U.S. failure to ratify UNCLOS will leave U.S. commercial mining and energy interests without legal protection
Offshore oil and natural gas exploration along the extended continental shelf – an area beyond the 200-nautical-mile EEZ – is expected to increase U.S. reserves over the next decade. However, the United States cannot secure internationally recognized sovereign rights to those resources unless it ratifies LOSC. While the United States enjoys national jurisdiction over living and non-living resources above and below the seabed out to 200 nautical miles, claims to resources beyond the EEZ must be formally made to the U.N. Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, the international body established by LOSC for parties to adjudicate claims to the extended continental shelf. Without the United States ratifying LOSC, U.S. companies operating beyond the EEZ would be considered on the high seas and beyond the formal legal protection of the United States. As a result, offshore drilling companies have increasingly expressed their concern about the lack of legal protections afforded to U.S. companies and have indicated a reluctance to assume significant risk in operating in areas beyond U.S. jurisdiction. In short, U.S. failure to ratify LOSC could have a chilling effect on commercial resource exploration and exploitation on the extended continental shelf.
Related argument(s) where this quote is used.
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.Related Quotes:
- Oil, gas, and mining interests have made it clear that they won't operate without legal protection from UNCLOS
- Oil and gas companies not willing to undertake extensive capital investments required to develop offshore without legal stability provided by UNCLOS
- Oil and gas industry unwilling to rely solely on rights outlined in 1958 convention
- U.S. failure to ratify UNCLOS will leave U.S. commercial mining and energy interests without legal protection
- ... and 11 more quote(s)
The development of deep seabed claims is incredibly expensive. Companies in the U.S. are reluctant to invest heavily in deep seabed mining because of the risk that their activities would not withstand a legal challenge since the U.S. is not a party to the Convention. Conversely, foreign companies, because their governments have joined the Convention, have access to the international bodies that grant the legal claims to operate in the deep seabed area. The U.S. cannot represent the interests of its companies in those bodies.Related Quotes:
Parent Arguments:Supporting Arguments:Counter Argument:
- DSHMRA does not give mining companies the needed certainty they need to operate in international waters
- Lack of legal certainty has stalled deep seabed mining industry
- US accession to the convention would provide domestic deep seabed mining industry strong leadership and legal stability
- Seabed mining companies will only lose rights if US remains outside of UNCLOS
- ... and 14 more quote(s)