Toughened oversight raises antitrust hazards of oil industry collaboration

Edward B. Schwartz Steptoe & Johnson LLP Washington, DC New York Because federal antitrust agencies have intensified their oversight of the oil and gas industry recently, US operators and service providers must be more wary than ever of the risks of joint ventures and other collaboration with competitors. Potentially troublesome collaboration can take forms considered to be routine in the industry, such as area-of-mutual-interest (AMI) agreements, farmins and farmouts, unitization agreements, and other types of joint ventures and cooperative arrangements. Virtually all oil and gas companies—from the smallest independent producers to the international majors—enter into these arrangemen...

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