Unilateral Hydrocarbon Activities in Undelimited Maritime Areas: The Only Certainty is Legal Uncertainty?

Natalia Ermolina

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17304/ijil.vol15.2.724

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While the number of established maritime boundaries steadily increases, there are many situations where delimitation disputes between neighboring States remains unsettled. In the latter situations, States may face the existence of a hydrocarbon deposit that is located in an area where their maritime claims overlap. The presence of such a deposit inevitably creates a range of intricate legal (and political) issues. One of the issues is related to the question of whether States can unilaterally authorize hydrocarbon activities with respect to this deposit and, if so, what type of conduct is allowed in undelimited maritime areas. This article seeks to find an answer to the mentioned question.


undelimited maritime areas; hydrocarbon activities; unilateralism

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