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Title: The legal management of risk in oil and gas operations upon the United Kingdom continental shelf
Author: Gordon, Greg
ISNI:       0000 0001 2393 4680
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis is concerned with the legal management of risk in oil and gas operations upon the United Kingdom Continental Shelf. The work focusses in particular upon geological risk, political risk and the regulatory and commercial risks pertaining to major accidents. Geological risk relates to the fact that generally, oil and gas is concealed within geological formations in the deep underground. Exploration activity is, as a result, both difficult and expensive. The thesis considers the extent to which the UK's chosen licensing system has struck an appropriate balance on who should bear the risk of failure of such operations. Political risk involves (on the one hand) the risks faced by investors in interacting with the state and (on the other) the risks faced by the state when designing its regulatory system. Investors are in a precarious position due to the high level of capital investment and long-term nature of oil and gas operations: they are therefore concerned to ensure stability and autonomy of operation. The state, on the other hand, is concerned that it is not taken advantage of by the (usually more knowledgeable) industry player when designing its regulatory system. The risk of major accident is reflected both in regulation of health, safety and the environment and in the contractual arrangements entered into by commercial entities in order to determine which party should bear ultimate liability in the event that an accident causes wide-spread loss. Having regard to the example of the law applied on the UK continental shelf, the thesis demonstrates that while risk can never be wholly removed from oil and gas operations, the law can be effectively used to mitigate risk and thereafter to facilitate he appropriate distribution of such residual levels of risk as remain.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Natural gas ; Petroleum law and legislation ; Offshore oil industry