Deep Water Offshore Oil Exploration Regulation: The Need For a Global Environmental Regulation Regime
Government regulation of deepwater offshore explorations has found it either difficult to evaluate the environmental impact, or too costly to perform the required review.1 Corporate self-regulation without effective government oversight will not adequately reduce the risk of accidents within the offshore oil exploration industry, nor will it ensure that corporations prepare effectively to respond to a major spill. The potential, near-term, financial benefit for the oil company prevails over the lowprobability risk that a major spill will occur. Recognizing that current domestic regulation lacks effective, continuous monitoring of complex offshore operations, another form of regulation appears necessary. If already-emerging principles were to be recognized within industry and governmental agencies on the international level, this would help achieve safer operations in areas where domestic environmental regulation is weak or non-existent.