Student Pages
Postgraduate course

Energy Law: Hydrocarbons, Renewables and Energy Markets

  • ECTS credits10
  • Teaching semesterAutumn
  • Course codeJUS271-2-D
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Resources

Main content

ECTS Credits


Level of Study

Master level

Teaching semester


Place of Instruction

Faculty of Law, UiB

Objectives and Content

Energy is essential for all aspects of life in a modern society and the need for energy is growing. Energy production from fossil sources (like coal, oil and gas) is also one of the main drivers of climate change, and great efforts are made to bring about a shift from energy production based on fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, in order to stop or at least limit climate change.

Energy law is an important discipline as energy production and distribution is pivotal to the functioning of the society and economic and social development. All major countries have in the last decades reformed their energy legislation due to the influence of energy liberalization, climate change and the introduction of renewable energy solutions. Taking part of this course will give you the tools to understand the complex regulatory challenges that energy law has to deal with and prepare you for exciting job prospects.

The general question that the course seeks to answer is how legal regulation can contribute to an effective and sufficient energy production and consumption within sustainable limits. The course will present the main legal principles, systems and instruments used to influence energy production and consumption. Further, the course will give insight in basic principles for resource management, the relation between public interest and business and modern market instruments.

The course will cover governance and regulation of production and distribution of petroleum and renewable energy (like hydro, wind, solar, thermal and other forms of energy) in international and European law.

Our study of energy law will follow the life cycle and energy value chain. During our course, we will study how energy production/extraction, transportation and consumption is regulated and the consequences of such rules for society, the industry and nature.

A central part of the system for governance of the energy sector is the regulation of access to energy resources on land as well as offshore. As offshore energy production is becoming more important for petroleum as well as renewable ocean and wind energy, the regulation of continental shelf and exclusive economic zone will be important, as well as environmental regulation of the oceans (OSPAR-treaty etc.). The question of jurisdiction over and ownership of energy resources especially on the continental shelf is thus an important part of the course.

The system for granting access to the petroleum and other energy resources for national and international companies, through different concession, licensing and contracting systems, and for organizing the State participation in the activity, is an important part of the course. This involves national as well as EU-regulation and will give the students understanding of the relation between EU/EEA law and national law. The license system and the use of joint venture agreements to secure state control as well as effective and secure activity, constitute examples of different techniques for governance of an important industry.

Transport of energy, especially through infrastructure as pipelines for natural gas and grids for electricity, and the systems for marketing will be important. The EU-directives for natural gas market and electricity market will be analyzed and compared with parallel regulation in other countries, like USA and Australia. The legal instruments for opening of the energy market for competition through access to transport systems and competition regulation will be included in this.

The dominating legal models for organization of energy markets for oil, natural gas and electricity, and the impact on this has on the use of renewable energy, is also a part of the course.

The course will concentrate on basic principles and regulation systems. Central themes are:

  • Introduction to energy law & energy policy
  • Energy resources: ownership and management
  • Licensing systems for energy production
  • Upstream regulation of petroleum
  • European regulation of electricity and gas: production, transmission and distribution
  • Organization and functioning of energy markets
  • Competition and State aid law implications for energy
  • European regulation of renewable energy sources
  • Energy consumers: rights, duties and new roles
  • Energy regulators: ACER and national entities

Learning Outcomes

The students shall at the end of the course have obtained knowledge on

  • The fundamental problems, concepts and principles of energy law
  • Have good knowledge and understanding of the regulatory systems for electricity production, from renewable resources, such as concession regulation, access to energy resources, safety regulation and environmental regulation.
  • Know the regulation of transport and market access for energy, such as third-party access to transportation systems, unbundling, system operator's role.
  • Know the organization and regulation of markets for oil, natural gas and electricity
  • Identify and solve legal problems in energy production, distribution and retailing

Required Previous Knowledge

Three years of university studies

Good level of English

Recommended Previous Knowledge

Three years of law studies

Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap

Combined with JUS271-2-A, JUS271-2-B or JUS271-2-C this course will generate no new credits.

Access to the Course

The course is available for the following students:

  • Admitted to the integrated master programme in law
  • Admitted to the two-year master programme in law
  • Granted admission to elective courses at the Faculty of Law
  • Granted additional right to study following completed master¿s degree in law at the UiB
  • Exchange students at the Faculty of Law

Note: The pre-requirements may still limit certain students' access to the course

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures and workshops

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance


Forms of Assessment

The exam consists of two parts, each contributing 50 % to the final mark:

Home-exam: during the course the students shall write a paper of maximum 2000 words on a subject provided by the course supervisor.

School exam: Four-hour digital examination.

Information about digital examination

Exam language:

Question paper: English

Answer paper: English

Examination Support Material

Support materials allowed during exam:

See section 3-5 of the http://www.uib.no/en/jur/22852/supplementary-regulations-studies-faculty-law-university-bergenSupplementary Regulations for Studies at the Faculty of Law at the University of Bergen.

In addition: Collection of relevant material supplied by the Faculty of Law

Special regulations about dictionaries:

  • According to the Regulations for Studies, one dictionary is permitted support material during the examination. Bilingual dictionaries containing for example both Norwegian-English and English-Norwegian are considered as one dictionary.
  • Bilingual dictionaries to/from the same two languages - for example Norwegian-English/English-Norwegian - in two different volumes are also considered as one dictionary (irrespective of publisher or edition).
  • Dictionaries as described above cannot be combined with any other types of dictionaries.
  • Any kind of combination which makes up more than two physical volumes is forbidden.
  • In case a student has a special need for any other combination than the above mentioned, such combination has to be clarified with/approved by the course coordinator minimum two weeks before the exam. Students who have not been granted permission to have a special combination minimum two weeks before the exam will be subject to the http://www.uib.no/en/jur/22852/supplementary-regulations-studies-faculty-law-university-bergenusual regulations (Section 3-5) about examination support materials.

Grading Scale

A - E for passed, F for failed.

Assessment Semester

Autumn. Exam only in semesters with teaching.

Resit of school exam in next semester only when home exam is passed.

Reading List

Will be available by 1. December for the spring semester and 1. July for the autumn semester.

Course Evaluation

According to administrative arrangements for evaluating courses at the Law Faculty

Programme Committee

Studieutvalget ved det juridiske fakultet

Course Coordinator

Associate Professor Ignacio Herrera Anchustegui

Course Administrator

Studieseksjonen ved det juridiske fakultet