Harmonising international offshore law
The rise in offshore construction has led to explosions, fires and spills that have had a devastating impact on humans, the environment and the economy. An EU initiative aimed at developing an international legal framework that regulates offshore construction.
Offshore industry laws in Europe are handled by the individual Member
States. As a result, rules and regulations on safety and security issues
such as accident prevention, damage mitigation and liability vary
To help achieve better ocean governance, the EU-funded OFFSHORELAW
project proposed common standards towards a globally binding regulatory
regime for the offshore sector.
Multilateral treaties on environmental protection, maritime safety
and security were identified across global, national and local levels,
and examined for potential conflicts and discrepancies. Regional and
bilateral agreements on the use of resources across borders or for
resources in contested areas were then analysed.
Research was carried out on the building, management, and removal or
desertion of offshore installations mainly in the oil and gas
industries. Results showed that international standards and rules were
very different and certain legal issues were not regulated at all on a
global scale. They also revealed that private stakeholders like the
offshore industry influence law-making either positively or negatively
depending on their interests.
EU-level standards for the safety and security of offshore
installations were either lacking or applied differently. The limits of
the current legal framework made the settlement of disputes concerning
offshore installations much more difficult.
Finally, private investors and policymakers were provided with tools to regulate the offshore industry.
Thanks to OFFSHORELAW, the adoption of uniform regulations for the
offshore industry is progressing. A global framework should also help
protect marine life and exploit oceans in a more sustainable way.
last modification: 2015-04-02 11:05:45