Student Writing Competition

Student Writing Competition

AIPN has sponsored an annual student writing competition since 2001. The competition is open to all full-time seniors in a four-year program and all graduate students enrolled at an accredited university. Essays should be an original work of no more than 4,000 words, EXCLUDING footnotes, on any specific issue of the student's choice which is directly related to international petroleum negotiations, such as matters of contract, law, or policy.

The essays will be reviewed by a committee comprised of educators, lawyers, business managers and international negotiators. Selection of the winning essays is solely at the discretion of the committee. Essays are judged on topical relevance, originality of content, creativity, insight, clarity and support for viewpoints taken. Each student may submit only one entry.

The AIPN reserves the right to award less than two prizes if it determines that the quality of the essays does not warrant two prizes.

For the 2017 competition, the award includes:

  • Registration to the 2017 International Petroleum Summit (AIPN's Annual Conference)
  • Roundtrip, advance booking coach tickets to conference city
  • $300 expense reimbursement (expenses incurred directly relating to the Summit and supported by receipts)
  • Standard lodging at the Summit location, and
  • Student membership in the AIPN for 2017.

In addition, the winning essays may be published by AIPN in the Advisor or may be eligible for publication in the Journal or World Energy Law and Business.

Students related to current AIPN Officers or Directors or past winners are not eligible to win. By submitting an entry, you certify that you are not related to any foreign (outside the United States) government official, nor are you subject to any United States economic sanctions. If you have any questions regarding these statements, please contact us at

The SWC program now takes place in the fall (August - November) with winning papers selected in January.

Questions? Please contact

The deadline for this year's competition has now passed.

Read previous papers

2012 Winning Papers

"Russia: Contractually Solving the Hold-up Problem for International Oil Companies” by Mike Olsen, University of Houston
Joint Operating Agreements: Should Elements of the AIPN Model Form International Operating Agreement Influence a New AAPL Joint Operating Agreement?” by Patrick Murphy, Southern Methodist University

2013 Winning Papers

Limiting Damages for Loss of Profits and Loss of Production Under the AIPN 2013 Model Form International Operating Agreement” by Leanne Desbarats, University of Calgary (Please login with username and password to view)
Investment Protection in Colombia: Can Investors Rely on the Full Protection Security Clause?” by John Riggs, University of Houston (Please login with username and password to view)

2014 Winning Papers

U.S. LNG Exportation: The Regulatory Process and its Practical Implications” by John Adams, SMU Dedman School of Law (Please login with username and password to view)
Applying Game Theory to Oil and Gas Unitization Agreements: How to Resolve Mutually Beneficial, Yet Competitive Situations” by Barrett Schitka, University of Houston Law Center (Please login with username and password to view)

2015 Winning Papers

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"The Evolution of the Law of Indirect Expropriation and its Application to Oil and Gas Investments” by Omar Chehade, University of Calgary
The Trans-Caspian Pipeline: Implications for the Five Littoral States" by Bryce Cason, University of Tulsa
Arbitrating International LNG Disputes: Lessons Learned over Two Decades" by Lisa Bohmer, University of Houston
Unlocking Mexico’s Shale Gas Reserves: Folly or Fortune?” by Michael Ventocilla, University of Houston