Legal certainty provided by UNCLOS is required before companies will be willing to invest in oil and gas exploration
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Given the price of gasoline today, surely there is broad agreement that the United States needs to get on with the task of developing the oil and gas of our continental margins beyond 200 miles. Without adherence to the Convention that is unlikely to happen for years to come. The large investments that must be made to drill in deep water simply will not be made without legal certainty and security of tenure. Further, the United States has a crucial interest in protecting navigational freedom for the oil and gas brought to the United States that is so crucial for our economy. About 44 % of U.S. maritime commerce concerns petroleum and its products. To put this in further perspective, offshore oil and gas is now the world=s largest marine industry, with oil production alone in the range of $300 billion per year. For these and other reasons of relevance to our security interest in oil and gas, and the interests of our oil and gas industry, Mr. Paul L. Kelly, speaking on behalf of the American Petroleum Institute, the International Association of Drilling Contractors, and the National Ocean Industries Association, and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that "the U.S. oil and natural gas industry supports Senate ratification of the Convention at the earliest date possible;" ""
Offshore operations are capital-intensive, requiring significant financing and insurance. Oil and natural gas companies do not want to undertake these massive expenditures if their lease sites may be subject to territorial dispute. They operate transnationally, and need to know that the title to the petroleum resources will be respected worldwide and not just in the United States.