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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Allocation of rights over offshore oil and gas resources : a study of the legal systems in force in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia Crommelin, Michael


This thesis is concerned with one aspect of government management regimes for offshore oil and gas - the allocation of rights over these resources. The method by which rights may be acquired, the scope of the rights, and the terms and conditions upon which they are obtained are matters of great significance in determining the overall effectiveness of a management regime. Four coastal nations have been chosen for study. They are the United States of America, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada and Australia. The systems adopted by these countries for allocation of offshore oil and gas rights are similar in that they rely mainly upon private enterprise for the development of the resources, but otherwise there are considerable differences. In the first place, the thesis contains a brief statement of the nature and extent of the rights of coastal nations over offshore oil and gas resources at international law. This is to provide the basic framework within which the management regimes of the four countries must operate. Secondly, there is a detailed description of the allocation systems in each of the four countries, with special attention being given to the historical background of the laws which establish the systems, to the provisions of those laws, and to the practical operation of the systems. Finally, there is a comparative assessment of the systems in terms of specific objectives which should form the basis of a government management regime for offshore oil and gas.

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