Legal Frameworks for the Joint Development of Hydrocarbon Resources
NUS Centre for International Law series
Edited by Robert Beckman, Ian Townsend-Gault, Clive Schofield, Tara Davenport and Leonardo Bernard
Chapter 8: Joint development arrangements in Northeast Asia and the Gulf of Tonkin
The delimitation of maritime boundaries is not a precedent or a precondition for the development of common non-living marine natural resources, so long as the relevant States are able to reach a consensus on the undertaking of provisional arrangements such as joint development agreements in maritime areas of overlapping claims. Indeed, the implementation of these regimes may further contribute towards containing or perhaps settling the maritime boundary dispute, given that States no longer have to address the complex issue of reaching an understanding on common mineral resources. The Asia-Pacific region is a compelling example of the intricate challenge facing States in reaching an agreement on the delimitation of maritime boundaries, particularly when there is a general perception of the significant oil and gas potential of certain parts of this region. Most maritime boundaries disputes in the Asia-Pacific region are caused by opposing or overlapping claims, or are the result of territorial disputes regarding islands or their relevance for the purpose of delimitation.
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