Read AIEN's History Book "The Art of the Deal: The Story of AIEN".

The story of the AIEN (formerly AIPN) is a story rich in the description of the people who contributed their time and effort to make it the preeminent organization it is today. Although the association's roots are in Houston's upstream oil sector, it has now grown to be a truly global organization serving the needs of cross-border energy negotiators in the upstream, midstream and downstream hydrocarbon sectors.

Click the image on the right to read the AIEN's complete history outlined in its Art of the Deal, published in 2010.


In 1981, Scotty Greenwald, Jack Rosshirt, Frank Alexander, Tom O'Dell, Colin Friedlander, Hank Thomsen, Clark Halderson, Mickey Ables, and Frank Mytinger (who were then associated with the following oil companies: Amoco, Union Texas, Conoco, Pecten, and Cities Service) formed a "Steering Committee" to explore the formation of what eventually became the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators. The Steering Committee held six organizational meetings in Houston and prepared the first AIEN By-laws. Letters then followed inviting international petroleum industry negotiators in the area to participate. The first meeting of the AIEN took place in Houston at the Inn on the Park Hotel (now the Omni Hotel) on February 25, 1982, and soon thereafter, the AIEN elected its first officers. Regular lunch meetings followed thereafter, with Gordon Barrows (Barrows Company Inc.) becoming on October 20, 1982, the first person to speak at an AIEN luncheon. At that time, AIEN had 180 members, mostly from the United States.

The first AIEN "Spring Conference" was held in the Houston area in 1985. The Annual Spring Conference in Texas has continued to date, with San Antonio serving as the venue during the 1990s, and Galveston and Houston hosting the conference since 2002.


1990 was a historic year for the association. That year, the first AIEN model form contract - the AIEN Model Form Confidentiality Agreement (committee chaired by Rod McAlister (Conoco)) - was completed. A far more ambitious project was completed when the 1990 version of the AIEN Model Form International Operating Agreement (committee chaired by Andy Derman and Sean Murphy of Oryx) was released to almost instant acclaim. Lastly, in 1990 Andy Derman also organized the first annual AIEN Model Contracts Workshop in Vail, Colorado.

Cynthia Masters (British Gas) and Scott Helma (British Petroleum) were instrumental in the production of the AIEN newsletter, the Advisor, the first issue being printed and mailed in October 1992. 1992 also saw the finalization of two additional model form agreements: the AIEN Model Form Accounting Procedures (committee chaired by Bob Cummings (Union Texas)) and the International Study and Bid Group Agreement.

By 1993 membership in AIEN had passed 500 and the annual association budget exceeded $150,000. The first informal meetings of the Canadian Regional Chapter began that year when Patrick Wesley organized the initial Calgary event and asked then President Mick Jarvis (Amoco) to help kick it off. Mick Jarvis also organized the first AIEN conference outside of the United States - the Fall Conference in London in September 1993. This began a decade long movement to enhance the "internationalization" of the association by including more cross-border negotiators from around the globe. The association hosted in December 1993 its first Holiday Party (a well-attended Houston annual event that still continues; since 1997 this gathering has also been a successful charity fundraiser).

1994 was another year of innovation for AIEN, when Andy Derman (Oryx) worked with the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation to organize a week long "Short Course" on International Petroleum Contracts and Negotiations; the Short Course is the premier course on upstream agreements, as evidenced by the almost 1000 negotiators from various parts of the world who have attended.

The second version of the AIEN Model Form International Operating Agreement (committee chaired by David Asmus of Baker Botts) was released in 1995. Also that year, AIEN's second conference outside the United States was held in Rome (committee chaired by John Campion (Union Texas)). The AIEN held its next conference in Banff, Canada in 1996 (chaired by Sean Murphy (PanCanadian) and Tim Martin (Nexen)).

In 1997 John Brooks of the Ministry of Industry of the United Kingdom became the first host government representative to become a member of the AIEN Board of Directors. Since that time, several other host government representatives (including from Kuwait, Morocco, Namibia, Trinidad and Tobago, and South Africa) have served on the AIEN Board.

AIEN again ventured into new territory when it held its conference in Asia in 1997, sponsored for the first time by a national oil company, Petronas. The Kuala Lumpur Fall Conference's success (committee chaired by Belle Toren (Triton Energy)) further encouraged AIEN to broaden its geographic base.

The first AIEN Publications Grant in 1998 resulted in Dr. Peter Cameron's "Decommissioning of Oil and Gas Installations - A Comparative Approach to the Legal and Contractual Issues." In late 1998, we held our second major conference in London.

1999 saw the conclusion of a second version of the AIEN Model Form Confidentiality Agreement (committee chaired by Chris Tytanic of Kerr McGee) and the Consultant Agreement for Business Development in a Host Country (committee chaired by Charles Daniels of Phillips). Also that year, we released the Host Government Contract Handbook - Volume No. 1 (committee chaired by Frank Alexander (Legal Consultant)), a project providing a comparative analysis of significant issues under production sharing agreements and other HGC contracts. Our 1999 Fall Conference was held in Washington D.C. and was organized by David Asmus (Baker Botts) and Andy Derman (Thompson & Knight).

Around this time, AIEN ventured onto the Internet by developing a website (under the leadership of Pat Appel (Meyer Orlando)) which has permitted more efficient communication on a truly worldwide scale.


The year 2000 was a busy one for AIEN. First, the International Conference in Cape Town, South Africa (organized by Stephen Mills (Petroleum Agency of South Africa)) was our initial opportunity to host a conference in Africa. Second, on the model agreements front, we released the 2nd version of the Model Form Accounting Procedures (committee chaired by Bob Cummings (Consultant) and Osiris Madera (Triton Energy)). Lastly, in 2000, Al Boulos (Boulos International) concluded 12 years of heading the AIEN resume referral service, which has placed many negotiators into new positions; Marty Forte (Mobil) took over this important task.

Although attempts had been made to start a European chapter in 1996, it was not until after the Cape Town International Conference that those efforts culminated. In early 2001, the first official meeting of the Europe/Africa/Middle East /CIS Chapter (EAMC) was held in Paris (steering committee led by Mick Jarvis (Consultant), Stéphane Brabant (Herbert Smith), Toufic Nassif (BP) and Terry Todd (TotalFinaElf)). Meetings of the EAMC have since been held every 3-4 months in various regional venues, including London, Tunis, Dubai and Moscow. Similarly, in late 2001 the South American Regional Chapter (renamed in 2003 as the Latin American Regional Chapter (LARC) upon Mexico's inclusion) was formed under the leadership of Justo Norman (Maciel Norman) and Pablo Alliani (Estudio Bruzzon). Meetings of the LARC have since been held in Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, and Quito. The AIEN published that year the Model Form Crude Oil Lifting Agreement (committee chaired by Terry Todd of Elf Exploration Production and James Barnes (Thompson Knight)). Moreover, an AIEN Publications Grant resulted in the publication of "Cross-Border Oil and Gas Pipelines: Legal and Regulatory Regimes," by Dr. Sergei Vinogradov of the Centre for Energy, Petroleum & Mineral Law & Policy, University of Dundee, Scotland. That year AIEN expanded its successful International Energy Law, Contracts and Negotiations Course when it added a complementary second week addressing mid-stream petroleum issues (committee chaired by James Barnes (Barnes and Cascio). September 11, 2001 was a memorable date for many AIEN members, as they were gathered in Calgary for the AIEN's first major conference in Canada (committee chaired by Bill MacGillivray (Pan Canadian) and Nolan Rempel (Pan Canadian). On December 7, 2001, the AIEN voted to form a separate U.S. Chapter, thus placing activities in the U.S. on the same footing as those of other AIEN regions that are directly supervised by a local steering committee rather than the AIEN Board. Last but not least, Ms. Jo Ann Mulske retired in 2001 as Executive Director of the organization after many faithful years of valuable service.

The 2002 version of the AIEN Model Form International Operating Agreement, the form's second revision, was released in June (committee chaired by Philip Weems (King & Spalding)). Shortly thereafter our first Model Secondment Agreement was approved (committee chaired by James Barnes (Barnes and Casio). Also, the Model Form Service Contracts for Well Services, Seismic and Drilling (committee chaired by Tim Martin of Nexen with sub-committees chaired by Howard Johnson (Texaco) and Charles White (Halliburton)) was published. The highlight event of the year was the International Conference held in Paris (committee chaired by Stéphane Brabant (Herbert Smith) and Toufic Nassif (BP)). During that year, AIEN also formed committees to update the Model form Accounting Procedure (committee chaired by Ben Welmaker (Thompson Knight) and Kerry Speer of ExxonMobil) and to develop three new model agreements: Pipeline Gas Sales Agreement (committee chaired by Bryant Daniels (Devon) and Cecile Wake (Herbert Smith)); Farmout Agreement (committee chaired by Skip Maryan (ExxonMobil) and Mike Darden (Baker Botts)); and International Dispute Resolution Agreement (committee chaired by John Bowman (Fulbright Jaworski) and Doak Bishop (King & Spalding)). That year the annual AIEN Model Contracts Workshop was moved to Banff, Canada for two years running (led by Tim Martin (Nexen) along with Paul Feldman (Anadarko) and Richard Shoylekov (Cadwalader)).

In 2003, AIEN achieved a milestone when it elected members to its Board of Directors from six continents. Another landmark event was the formation of the Australia / Asia Regional Chapter (under the direction of Hans Hirschmanner (Woodside Petroleum)). In August 2003 the AIEN released a more modern website, utilizing its new logo. The AIEN website, under the leadership of Victor Obadiah, has been expanded to enhance all of AIEN's services: membership contact information, an online forum for model form committees, downloads of existing model forms, conference materials and the newsletter ‘the Advisor’, bulletin boards for regional chapters, registration for members and conferences, posting of resumes and job opportunities. In October 2003, the International Conference in Dubai (committee chaired by Gavin Daniel (Kufpec) and Curt Satre (Nexen), with the assistance of Tim Martin (Nexen)) welcomed over 200 attendees from 23 countries; for the first time this event brought together host government petroleum negotiators from Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Oman, Syria and Yemen in one place for an open discussion on key issues facing the Middle East energy negotiator.

Building on the accomplishments of the previous years, AIEN in 2004, got into high gear focusing on the key themes of its mission: Education, Communication, membership outreach and growth. On education new procedures were adopted for approving New Model Form Contracts to ensure that these documents meet the highest industry standards. First Farmout Model Form Agreement and Model Form Dispute Resolution Agreement were rolled out at the Tuscany Model Form Workshop in July 2004 in the beautiful village of Artimino, in Tuscany, Italy. The Model Form Workshop (chaired by Tim Martin, Terry Todd and Richard Shoylekov) and the Short Course (chaired by Jim Barnes and Karen Krug) were both a sell out in 2004, a testimony to the high quality of these two flagship educational events. Later that year, the AIEN Board recognizing the need to expand the organization’s educational and outreach programs, gave the green light for holding the first AIEN negotiation workshop paving the way for creating another successful educational event.

Events and short workshops were conducted all over the globe, in London, Tunis, Washington, New York, Almaty, Moscow, Rio de Janeiro and Calgary to name a few. The AIEN 2004 International Conference (chaired by Pablo Alliani and Gusto Norman) was held in the beautiful city of Buenos Aires setting a new attendance record with more than 230 registered delegates. These great events and workshops have contributed significantly to our membership growth and helped us reach out to our members across the globe. The Board in an effort to maximize the connectivity with our members in various locations held 50% of its meeting in international locations coinciding with various AIEN regional events.

In 2005 AIEN proved once again that it is the most dynamic, innovative and productive organization in the international petroleum industry. Pat Allison, VP of Education and her many committees completed a record number of Model Form Agreements. Professor Owen Anderson finalized a Model Contract handbook that provides clear guidelines to drafting committees and ensures consistent quality in future Model Form Contracts. The Board also approved the initiation of several Model contracts to include LNG sales and Purchase agreement and Gas Transportation Agreement. The AIEN model JOA was translated into Spanish and Arabic for the first time. French and Russian versions were also being prepared. The Model Contracts workshop in Artimino -chaired by Terry Todd and Marco Bollini- was once again a great success. Jim Barnes and Karen Krug, the chairs of the Short Course, were faced with some real challenges when Hurricane Rita threatened the Gulf of Mexico and forced the postponement of the first session of the course from September to December. Despite all the logistical difficulties the two sessions of the short course were a sell out. AIEN saw in 2005 the launching of a new education course, the Negotiation Skills Workshop under the leadership of Yvonne Holm and Harry Sullivan. The first workshop was held in London and it was very well received.

Regional activities continued to expand in 2005. Many great well attended events were held in Rio, Bogotá, Houston, Washington DC, Denver, Singapore, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, London, Dubai, Doha, Lagos, Marrakech, Moscow and Almaty. In addition to these great events the AIEN 2005 International Conference co-chaired by Jennifer Josefson and Andrei Sapozhnikov was held in Moscow and covered key topics on O&G about the FSU. Once again these events have proven to be a great educational as well as excellent networking opportunities.

One of the great accomplishments for 2005 was the development and approval of a 5 year strategic business plan under the leadership of Deborah Resley and Rick Goenner, to guide the organization in its growth and to better serve its members.

By the end of 2005, AIEN's membership had grown to over 1700 members, with an annual budget approaching $900,000. AIEN moved to bigger offices, we said farewell to our Executive Director for years Luisa Neher and Assistant Executive Director Caron Scott who were instrumental in shaping and managing the organization in its critical growth years. We welcomed our new Executive Director Valerie van Lelyveld-Eyckmans and Assistant Executive Director Jennifer O’Neal. AIEN had, at the end of 2005, members residing in 75 countries, representing numerous international oil and gas companies, host governments, law firms and academic institutions.

“Several governance improvements occurred in 2007. Greater diversity among Directors and Officers was achieved by electing, for the first time, two university professors and an investment banker. The Board approved ten goals for 2007-2008 to implement the strategic plan, appointed Goals Co-Chair (Pat Allison and Skip Maryan), established Co-Chair and Committees and an approval process. As a result, the AIEN established new Vice Presidents for Planning (Doug Uchikura) and External Affairs (Chris Moyes) and three new standing Committees: Regional Chapters, External Affairs and Conferences. The Board also re-instated the office of Secretary (Don Wendland) who registered the AIEN trademark in the EU and Canada and supervised the AIEN Legal Committee and pro bono legal support provided by Vinson & Elkins. The Board named an Assistant Treasurer (David Davies) to be groomed by the Treasurer (Victor Obadiah) as his successor and approved Jim Barnes to serve as the AIEN’s Trustee on the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation. The Nominating and Elections Committee Chair (Rick Goenner) led a very successful and more transparent Officer and Director nominations process which identified 38 qualified nominees to fill vacancies.

Educational milestones included two new Courses: Karen Krug chaired the one day Educational Course –“The Nose of the Camel: What AIEN forms, papers, conferences and camaraderie can do for you” including a presentation by Professor Peter Cameron on Stabilization – on October 25, 2007 in Marrakech, Morocco and Tim Martin chaired the International Oil & Gas Dispute Resolution Course the following week in Paris. For the first time, the Board approved a Policy for AIEN Student Clubs and established clubs at the Universities of Oklahoma and Texas. The Short Course (chaired by Jim Barnes and Karen Krug) was sold out again well in advance. A field trip to an LNG facility in Freeport, Texas was added. Negotiation Skills Workshops were held in London, Singapore and Miami during 2007 - 2008.

AIEN’s membership had grown to 2385 members by the end of 2007. The Vice President – Membership (Mike Arruda) recommended the By-Laws be amended to streamline student membership requirements and the Board approved.

Despite security concerns, an Air France strike and last minute visit by the French President, the AIEN held a successful International Conference in Marrakech, Morocco on October 21-24, 2007. The Conference theme was “Africa: International Strategies for a new Era in Oil & Gas” and featured a welcome address by the Moroccan Minister of Petroleum and Amy Jaffe of the James Baker III Institute as a distinguished speaker on the role of National Oil Companies. The 2008 Spring Conference with the theme ,“Big Projects, Big Rewards, Big Risks – New Realities for Major Project Developments” was held in Bastrop, Texas. John Bowman and Doug De Filippi co-chaired the conference and Mr. Ali Moshiri, President of Chevron Latin America and Africa was keynote speaker. Thanks to the Co-Chairs and Pablo Alliani, Vice President – Conferences, this was the most successful spring conference in memory whether measured by the quality of the program, number of registrants, corporate sponsorships or its contribution to the AIEN.

Under the leadership of the Vice President – Model Contracts (Ben Welmaker) and Co-Chairs Gary Howe and Per Arvid Schoyen, the Model Form Workshops in Bergen, Norway (2007) and Vail, Colorado (2008) sold out well in advance. For the first time, the Board approved a new model contracts committee to develop an AIEN Model drilling contract, to revise the AIEN suite of service contracts (Well Service Contract, Seismic Acquisition Contract and Master Service Agreement) and to appoint Bill Pugh and Susan Ponce as Co-Chairs. The Board also approved: Greg Heath and Andrew Thompson to co-chair a Committee to review the AIEN JOA and to develop guidance relating to Australian law ramifications; Guidance Notes, as revised, for the AIEN Model Form International Unitization and Unit Operating Agreement; Revision of the Confidentiality Agreement and Guidance Notes (2007); and a Committee to Revise the 2002 AIEN Model Form Joint Operating Committee, Terms of Reference and Jim Barnes and Gary Howe as Co-Chairs.

Regional Directors made great strides in organizing Regional Chapter Executive Committees. Attendance was excellent at regional events around the globe (London, Calgary, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bangkok, Almaty, Moscow, Lagos, Bogota, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, Chile, and Trinidad) during 2007-2008. More than 90 registrants attended the Australia/Asia/Pacific Region’s first ever workshop on unitization in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

To meet its growing administrative needs, the AIEN, with pro bono support from Boyden International, successfully recruited a new Assistant Executive Director & Event Coordinator (Angelique Vesey) and Website Coordinator (Wendy Petronella), revised job descriptions for these staff positions, established health insurance benefits for the AIEN staff and approved a five year lease for expanded AIEN office space.

The AIEN expanded its communication capabilities by signing the contracts with Oxford University Press and Professor Walde to publish the Journal of World Energy, Law and Business and approved printing 7500 new AIEN Capabilities Brochures. AIEN’s President (Tim West) briefed members monthly on recent AIEN developments by video on the AIEN website.

The Board approved granting special incentives to the highest level corporate sponsors and the Corporate Sponsorship Chair (Richard Aguirre) set a record. The Board increased membership dues from $100 to $150 a year beginning in 2009 and approved charging non-members $75 for model contracts to strengthen AIEN’s financial resources.

At the 2008 Spring Conference, the Legacy Award was created to give special recognition to members who contribute to the AIEN throughout their careers.”

During 2008-2009, under the Presidency of Pat Allison, the focus increasingly turned to the seven Regional Chapters as the means of delivering services and networking opportunities to members on the local level. At least 40 Regional Chapter events were held during the year in such locations as Aberdeen, Almaty, Bangkok, Calgary, Dallas, Dubai, Ho Chi Minh City, Houston, Kuala Lumpur, London, Melbourne, Moscow, Perth, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore, and Tokyo. Vice President of Conferences, Pablo Alliani, continued his excellent work, planning and implementing the AIEN conferences. The 2008 International Conference, co-chaired by Peter Cameron and Graham Cooper, was held in Edinburgh, while the 2008 spring conference returned again to the Texas Hill Country near Austin, Texas. It was co-chaired by John Bowman and Doug De Filippi and was the best attended spring conference to date. A Dispute Resolution Conference, which was coordinated by Tim Martin and co-sponsored with the International Centre for Dispute Resolution, was held in Rio de Janeiro.

The 2008-2009 AIEN year was particularly active with respect to Model Contracts, an effort headed by Professor Owen Anderson, the Vice President of Model Contracts. The Model Contract Workshop, co-chaired by Per Schoyen and Garry Howe, returned to Vail, Colorado, where it had first started in the 1990’s. Two Model Contracts were finalized, including two versions of the Gas Transportation Agreement (co-chaired by Ariel Kaufman and Andreas Gunst) and the revised Consultant Agreement for Business Development in a Host Country (co-chaired by Steve Molina, Christopher Strong and Ron Sponberg). Also approved during the year was the Australian User’s Guide for the 2002 JOA and the 2004 Accounting Procedure (co-chaired by Andrew Thompson and Greg Heath); Term Sheets for the 2002 JOA and the Study and Bid Group Agreement (co-chaired by Guy Dayvault and Tom Bateman); the Russian and Spanish translations of the 2007 Confidentiality Agreement and the Spanish translation of 2004 Accounting Procedure. Work continued on the LNG Master Sales Agreement (Steve Miles and Harry Sullivan, co-chairs), the revision to the 2002 JOA (Jim Barnes and Garry Howe, co-chairs); and the revised Master Services Agreement (including a new drilling contract) chaired by Bill Pugh and co-chaired by Charles White and Don Simpson. Three drafting committees were approved during the year: the Model Contracts Template, Terms and Definitions project co-chaired by David Moroney, Chris Moore and Owen Anderson; the AMI Agreement co-chaired by Frank Alexander and Mike Josephson; and the Data Exchange Agreement, co-chaired by Carol Mc Diarmid and Erin Dyer. Frank Alexander finalized Section 5 of the Government Petroleum Contract Handbook dealing with Minimum Exploration Commitments.

Many educational objectives were met during the year under the leadership of Mike Arruda, the Vice President of Education. The first issue of the official publication of the AIEN, the Journal of World Energy Law and Business, was published in May 2008. Tim Martin was the driving force behind the creation of the Journal. A new conference, the Core Course (which is an abbreviated version of the two-week Short Course on International Energy Law, Contracts and Negotiations) was held for the first time in Cape Town, South Africa, under the direction of Jim Barnes. The Negotiation Skills Workshop, co-chaired by Yvonne Holm and Harry Sullivan, was held in London. Two research papers were finalized: “Expropriation of Oil & Gas Investments: Historical, Legal, and Economic Perspectives of Resource Nationalism” and “The Pursuit of Stability in International Energy Investments Contracts”. The grant awarded to authors of Research Papers was increased from $10,000 to $25,000 and authors were asked to propose a subject of current interest, rather than have the Board designate a topic. The student outreach effort under Eric Fry was active as usual, with two Student Clubs (University of Wyoming and University of Dundee) created. The Board also voted to establish a student scholarships program with four scholarships totaling $20,000 per year. A one day educational course on Cross Border Pipelines and Unitization was held in Edinburgh immediately following the International Conference.

During the 2008-2009 AIEN year, 515 new members were approved and the total number of members reached 2600. Anyone interested in international petroleum negotiations may apply for membership. An NOC outreach program, headed by Elisabeth Eljuri, the VP-Membership, was started and three NOC representatives were elected to the Board. In recognition of the need to attract and educate new members of the profession, the Young Negotiators group was started for those members under 40 and those who have been in the business less than 5 years. Finally, under the direction of Richard Aguirre, a new record of corporate sponsorships was attained.