic policy issues
  • Downstream contracts (sales, storage, transportation)
  • Pipelines
  • Refineries


Natural Gas

  • Special considerations for the upstream development of natural gas reserves
  • The natural gas value chain
  • Geopolitics of natural gas
  • Gas pricing and subsidy programs
  • Natural gas agreements and contracts


Power Sector

  • Sector fundamentals and structure
  • Independent Power Project requirements
  • Project funding issues and alternatives
  • Power sector contracts and terms
  • Trends and developments; case studies


Special Energy Sector Considerations and Trends

  • Financing of energy projects
  • Local content
  • Contract and revenue transparency
  • Anti-corruption, compliance and ethics
  • Environmental concerns and responsibilities
  • Corporate social responsibility programs
  • Dispute resolution
  • Energy corridors and regional cooperation


Course Advisors

Mr. Jonathan Cahn is a member of Dentons' Energy, Transport and Infrastructure sector team and is the US head of the firm’s Emerging Markets Energy Strategies group (EMES). For more than 20 years, he has represented some of the world's leading energy investors, including international oil companies, national oil companies (NOCs), sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) and sovereigns in connection with energy sector transactions in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, North America, Russia and Central Asia.

As an international lawyer, Mr. Cahn brings to his clients an in-depth understanding of the energy industry, and his many years of experience in emerging markets. He is internationally acknowledged as a leading lawyer in his field by the Euromoney Guide to the World's Leading Energy and Natural Resources Lawyers, the Euromoney Guide to the World's Leading Project Finance Lawyers, Chambers, and the International Who's Who of Oil & Gas Lawyers.

A hallmark of Jonathan Cahn’s practice has been the representation of Chinese companies making investments abroad, as well as representing parties seeking investment or partnership with Chinese investors. He is widely credited with opening Central Asia to China energy investment when, in 1997, as legal counsel to the Government of Kazakhstan, he secured Kazakhstan's approval to invite the China National Oil and Gas Exploration and Development Corporation (CNODC) to participate in the privatization tender for Kazakhstan's oil company, Aktyubemunaigaz. CNODC's successful acquisition of the oil company and the related construction of the China-Kazakhstan pipeline became China’s inaugural investments in Central Asia.

Ms. Guly Sabahi is a Partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Dentons, the largest international law firm in the world, with approximately 6,500 lawyers and professionals in more than 120 locations spanning 50-plus countries. Ms. Sabahi has over 12 years of experience in international energy projects (mainly upstream oil and gas), and advised the private sector and public sector clients on legal and fiscal regimes in the oil and gas industry in over 45 countries, mainly in the Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and CIS.

In addition to her work at the ILI, Ms. Sabahi serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN), and as a Vice Chair of American Bar Association's committees on Africa and international energy and natural resources. Mrs. Sabahi has taught a seminar on international oil and gas contracts at Georgetown University Law Center. She is a frequent lecturer and speaker on a variety of upstream oil and gas related topics.

Mr. 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 international experience as a manager and lead negotiator for the development of energy infrastructure projects, and has conducted business in more than 85 international locations in 60 countries on 6 continents.

In his previous assignment at the World Bank, Robert managed the development of the business strategy and allocation of resources of the Institution’s Oil and Gas Policy Unit and provided advice on a variety of energy policy topics to strategic government client. Mr. Lesnick has served on the Management Committee for the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas (CLNG), and has been a Vice President and Executive Committee member of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN) and was its President’s Award winner in 2010. He is a frequent guest lecturer and speaker on a variety of natural gas related topics.

Core Faculty

In addition to the course co-advisors, the sessions will be taught by leading energy experts from:

  • Dentons offices from Washington, D.C., London, New York and Cape Town
  • International oil and gas companies, such as Anadarko, OMV, Eni Petroleum
  • US Department of Energy and Department of Commerce
  • University of Houston Law Center
  • IHS
  • World Bank, IFC, IMF, MIGA, as well as OPIC