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Framework for the Development of Transboundary Offshore Oil and Gas Resources in Neighbouring States - Essay Example

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The following report is being carried out to examine and demonstrate the current framework for how transboundary offshore oil and gas resources are managed, what the benefits and limitations are, and what appears likely for the future…
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Framework for the Development of Transboundary Offshore Oil and Gas Resources in Neighbouring States
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Download file to see previous pages The paper tells that discoveries of deposits of gas and oil that exist on the boundary between two sovereign states present a complex challenge that must be approached with caution. Both sides have different interests and consequently decisions must be made that resolve conflicts and balance the competing interests of the different parties. Transboundary deposits of gas and oil do not conform to the standard laws in relation to political boundaries or property lines. This is because the resource can be exploited from one side of the boundary without the line needing to be crossed. There are several international conventions and guidelines that focus on how to resolve such disputes, however, not all countries have ratified to these, and they have little to no legal power. One important aspect of the development of offshore oil and gas resources is the economic perspective. These resources represent significant means for economic development for the countries in which they are present. However, this is not the only consideration. Other relevant factors are the social, political and environmental factors . These differ between states and two states attempting to reach an agreement over a transboundary resource may differ in how their priorities which may affect the types of technology they are prepared to use or the processes that they want to be involved in. The ideal situation for a transboundary deposit is for the states whose boundary the deposit is on to work collectively. However, the situation becomes more complex as each of the states have different laws, principals and procedures by which they work with the various parts of the oil and gas cycle, such as the discovery of the deposit, exploitation, transportation and eventual decommissioning5. This report aims to examine the current framework for how transboundary offshore oil and gas resources are managed, what the benefits and limitations are, and what appears likely for the future. Legislation Legislation concerning transboundary offshore resources is not simple, as there is no international legal system that has the authority to create legislation that is legally binding. International law arises from international custom, conventions and general law that is recognized by civilised nations6. However, some countries do not recognise all international law. One important aspect of any state is territory and boundaries. Usually, the states boundaries are well mapped and represent a specific point, which marks the difference between one state and another. Within its boundaries, a state has sovereignty and has the power to exploit any and all natural resources that are present. Oceanic boundaries are more complex. Prior to the 1940s, territorial see was viewed as three miles from the coast of the state and this was not accepted in all cases. In 1945, President Truman declared that the natural resources under the high seas that neighboured the United States were part of its territory and thus under its control. He did however state that if the continental shelf extended to another state, then ‘equitable principles’ would be used to determine who had the right to the resources7. The 1958 Geneva Convention on the Continental Shelf defined the continental shelf as being the deep-sea areas that were next to the coast of a territory but were not part of the territorial sea. The coastal state has the right to exploration of the continental shelf and exploitation of any natural resources that are present. In the case of a shelf that is next to two or more costal states, the Convention states that the boundary should be decided by agreement, and if none is made, then the boundary will be the median line between the territories. An important piece of legislation concerning the rights of states and the sea in general is the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)8. This article is a comprehensive document with 320 articles, involved more than ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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