Energy Activities at Sea within National Jurisdiction - Chapter 7 - Natural Resources and the Law of the Sea - International Law Institute Series on International Law, Arbitration and Practice, Volume 2
Originally from Natural Resources and the Law of the Sea: Exploration, Allocation, Exploitation of Natural Resources in Areas under National Jurisdiction and Beyond - International Law Institute Series on International Law, Arbitration and Practice, Volume 2
This chapter provides an overview of the rules of the law of the sea concerning offshore energy activities within national jurisdiction. As a general observation, the rules of the law of the sea either directly regulate the manner in which coastal states may explore and exploit hydrocarbons or renewable sources of energy at sea, or indirectly govern these activities by rules that regulate their effects on other uses of the seas or on the environment. In both cases, the need to balance the interests of the coastal state with the interests of other states or even community interests permeates the law of the sea. The manner in which energy activities within national jurisdiction are regulated from the point of view of the law of the sea is a paradigmatic example of this balance.
The following sections will examine two types of activities: first, the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons and the development of renewable energy sources (particularly wind farms); and second, the laying of pipelines within national jurisdiction. These activities are inextricably linked with essential interests of States. Coastal States are interested in exploiting non-living resources to ensure security of supply and demand. Other States are interested in navigation, laying pipelines within the national jurisdiction of coastal States to ensure security of supply and demand, or in the protection of the marine environment.
The analysis will be structured as follows. Section II will address the content of sovereign rights and jurisdiction of coastal States concerning the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons and renewable sources of energy within national jurisdiction. Section III will identify the rights and interests of other States that may be affected by energy activities within national jurisdiction. Section IV will explore the manner in which international law addresses pipelines within national jurisdiction. The analysis will be grounded on the rules of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the 1958 Geneva Conventions, customary international law where available, and international jurisprudence.