Research Handbooks in International Law series
Edited by Kim Talus
The oil business has its own peculiar risks and rewards. It has always been a risky preposition in terms of both geology and politics but also a most rewarding if one discovers a good quantity of oil and/or gas. It is often said that the oil business is not a business but politics and may not only result in or relate to profit or loss but in war and peace. It is not only affected by pure business considerations but by many other factors. For example in Sudan, M/s Talisman was earning a profit but its shares were being sold on the New York Stock Exchange at a discounted rate because of an allegation that oil revenue was being used for human rights violations in Sudan. For extraction and exploitation of petroleum many types of arrangements have evolved and are being used by petroleum resource owners and petroleum companies in the world. The petroleum resources are generally owned by the government or national oil companies except in the USA and Canada, where the laws of some states recognize private ownership of petroleum. The arrangements made amongst resource owners and investor companies for extraction of oil and gas and its distribution are generally termed as regimes. These regimes as per one definition are 'sets of explicit or implicit principles, norms, rules and decision making procedures around which actors' expectations converge in a given area of international relations'.
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