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Joint operating agreements (JOAs) are well-accepted standard agreements in the o

il and gas industry. The basic aim of a JOA is to regulate the relationship betw
een the parties to a joint venture: the operator and non-operator. Traditionally
, the former is responsible for performing operations on behalf of the consortiu
m, while the latter is responsible for contributing to the financial commitments
and expenses of the joint venture. However, this structure typically does not r
eflect the non-operator s perspective, as it traditionally focuses on the strong p
osition maintained by the operator.
It is essential to understand the positions on both sides of the table in order
to ensure a fair and reasonable negotiation. An unbalanced agreement can create
uncertainty, increase the risk of litigation and even jeopardise the very existe
nce of the consortium.