U.S. currently collects billions of dollars in royalties on outer continental shelf resource development which would go ISA under UNCLOS
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Exploitation of resources from the U.S. ECS is expected to generate royalties in the near future, and the United States will forgo some of those roy- alties if it joins UNCLOS. The potential financial impact of joining UNCLOS is evident from a brief review of how revenue is generated from activities currently taking place on the U.S. outer continental shelf within the 200 nm line.
A wealth of mineral resources (e.g., oil and natural gas) lies below the surface of the U.S. OCS. Alaska’s OCS alone may contain almost 10 billion barrels of oil and 15 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.29 Massive known reserves of oil and natural gas also lie beneath the OCS in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) in the U.S. Department of the Interior manages the nation’s oil, natural gas, and other mineral resources on the OCS.31 One of BOEMRE’s primary activities is managing sales of offshore oil and gas leases. Through BOEMRE, the United States leases OCS tracts to companies for exploration and exploitation. The companies bid competitively for leases, and the winning company is required to make certain pay- ments to the Secretary of the Interior for deposit into the U.S. Treasury.