Chapter

Abandonment of Energy Sites and Structures: Relevant International Law<sup>*</sup>

Rosalyn Higgins Dbe Qc

in Themes and Theories

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780198262350
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682322 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198262350.003.0047
Abandonment of Energy Sites and Structures: Relevant International Law*

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The legal regulation of the offshore abandonment of structures and installations on the continental shelf is determined by international law. Onshore, international law scarcely touches abandonment and reclamation, save that it provides for the international responsibility of a state where its acts — within its own territory and otherwise quite lawful — cause significant harm to others. Further, international law is establishing certain strict liability standards for harm emanating from inherently hazardous activities. Nuclear decommissioning will have to be formulated with these international obligations with the safety of others in view. Offshore, international law has a direct relevance. The most critical and contentious issue has been as to whether offshore structures and installations are to be removed; or whether they may be left fully or partially in situ. Does contemporary international law require total removal? This chapter begins by asking whether Article 5(5) of the Geneva Convention represents a rule of customary international law. This chapter also discusses marine pollution and abandonment, dumping, the impact of abandonment on fisheries, and decommissioning of pipelines.

Keywords: Geneva Convention; abandonment; marine pollution; international law; dumping; fisheries; decommissioning; pipelines; continental shelf; offshore structures

Chapter.  5816 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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