Regulation of the Upstream Petroleum Sector, A Comparative Study of Licensing and Concession Systems.

Author:Asiago, Berryl Claire

Regulation of the Upstream Petroleum Sector, A Comparative Study of Licensing and Concession Systems, edited by TINA HUNTER (Edward Elgar, 2015) Hardback, 432 pages, ISBN 978 1 78347 010 5.

Regulation of the Upstream Petroleum Sector, A Comparative Study of Licensing and Concession Systems which is edited by Dr. Tina Hunter and co-authored by other several contributors is a timely and most relevant work concerning an area of the upstream petroleum industry which is complex and intricate in nature. Petroleum sector is often strategic and crucial, upon which a country (its government, its political system, its elites and commerce) depends so exclusively on. Therefore, regulating such a vital sector is always of a particular challenge for most nations. To ensure the optimum growth and development of the sector, different countries opt for different legal models and instruments which bear varied responsibilities as well as liabilities. The two main universal legal structures adopted in the sector include the concessionary systems and the contractual systems. Notably the concessionary system is almost exclusively utilized by developed nations who take advantage of their well-developed legal structures and institutions. While the contractual system, is almost exclusively adopted by developing nations who can benefit from the flexible nature of negotiating, by experimenting with different systems that would eventually develop their emerging petroleum legal systems. This book therefore inches towards a greater understanding of the licensing and concessionary legal framework and how licenses are granted both in a developed and developing province of the upstream petroleum sector.

In general petroleum industry, and in particular the upstream subsector, transcends boundaries either through investments from developed to developing countries or through the internationalization of national laws. This book begins with an analysis of the universality of petroleum regulation in the upstream subsector, which involves internationalization of national laws specifically known as Lex Petrolea (a specialized transnational law) in the petroleum industry. LexPetrolea derives is sources from internationalization of business practice, usages and customs of the industry. Notably, natural resources are predominantly in developing countries with limited resources (financial, infrastructural and technical know-how), whose governments are handicapped to bear the enormous risks of exploration, therefore depends on arrangements with International Oil Companies ("IOCs") to bear the risk. While, on a continuous basis these countries systematically regulate...

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