Offshore Petroleum Regulation: Theory and Disaster as Drivers for Institutional Change

Terence Daintith, John Chandler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The overhaul of U.S. offshore regulatory arrangements that
followed the Macondo/Deepwater Horizon disaster is only the
latest in a series of regulatory reconstructions undertaken over
the years by major offshore petroleum producing countries. In
this article, we attempt to relate the continuing process of design
and redesign of offshore regulatory institutions that has been
going on since the 1960s in the United Kingdom, Norway, and
Australia to the general precepts of “good regulation” that have
been developed, notably within “western” governments and in
bodies like the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development (OECD) and the World Bank, since the 1980s. How
influential have these precepts been in recent processes of
reform? Do they suggest that the United Kingdom, Norway, and
Australia all spent decades practicing “bad” offshore regulation?
Have there been other influences or factors (not least the
occurrence of disasters like the antecedents of Macondo) shaping
the evolution of offshore regulation? And does this evolution
suggest any limits to the applicability of current doctrines about
“good regulation” to the particular circumstances of offshore oil
exploration and production?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-409
JournalHouston Journal of International Law
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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