The International Legal Dimension
Edited by Günther Handl and Kristoffer Svendsen
Chapter 6: Allocating transboundary loss from offshore oil and gas accidents
This chapter assesses the need for, and the prospects of, a new international legal instrument establishing binding rules on liability and compensation governing transboundary losses from offshore oil and gas accidents. After rejecting the 2017 IMO-endorsed guidance document on offshore liability and compensation as wholly inadequate, the chapter highlights the civil liability nature of the instrument it proposes instead. Specifically, it focuses on the key elements that directly bear on the availability of funds adequate to meet potential liabilities, including likely damages associated with catastrophic accidents of the Deepwater Horizon category. It advocates a multi-tier approach to compensation, which beyond offshore operators’/licensees’ liability as the first tier, would feature a supplementary or secondary level of compensation in the form of a compensation fund as well as the source state’s financial intervention as an insurer of last resort, as necessary.
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