UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Rethinking maritime delimitation and promoting joint development of petroleum: the Nigeria-Sao-Tome and Principe joint development model Eze, Nicholas Chinedu


In an era when maritime delimitation disputes abound because of the perceived and actual presence of valuable natural resources in the disputed boundaries, this thesis seeks to examine a particular alternative way of resolving maritime disputes called joint development. A good number of states are, expectedly, unable to resolve their maritime disputes say by a successful bilateral mutual agreement where natural resources capable of changing their economic fate are found to straddle such disputed area(s). Maritime disputes already abound with potential ones breeding. Resorting to third party dispute resolution is certainly better than aggression and intimidation, but may either be counterproductive or unpredictable with the state of international judicial precedents on the matter. Indeed, even after a bona fide judicial settlement, there is no guarantee of peace and security in such troubled waters. This is traceable to the winner-takes-all nature of a third party settlement of disputes- be it arbitration or adjudication. It is in recognition of this situation that this thesis seeks to promote joint development in the absence of a mutual delimitation and deemphasizes third party dispute resolution and outright delimitation for such situations. The thesis focuses on the nature and merits of joint development of straddling resources over outright judicial or arbitral delimitation with practical and existing scenarios. The presence of existing joint developments around the world and in particular the Nigeria-Sao-Tome Principe Joint Development effort, as a model of joint development, is elucidated in this work and the features that have made it work. This thesis is concluded by a discourse of what the writer considers to be the gains of joint development which third party dispute resolution and outright delimitation do not offer in straddling or disputed resources development and management.

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