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Joint Venture & Drilling Audit

Our associates are experts in joint venture audits for the upstream oil and gas industry. They understand, can clarify and resolve the issues that often come to light, to help ensure your partnership is successful. 

Contact Ian McPherson

  • Ian McPherson
    Meet the team

    The team

  • Oil & Gas. Exploration & Production. Oilfield Services.  

    Who we can help

  • Joint Venture & Contract Audit. Contract/Vendor Audits. Completion Accounts. Audit & Assurance. Virtual Finance Function. Corporate Finance. Global Mobility. Litigation Support. 

    Whistleblowing. Fraud Prevention & Investigation. 

    How we can help


There are always risks in joint ventures, particularly when the rewards are great and the operations are complex. It’s vital to know your potential partners as comprehensively as possible and ensure that effective measures are in place to monitor responsibilities, costs and revenues. 

That’s easily said, but not always so easily done. With AAB, you have true peace of mind. Our experienced specialists are not only fully aware of the possible issues but also widely respected within the industry. You do not necessarily need to be the largest partner in a joint venture, but with our support you can exercise substantial influence and control, to protect your interests.


We’ll save you time by managing the entire Joint Venture Audit process, liaising with you, the operator and other joint venture partners. We will: 

  • achieve savings for you in your non-operated ventures by capitalising on our knowledge of your assets 
  • anticipate audit requirements, discuss audit rights on key assets and manage the process effectively for you 
  • provide a team with unrivalled credentials, respected within the industry, enjoying good relationships with operators and with a deep working knowledge of commercial arrangements 
  • issue and agree audit scopes well in advance of the audit fieldwork 
  • report to you immediately on conclusion of the field work 
  • provide reports and proactively manage open issues to a conclusion by focusing on recovering costs which have been incorrectly charged to you, and ensure that the operator takes the appropriate correcting entries/actions


Our joint venture and drilling audits are based on robust methodology that provides clear insights into expenditure and addresses the possible discrepancies often associated with cost allocations. They can also alert you to incidents of non-compliance. As specialists, we’re fully aware of the diverse business practices in the industry and the implications of different types of agreements.  

One of the most powerful tools in our auditing armoury is the ability to ask the right questions; another is our determination to persevere until we obtain the right answers. Our approach is persistent but not provocative; we appreciate the importance of maintaining good relationships with the partners you are relying on.  


We apply the same methodology to the audit of drilling campaigns as our other Joint Venture Audits. However, the risks and findings, are typically higher due to cut-off between wells in multi-well campaigns and the allocation of costs in cost-sharing arrangements. 

Accuracy is a key factor and it’s here that our painstaking audits are crucial for verifying that operators’ billing is correct and agreed liquid allocations are being adhered to. Over the years we have identified some considerable errors, whether accidental or intended, and have been able to use our audit evidence to reclaim that missing revenue for our clients. 

Providing incontrovertible evidence usually has the desired effect, but where absolutely necessary, we can draw on the expert litigation services available to us through our membership off the AAB Group. We will work resolutely to achieve the settlement you seek.

  • The secondment support provided by AAB helped us streamline our accounting processes and enabled us to produce automated management reports from our accounting software. We have seen real benefits in the quality and timeliness of our information.

    Charlie Parker, John Lawrie Group

  • The Corporate Finance team at AAB understood our business and led us towards concluding a tremendous deal. The team at AAB were thorough, proactive and efficient showing command and control of all the key elements of getting a deal done.

    Keith Wallace, EPC Offshore

  • Working more closely with the team has been a real pleasure. They are open and straightforward, eager to understand our requirements and provide solutions to issues that arise. Overall it has been a refreshing experience!

    Karen Williamson, Apache Corporation

  • Having AAB as our business partners gives me peace of mind as they listen, participate and work with us to ensure our goals are achieved.

    Gillian Irvine, NorDan

#Updates See all updates

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  1. Blog12th Dec 2018

    Establishing credibility in a new E&P business venture

    A relatively high and much more stable oil price has generated a lot of renewed investor interest in the North Sea upstream E&P sector over the past 12 months or so. Last month, in the UK Government’s 2018 Budget it…

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  2. Blog8th Jan 2018

    “Improvise, Adapt & Overcome”

    Quoting Clint Eastwood in “Heartbreak Ridge”, this is the unofficial slogan of the US Marines. It could be a good slogan to adopt in the Oil and Gas industry – or perhaps we can take it one-step further by saying…

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  3. Blog30th Oct 2017

    Exploring Joint Ventures from Every Angle

    Joint venture audit can result in real savings in the oil and gas industry, writes accountant IAN MCPHERSON of AAB, and it may well have applications in other sectors too.

    View more

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