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The U.S. and Mexico need a better offshore sharing policy

The Center for U.S. and Mexican Law has announced its first binational study on policies regarding the exploration and exploitation of transboundary oil and gas reserves in the Gulf of Mexico, and according to the press release, the two nations have some work to do.

The press release states, “The United States and Mexico have deviated in some regards from the standard international legal practices that other nations have adopted to develop transboundary hydrocarbon resources – oil and gas deposits that span the maritime boundaries in the Gulf.”

The U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Resources Agreement, established in 2012, fails to emphasize finding “the most efficient way to exploit shared resources while preserving them as a single unit,” the study shows.

“The study found that the agreement dealt with basic boundary issues but left unsettled the specific rules involving the exploitation of oil and gas that are in fields that cross the maritime boundaries of the U.S. and Mexico in the Gulf,” the press release states.

Stephen Zamora, executive director of the Center for U.S. and Mexican Law, said in the release, “The U.S. and Mexican authorities are negotiating the features to implement this agreement and this study provides the background of the international law norms that will make implementation of the agreement successful.”

The study is the first phase of a multi-year project aimed at breaking down the complex issue of transboundary resources in the Gulf.

The Center for U.S. and Mexican Law is a part of the University of Houston Law Center. The binational project is being directed by Guillermo J. Garcia Sánchez and Dr. Richard J. McLaughlin, both affiliate scholars at the Center for U.S. and Mexican Law.

To view the full study, click here.

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