Unlocking the seabed resources of the Gulf of Thailand
Overlapping claims to marilime jurisdiction are key featllre of the Gulf of Thailand. These competing claims have resulted from the Gulf's relatively small dimensions and complex coastal geogrophy, allied to maximalist claims on the part of the coastal states. The Gulf of Thailand also represents a proven source of seabed oil and gas and this factor has contributed to making maritime boundary delimitation agreements difficult to achieve. In order to overcome deadlock in negotiations over maritime boundaries, the Gulf of Thailand states have repeatedly opted to create maritime joint development zones in order to exploit hydrocarbon resources believed to be located in areas of overlapping claims. This remarkable concentration of slate practice on maritime joint development is reviewed here and the prospects for further such provisional arrongements of a practical nature are examined.
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