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Chapter 5. Oil and Water: Assessing the Link between Maritime Boundary Delimitation and Hydrocarbon Resources

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Chapter Summary

Ranking the relative impact of oil and gas interests on maritime boundary agreements concluded in the last 30 years, this chapter critically examines the relationship between the definition of a maritime boundary and the presence of offshore hydrocarbon resources. It takes a slightly different tack towards maritime delimitation by using a more quantitative analytical approach and sees if this can be useful in posing different questions about the role of maritime boundaries in greater context of marine management. The chapter begins by explaining the methodology used in the quantitative research before exposing two concurrent trends that have emerged in maritime boundary agreements since 1980: the steady decline in the number of delimitation agreements concluded per year, and the discernible increase in the influence of hydrocarbon interests as a motivation for concluding agreements. Through examining the inter-relationship between the trends, it raises questions about the dominance of a particular spatial methodology.

Keywords: hydrocarbon resources; marine management; maritime boundary agreements; maritime boundary delimitation; oil



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