The energy sector, in particular the oil & gas business, has a long history of dealing with international boundaries and the disputes that sometimes arise from them. This happens when oil and gas fields extend over international borders. Geology pays no attention to political boundaries. However, international oil companies (IOCs) have to pursue that geology wherever it may take them, including over and through boundaries that are placed in their path. The setting of boundaries and any disputes related to those boundaries essentially involve only governments since only they are able to claim sovereign title and only they can resolve boundaries with their neighboring states. However, IOCs get indirectly involved in these disputes when they are granted concessions that straddle disputed boundary lines. Most of those boundary disputes occur in maritime waters.
Originally Published in: Research Handbook on International Energy Law
Edward Elgar (2014)