Document Type



Civil liability for pollution damage is recognized and firmly established under international law. However, there is no global international treaty that addresses this issue with respect to offshore oil and gas exploration. This may be due partly to the infrequency of the occurrence of offshore oil well blowouts. However, offshore operations represent a constant threat to the marine environment since the risk of a blowout leading to an ecological disaster is ever present. The trend has been the adoption of regional agreements to tackle the issue. However, most of the regional arrangements deal with the issue in a sidelong manner and they lack worldwide application. The case is made that a global treaty on the subject is long overdue.

Date of Authorship for this Version

February 2006


Liability, Pollution damage