Negotiations and negotiating techniques for the upstream oil and gas industry

Training Course
  • Available in-house

This 3-day training course provides upstream industry insight to negotiations by combining detailed knowledge of the varied negotiating situations that commonly arise in dealing with government and industry stakeholders, suppliers, service companies, joint venture partners and work force. 

About this course:

This course provides upstream industry insight to negotiations by combining detailed knowledge of the varied negotiating situations that commonly arise in dealing with government and industry stakeholders, suppliers, service companies, joint venture partners and work force. It identifies via cases and exercises the most effective negotiating techniques, strategies and tactics to apply in particular situations.

Over three days the course covers key negotiation techniques and issues in a sequence of presentations, examples, video clips and exercises (some short, others longer involving team efforts) from which feedback is provided. Delegates will learn practical negotiating skills and gain insight to the specific negotiating requirements of the upstream oil and gas industry.

Who should take this course?

This course is designed for a multi-disciplined audience from all sectors of the oil and gas industry, including both professional and support staff. Individuals from diverse commercial, technical, marketing, corporate, operations, human resources, labour, community relations, HSE, planning, financial, legal and risk management backgrounds could benefit from the content. Course content addresses issues and skills relevant to professionals and support staff working with or negotiating contracts and agreements or working in project teams from across the industry.

Course overview:

Day One - The negotiating process and key skills

  • Negotiations in the context of the oil and gas industry
  • The need for structured planning and clear communications
  • Exercise: bargaining and compromise in securing drilling resources
  • Harnessing cooperative, adversarial and competitive approaches
  • Game theory –– its relevance to some oil and gas negotiations
  • Exercise: prisoners’ dilemma game 
  • Empathising with positions of other parties
  • Setting objectives and agendas
  • The importance of listening and questioning
  • Exercise: negotiating commercial terms of an upstream permit
  • Negotiating mergers, acquisition and divestments
  • Researching the other parties – identifying their preferences
  • Pitching the first offer or proposal
  • Exercise: Qualities required to be a good negotiator

Day Two - Strategic approaches and innovative solutions

  • Tried and tested negotiating strategies and tactics and responses to them
  • Negotiations with communities; case studies Niger Delta and Queensland
  • Lessons to be learned from Machiavelli’s “The Prince”
  • Broadening the solution and enlarging the rewards
  • Exercise: negotiating with a disgruntled community
  • Negotiating strategies to achieve workable and lasting deals
  • Win-win solutions versus zero-sum outcomes
  • Zones of possible agreement (ZOPA) and bottom lines
  • Negotiating joint-venture operating agreements
  • Exercise: competitive bidding and EPC contract terms
  • Sole risk and non-consent options and dispute resolution
  • Procurement and tendering negotiation issues
  • Exercise: negotiating terms for a farmout deal
  • Negotiating power and perceptions of it
  • Negotiating with financial institutions to secure debt
  • Culture and ritual impact negotiating tactics and outcomes

Day Three - Team versus individual approaches and closing deals

  • Team negotiations, team roles and interpersonal behaviour
  • Personality types and psychology can guide tactics
  • Communicating and understanding signals
  • Using body language and other non-verbal indicators
  • Exercise: identifying body language combinations
  • Posturing, manipulation and diverting attention from key issues
  • Exercise: negotiations in a labour dispute (management versus workforce)
  • Dealing with late stage surprises
  • Recognising and exploiting time pressure 
  • Dealing with deadlock or threats of it
  • Exercise: negotiating access to midstream infrastructure
  • Dealing with impromptu and telephone negotiations
  • Closing deals and recognising how and when to do so
  • Exercise: negotiations between LNG supplier and buyer
  • Documenting and learning from previous negotiations
  • Benchmarking and improving performance in negotiations


Tutor profile:

Dr David A. Wood B.Sc. Ph.D

Dr. Wood is an experienced consultant, with more than 30 years of international oil and gas experience, and provides technical, fiscal and contractual advice, technical and management training to a wide range of oil, gas and energy entities. He has extensive, economic, financial, fiscal operations, project, risk and strategic management experience with many international energy organizations and assets. 

Industry experience includes Phillips Petroleum, Amoco (Africa, Europe & UK) and Canadian independents (South America, Africa, Middle & Far East) with three years based in Colombia and four years based in Dubai. From 1993 to 1998 he was he was UK Managing Director for Lundin Oil & then Morrison Petroleum responsible for a broad portfolio of assets and a staff of more than 100.

For the past decade he has worked as an independent international consultant and expert witness. He has published an extensive body of work on diverse energy related topics including: the international energy markets, performance modelling of fiscal designs, petroleum economic analysis, enterprise risk & portfolio simulation, LNG, GTL and gas supply, deep-water exploration and production techniques, corporate performance, portfolio and strategy management, mergers & acquisitions, negotiations & project management. 

He is actively involved in diverse professional training, research, publication and development programmes. He is a member of the Energy Institute (MEI) and the Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain and associate editor of the Journal of Natural Gas Science & Engineering.

Contact details: