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Joint Development: An Alternative Legal Approach to Oil and Gas Exploitation in the Nigeria-Cameroon Maritime Boundary Dispute?

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The delimitation of a maritime boundary is not necessarily a panacea for disputes over offshore resources. Neither petroleum reserves, which are fugacious in character, nor fish or marine mammals respect national boundaries. Even successful delimitation may still require a degree of close cooperation if opposite or adjacent states are to exploit such transboundary resources rationally. Such cooperation can be achieved by the concept of joint development. This paper reviews the literature on the joint development of offshore petroleum resources and the controversy surrounding the concept. The paper further examines its applicability as an alternative approach to the Nigeria-Cameroon maritime boundary dispute.


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