Oil Industry Operations

18th - 19th October

Venue: The Chesterfield Hotel

Price: £1200 / US $1500 per Delegate

10% Discount for 3 or more delegates

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This two-day seminar is designed to be as relevant as possible to the operator's day-to-day responsibilities and will involve active participation by the delegates. The emphasis throughout will be on avoiding expensive errors and anticipating the type of problems which habitually draw trading companies into disputes.


Tony Yates, Consultant to the Oil Industry and former Head of Operations at BP and Andrew Wilding, Managing Director of Asdem, have combined their many years of experience in trading, shipping, operations, inspection and contract law to provide a highly professional training course for oil operators.

The objective is to give operations staff the information they require to perform their role in the cost-effective and efficient manner that oil trading now demands. Many oil and trading companies have said that their less-experienced operators have benefited greatly from the knowledge that this course has given them, particularly as it draws on a wider range of experiences and viewpoints than most companies can normally provide.

The course is aimed at Operations staff who have up to two years' experience or who feel that they would benefit from a more structured understanding of the elements of the oil operator's role. The comprehensive course documentation has been designed as a useful guide for future reference. The full range of topics to be covered is listed below. The course will be limited to a maximum of twenty one delegates, so please book early to avoid disappointment.


09:30 Introduction to Oil Operations (Tony Yates)
  • The role of the Operator
  • Skills and Competencies
  • Developing within the role
10:00 Marine Operations (Tony Yates)
  • Essential shipping knowledge for operators
  • Voyage orders and other forms of communication
10:45 Coffee Break
11:00 Understanding Letters of Credit (Tony Yates)
11:30 Fundamentals of English Contract Law (Andrew Wilding)
  • What do you need to make an enforceable contract?
  • Different categories of contract terms - conditions, intermediate clauses, warranties and implied terms
  • Negotiating contracts - the "last shot doctrine"
  • Ambiguous clauses - The "contra preferentum" rule
  • Mistake and duress
  • Force majeure clauses
  • Managing contracts - variation, waiver and estoppel
  • Breach of contract - the recovery of damages, minimising one's losses
  • Jurisdiction & Law
12:45 Lunch
14:00 Working with Independent Inspectors (Tony Yates)
  • How to optimise the Inspection company service
  • Pre-empting quantity shortages
  • Why sampling is critical to cargo quality
  • Interpreting certificates of quality and the significance of test results
  • Repeatability and Reproducibility
  • Dealing with off-specification cargoes
15:30 Tea
15:45 Dealing with Off-Specification Cargoes (Tony Yates)
  • How to load, carry and discharge crude and product cargoes and avoid problems
  • Handling special cargoes in difficult circumstances. Crude oil, Vacuum Gasoil, Low Sulphur Waxy Residue, Jet Fuel
  • Causes of contamination on board ship and how to avoid them
  • Case studies on quality and quantity issues
17:00 End of Day 1
17:15 Cocktail reception
09:30 Oil Sales Contracts (Andrew Wilding)
  • Who writes the trading contract?
  • FOB, CIF, CFR, DES/DAT and hybrid contracts - Incoterms 2000/2010
  • Bills of Lading - Document of title, receipt for goods and pricing mechanism
  • Letters of Indemnity
  • Nomination clauses
  • "Final and binding" save for manifest error
  • Dispute resolution: High Court, Arbitration and Mediation
  • Exercise on spotting mistakes in oil trading contracts
10:45 Coffee Break
11:00 What Operators Need to Know About Demurrage and Why (Andrew Wilding)
  • Why is demurrage such a complex subject?
  • Laydays. Accepting vessels arriving early/late
  • Laytime allowance
  • When laytime begins and ends
  • Exceptions to laytime
  • Demurrage in sales contracts
  • Pro rating laytime and the demurrage rate
12:00 How to Avoid and Minimise Claims (Andrew Wilding)
  • Day-to-day operation of sales contracts
  • Time bars and how to avoid them
  • Companies' general terms and conditions
  • Writing sensible clauses in sales contracts
12:45 Lunch
14:00 Problem Solving and Troubleshooting (Interactive session) (Tony Yates/Andrew Wilding)
  • Case studies on problems encountered by oil operators
  • Practising negotiating techniques
15:30 Tea
16:30 Open Discussion and Summing Up
17:00 End of Day 2


Tony Yates. Director of Yates Consulting Ltd. Tony holds a Master Mariners Class 1 Certificate of Competency and sailed on tankers for 13 years. He subsequently worked as a marine technical surveyor in the U.S., before joining an International inspection company where he served as Regional Manager for the U.S. Eastern Seaboard for several years. He returned to the UK in order to take up a position with BP’s Cargo Assurance (Loss Control) team. Over recent years Tony held a number of managerial roles and retired as Head of Operations for BP Oil International Ltd in March 2014. Since that time Tony has been engaged in operational and leadership consulting for the oil trading industry.


Andrew Wilding LLB Hons is a maritime lawyer qualified to practice law professionally in England and Hong Kong with over 28 years specialist experience in drafting, negotiating advising on and resolving matters for the oil industry. Andrew also advises on marine, and transportation contracts for ship owners, ship managers, charterers, commodity traders and their insurers. Andrew received an honours degree in law from the London School of Economics (2006). After completing academic studies Andrew trained professionally in the design construction and operation of oil tankers and commercial shipping at the University of London and obtained significant practical experience from time spent at sea.

Andrew then trained and qualified as a maritime specialist in the City of London with a premier maritime law firm Sinclair Roche and Temperley (SRT). Upon qualification Andrew moved to Hong Kong and was an Associate in the Hong Kong office of SRT prior to joining the Singapore office of Stephenson Harwood (following their merger with SRT) where he was made a Partner, and was responsible for establishing and running a successful shipping litigation department at Stephenson Harwood's office in Singapore a department which continues to thrive to this day. Whilst in practice Andrew appeared before the English House of Lords, The Privy Council and The Court of Appeal as well as arbitration tribunals throughout the world including Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Paris, London and New York.

Andrew left Stephenson Harwood in 2008 to join Roger Sepkes at Asdem and set up Asdem's Singapore office where he now works as its Managing Director focusing on working as a commercial and legal specialist advisor and consultant to the oil industry. Following Roger's retirement in 2016 Andrew was appointed the Managing Director of Asdem.

Andrew is a visiting professor of English Maritime Law and has lectured for numerous academic and professional institutions in Japan, Korea, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, London and the United States. He is the author of numerous published articles on Maritime Law and has contributed to a number of books for the oil and gas industry.


The fee for this intensive 2-day training, which will be held at the Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel in London, is £1,200.00 plus VAT at 20%*.

Parties who prefer to pay in US Dollars may do so. The cost is US $1,500.

The fee includes all documentation, refreshments, and lunches. Please inform us if you have any special dietary requirements. This fee does not, however, include accommodation.

If you require accommodation during this training the Chesterfield Mayfair is offering a special delegate rate of £234 + VAT (Single) or £254 + VAT (Double) per room per night including breakfast. If you would like to make a booking, please contact the Chesterfield on +44 20 7491 2622 and quote "ASDEM" when making your reservation. Please note that the special delegate rates quoted above are subject to room availability at the time of booking confirmation.

The Chesterfield Mayfair is located at 35 Charles Street, Mayfair, London W1J 5EB (+44 20 7491 2622). A location map for the Chesterfield Mayfair hotel can be viewed by clicking here.

If you require accommodation elsewhere, please contact our reservation agents, Capita Travel and Events, on +44 (0) 844 793 7044, quoting our reference "ASDLON". They can negotiate competitive rates at other hotels nearby. This is a free service to Asdem delegates.

*Under current Excise regulations only delegates from companies based in the UK are required to pay VAT on conferences and seminars held in the U.K.

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