Managing the Risk of Offshore Oil and Gas Accidents
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Managing the Risk of Offshore Oil and Gas Accidents

The International Legal Dimension

Edited by Günther Handl and Kristoffer Svendsen

This book addresses the international legal dimension of the management of the risk of accidents associated with offshore oil and gas activities. It focuses on the prevention and minimization of harm as well as the post-accident management of loss through liability and compensation arrangements and the processing of mass claims for compensation. Government officials of countries with offshore industries, international civil servants and academics in related fields will find the book a valuable resource.
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Chapter 3: The international regime of oil spill contingency planning and response

Erik Røsæg

Abstract

Any successful clean-up operation following an oil spill from petroleum exploration and exploitation depends on preparedness. The international legal framework – notably the 1990 International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response, and Co-operation and similar regional and bilateral agreements – does require a measure of preparedness, but the requirements are vague, and the level of mandatory preparedness is low. Of course, coastal states are legally obliged not to cause transboundary environmental damage and to prevent pollution from spreading out of their coastal zones. Conversely, other states have limited rights to intervene to combat pollution outside their territorial boundaries. Nor do they probably have a general duty to do so. Furthermore, a spill response operation itself is subject to a legal framework addressing such matters as the law applicable to participating units and their organization, as well as coverage of the expenses of states that have been requested to assist.

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