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Stemming the black tide: cooperation on oil pollution preparedness and response in the South China Sea and East Asian Seas

Journal Article


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Abstract


  • As global hydrocarbon resources on shore steadily decline, there has been an

    increase in offshore hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation. Some estimates

    suggest that there are over 6,000 offshore oil and gas installations worldwide.

    Notwithstanding simmering disputes over the territorial sovereignty and associated

    maritime zones of a number of island groups in the South China Sea

    and adjacent East Asian seas, exploration for offshore oil and gas resources

    under national and joint development regimes has become a prominent feature

    of these areas. It is estimated that there are now over 1,390 offshore oil and

    gas installations in the South China Sea and East Asian seas. This raises the

    question of how well prepared states bordering the South China Sea and the

    broader East Asian seas are to respond to a major oil spill from an offshore installation

    in the region. In recent years, two spectacular oil spills from offshore

    installations have occurred, one off the northwest shelf of western Australia

    from the Montara platform in 2009, and the other in the Gulf of Mexico from

    the Deepwater Horizon rig in 2010. Leaking oil from those incidents over a

    number of months caused major damage to the coastlines of the states with

    jurisdiction over the drilling as well as those of neighbouring states. The damage

    to the marine resources and biodiversity of the surrounding waters was

    extensive, and industries dependent on the environmental integrity and health

    of these waters suffered commensurately. In addition, the costs of cleaning up

    such widespread and injurious oil spills were huge.

    Almost a third of global crude oil and half of global liquefied natural gas

    (LNG) passes through the South China Sea annually. China is also the world’s

    largest oil importer. All these factors contribute to the high potential for an

    oil or gas spill disaster in the South China Sea and the broader East Asian

    seas. This article will examine the international law and policy framework

    for oil pollution preparedness and response and the extent to which it has

    been implemented in the South China Sea and broader East Asian seas. It

    will then analyse a recent global initiative that has been taken to improve the

    preparedness of the region to address a significant oil or gas spill in the South

    China Sea and broader East Asian seas.

Publication Date


  • 2015

Citation


  • Warner, R. M. (2015). Stemming the black tide: cooperation on oil pollution preparedness and response in the South China Sea and East Asian Seas. Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy, 18 (2), 184-197.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84936995116

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3017&context=lhapapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/2010

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 13

Start Page


  • 184

End Page


  • 197

Volume


  • 18

Issue


  • 2

Place Of Publication


  • United States

Abstract


  • As global hydrocarbon resources on shore steadily decline, there has been an

    increase in offshore hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation. Some estimates

    suggest that there are over 6,000 offshore oil and gas installations worldwide.

    Notwithstanding simmering disputes over the territorial sovereignty and associated

    maritime zones of a number of island groups in the South China Sea

    and adjacent East Asian seas, exploration for offshore oil and gas resources

    under national and joint development regimes has become a prominent feature

    of these areas. It is estimated that there are now over 1,390 offshore oil and

    gas installations in the South China Sea and East Asian seas. This raises the

    question of how well prepared states bordering the South China Sea and the

    broader East Asian seas are to respond to a major oil spill from an offshore installation

    in the region. In recent years, two spectacular oil spills from offshore

    installations have occurred, one off the northwest shelf of western Australia

    from the Montara platform in 2009, and the other in the Gulf of Mexico from

    the Deepwater Horizon rig in 2010. Leaking oil from those incidents over a

    number of months caused major damage to the coastlines of the states with

    jurisdiction over the drilling as well as those of neighbouring states. The damage

    to the marine resources and biodiversity of the surrounding waters was

    extensive, and industries dependent on the environmental integrity and health

    of these waters suffered commensurately. In addition, the costs of cleaning up

    such widespread and injurious oil spills were huge.

    Almost a third of global crude oil and half of global liquefied natural gas

    (LNG) passes through the South China Sea annually. China is also the world’s

    largest oil importer. All these factors contribute to the high potential for an

    oil or gas spill disaster in the South China Sea and the broader East Asian

    seas. This article will examine the international law and policy framework

    for oil pollution preparedness and response and the extent to which it has

    been implemented in the South China Sea and broader East Asian seas. It

    will then analyse a recent global initiative that has been taken to improve the

    preparedness of the region to address a significant oil or gas spill in the South

    China Sea and broader East Asian seas.

Publication Date


  • 2015

Citation


  • Warner, R. M. (2015). Stemming the black tide: cooperation on oil pollution preparedness and response in the South China Sea and East Asian Seas. Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy, 18 (2), 184-197.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84936995116

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3017&context=lhapapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/2010

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 13

Start Page


  • 184

End Page


  • 197

Volume


  • 18

Issue


  • 2

Place Of Publication


  • United States