LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS IN OFFSHORE STRUCTURES

Offshore structures, other than traditional vessels used in fishing and commerical navigation, are of increasing importance in the new uses of the ocean made possible by technology: oil and gas exploration and exploitation, hard mineral mining, ocean based energy, dumping, and other uses of ocean surface platforms. The value attached to these new uses is causing a revolution in the international law of the sea, as coastal nations extend their jurisdictions seaward. The U.S. laws pertaining to these structures involve regulatory, private, financial, and enforcement or public order law. The growth of offshore activity, coupled with the extension of jurisdiction, will bring new problems in regulating structures and establishing effective legal regimes for activities associated with them. Among the issues are the assimilation of these new technologies into existing legal frameworks, primarily maritime law; the role of U.S. state law; and achievement of the most effective forms of new legal regimes where they are required or desirable. The treatment of offshore structures as vessels for many legal and administrative purposes constitutes one distinctive characteristics of the problems reviewed. A second is the common applicability of a wide range of U.S. laws to structures, independent of their specific use. This paper reviews quickly the range of structures currently in use offshore U.S. and those which can be anticipated. It then summarizes in capsule the legal picture and problems ahead. Finally it reviews three issues which will be significant in moving the legal framework offshore from the present into a satisfactory future.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Presented at the New England Section Meeting of SNAME.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers

    601 Pavonia Avenue
    Jersey City, NJ  United States  07306-2907
  • Authors:
    • Nyhart, J D
  • Publication Date: 1976-1

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: 24 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00131870
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 14 1976 12:00AM