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Covid-19: Teaching and exams

The Covid-19 situation will continue to affect teaching and exam in the spring semester 2021. Updated information about lectures and exams can be found on the semester pages.

Read more about teaching and exams spring 2021

Also see: Studies and COVID-19 - General information for students at the Faculty of Law

This course is discontinued. Students who wish to retake the exam in this course have a last opportunity spring 2021.

The course provides and in-depth study of the legal aspects of petroleum exploration and exploitation both internationally and in Norway. As such it aims to give an insight into key legal issues and challenges involved in the economic exploitation of petroleum as a limited and very valuable natural resource, especially in light of the financial, technological and environmental challenges this entails in such a complex offshore environment as the Norwegian continental shelf. At the same time, petroleum is characterized by having vital importance as an energy commodity, which has its own very important implications for the law, especially as it concerns marketing and sale.

The main focus of the course is on regulation of so called upstream petroleum activities, i.e. exploration and production, and the general legal premises that apply in this regard, both under national and international law. To this effect, the course both covers the most common contractual and concessionary models in use internationally for exploration and exploitation of petroleum, and gives an in-depth study of the Norwegian concessionary system and the legal premises underlying it. In addition to its main focus on the relationship between the government and private oil companies engaged in petroleum activity under a concession from the government, the course also covers the relationship between oil companies holding such a license or concession in common as joint concessionaires, with a focus on the Norwegian joint operating agreement. Other important issues that are dealt with in the course include regulation of risks posed to health, safety and the environment, and liability issues in the relationship to third parties and the broader community. Finally, the course also provides an overview of the legal framework regulating downstream activities, i.e. marketing and sale of petroleum (especially natural gas), with a focus on relevant EU-law.

For students enrolled in Rettsvitenskap (jus) (master - 5 år): Have you considered a specialization as part of your degree? The course is part of the profile Naturressurser og miljø and Skipsfart og offshore

Read more about profiles.

Learning outcome

The course aims to provide a basic understanding of the law and the key legal issues relating to exploration for and exploitation of petroleum in Norway and internationally, as well as the main legal framework for marketing and sale of natural gas in Europe.


You may register for this course if you have admission to a Master’s programme at UiO or the faculty's exchange programme. You can also register for this course if you do not have admission to any programme at UiO, but meet the formal prerequistites.

All students are required meet the formal prerequistites.

Have you met the formal prerequisites at another institution than the University of Oslo, and the results are not formally registered at UiO, you must apply for admission to courses at Master’s level . Students with admission to Master’s degree programmes at other faculties than The Faculty of Law must also apply for admission.

When your admission is in order you must register for courses in StudentWeb


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Students must fill one of these requirements:

  • Passed 1st - 3rd year of the 5-years degree Master of Laws (Master i rettsvitenskap at UiO) (or exams that qualify for exemption for these) or
  • Hold a 5-years Master’s degree in Laws (Master i rettsvitenskap at UiO) or equivalent.

Exemptions from the formal prerequisites will be given to students with admission to the faculty's own exchange or master’s degree programmes. This rule does not apply to students with admission to other master’s degree programmes at the University of Oslo, unless otherwise agreed.

Recommended previous knowledge

Minimum three years of law studies.

Overlapping courses


Language of teaching for this course is English. This means that all
communication during lectures/seminars will be in English, and all
literature and auxiliary materials are in English.

Lectures takes place throughout the semester.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


4-hour written examination.

Adjustments due to COVID-19:

In the spring semester 2021, the exam will be a 48 hour home exam, maximum 3000 words.

Footnotes should be included in the word count of the main text. Not included in this count: front page (with name and title etc.), summary, table of contents and references (bibliography). (If relevant for the paper).

Assignments/papers with text exceeding the word limit will not be accepted.

(Normally the course has a 4 hour written school exam)


Examination support material

This is an open book digital school examination. You are permitted to use any materials written on paper during the examination. This includes books, lecture materials and your own notes, whether handwritten or printed. There are no restrictions on marking up or highlighting these written materials. No electronic support materials are allowed.

Use of sources and rules for citing. 

The standard rules on cheating and plagiarism which apply to assignments apply also to the written open book examination. This means that you must provide a reference whenever you draw upon another person’s ideas, words or research in your answer to the exam question(s). You cannot copy text directly from textbooks, journal articles, court judgments etc. without highlighting that the text is copied.

Thus, pieces of text quoted verbatim from these and other sources must be italicised or otherwise highlighted so that it is obvious that the pieces of text are quotes.

Example of highlighting in a text:

"Laurent Bailay and Bernard Van der Lande propose to define a mobile payment as a “payment for products or services between two parties for which a mobile device, such as a mobile phone, plays a key role in the realization of the payment”. (European Commission, GREEN PAPER Towards an integrated European market for card, internet and mobile payments, page 5)"

Failure to cite sources or highlight quotes in your exam answer may be considered as evidence of cheating.

Previous exam papers

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Marking criteria 

This  guide is used by examiners for grading this course.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take this exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

There are special rules for resitting a passed examination in the master's programme in Law.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The language for this course is English. Students enrolled in the
Masterprogrammet i rettsvitenskap must pass one
English subject as part of their degree, this course will meet these

The course does not overlap with, but is related to JUR5430 – Petroleumskontrakter (discontinued) – only taught in Norwegian, JUR5401 – Maritime Law (discontinued), JUR5400 – Sjørett (discontinued) and JUR5310 – EC Competition Law (discontinued). Students who register for Petroleum Law will therefore benefit from studying the above mentioned courses in addition to JUR5440 – EU Substantive Law (discontinued).

Facts about this course






The course is discontinued


The final exam in this course will be held spring 2021

Teaching language