International Governance of Oil Spills from Upstream Petroleum Activities in the Arctic: Response over Prevention?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The discovery of the petroleum resources in the Arctic waters and the rapid loss of sea ice raise concerns over environmental risks of oil development in the Arctic waters. One of the biggest threats to the marine environment from offshore oil production is a large-scale oil spill, akin to Deepwater Horizon. The challenging operating conditions, lack of infrastructure and effective clean-up techniques in the Arctic conditions exacerbate the need to ensure robust regulation of petroleum activities in the region. Whereas national laws vary extensively across the Arctic States, international law does not offer a uniform approach to prevention of and response to oil spills. This paper examines the scope and application of the relevant treaties and argues that a regulatory gap exists in the prevention of oil spills and addressing the challenges of response in Arctic conditions. It further suggests that there is an increasing role for soft-law regional cooperation in addressing these gaps.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages30
JournalInternational Journal of Marine and Coastal Law
Early online date8 Jan 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Jan 2019

Fingerprint

Arctic
oil spill
petroleum
governance
international law
environmental risk
oil production
sea ice
marine environment
water
infrastructure
Law
oil
treaty
resource
threat
regulation
lack
resources

Keywords

  • Arctic Ocean
  • Oil Spills
  • Arctic Governance
  • Marine environment
  • Offshore Energy Sector
  • offshore energy sector
  • marine environment
  • Arctic governance
  • oil spills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Law
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Oceanography

Cite this

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title = "International Governance of Oil Spills from Upstream Petroleum Activities in the Arctic: Response over Prevention?",
abstract = "The discovery of the petroleum resources in the Arctic waters and the rapid loss of sea ice raise concerns over environmental risks of oil development in the Arctic waters. One of the biggest threats to the marine environment from offshore oil production is a large-scale oil spill, akin to Deepwater Horizon. The challenging operating conditions, lack of infrastructure and effective clean-up techniques in the Arctic conditions exacerbate the need to ensure robust regulation of petroleum activities in the region. Whereas national laws vary extensively across the Arctic States, international law does not offer a uniform approach to prevention of and response to oil spills. This paper examines the scope and application of the relevant treaties and argues that a regulatory gap exists in the prevention of oil spills and addressing the challenges of response in Arctic conditions. It further suggests that there is an increasing role for soft-law regional cooperation in addressing these gaps.",
keywords = "Arctic Ocean, Oil Spills, Arctic Governance, Marine environment, Offshore Energy Sector, offshore energy sector, marine environment, Arctic governance, oil spills",
author = "Daria Shapovalova",
note = "The paper is partly based on the author’s PhD thesis submitted to the University of Aberdeen in 2017. The author is grateful to her supervisors Professor Tina Hunter and Dr Catherine Ng, and her examiners Professor Elizabeth Kirk and Professor Timo Koivurova for their time and comments.",
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