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Justin D. Macinante

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Edited by Günther Handl and Kristoffer Svendsen

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Edited by Günther Handl and Kristoffer Svendsen

When the new millennium began, rather ominously, with a series of spectacular natural and man-made catastrophes, some commentators spoke of these events as the opening act of an ‘age of disaster’ in which the line between man-made and natural disasters was increasingly becoming blurred. For others this beginning symbolized, more dramatically still, the dawn of a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene, a period in which human activity has begun to affect the very mechanics of ‘system Earth’ as such. Whatever this inauspicious beginning’s larger significance (or eloquent characterization), it surely was also a prosaic reminder of the inexorable increase in discrete, intrinsically man-made hazards capable of causing significant accidental harm. Prime illustrations of this phenomenon are the accidents at the Montara Wellhead Platform and the Macondo (Deepwater Horizon – DWH) oil well, in 2009 and 2010 respectively, as well as the (earthquake and tsunami-triggered) disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011. Whereas, post-Fukushima, the nuclear industry underwent critical appraisal of its international regulatory framework and a tightening of its safety and emergency preparedness and response requirements, in the wake of the Montara and DWH accidents, the offshore oil and gas industry escaped global-level scrutiny and regulatory attention for the simple reason that the industry had remained largely unregulated internationally. To be sure, the two offshore accidents did trigger reviews and, in a few instances, specific adjustments of national (and regional) laws and regulations applicable to offshore oil and gas operations. By contrast, at the global level, efforts at expanding the offshore industry’s international governance structure beyond its presently extremely limited scope, let alone at establishing globally binding criteria to manage critical aspects of the risk of offshore accidents, have largely been stymied. This lack of international regulatory attention to the offshore industry, however, is unjustifiable given enormous actual (as demonstrated by the Ixtoc I and Montara incidents) or potential (as hinted at by the DWH event) transboundary impacts of offshore accidents and the state of global regulatory interdependence characteristic of the industry as a whole.

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Edited by Rafael Leal-Arcas

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Rafael Leal-Arcas

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Antonio Morelli

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Edited by Rafael Leal-Arcas

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Edited by Rafael Leal-Arcas

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Edited by Raya Salter, Carmen G. Gonzalez and Elizabeth A. Kronk Warner

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John A.P. Chandler