Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Faculty of Law


The offshore petroleum industry is of critical importance to the global economy. Offshore petroleum installations are considered elements of critical national infrastructure in many nation-States and their security may have significant implications for national security and economic wellbeing. Violence at sea is a very common occurrence today and major petroleum producing and consuming States are concerned about the protection of offshore petroleum installations from attacks and unlawful interferences, especially acts of terrorism. In recent years, the international community has taken a number of regulatory measures to enhance the security of the maritime transport and offshore petroleum sectors.

The thesis examines the types of security threats to offshore petroleum installations, the types of attacks that have been carried out against offshore installations, and factors that make offshore installations attractive targets including their vulnerabilities and potential impacts that can result from deliberate attacks on these vital facilities. This thesis also analyses the international legal framework for maritime and offshore petroleum security with the aim of determining whether the international legal framework adequately addresses the protection and security of offshore petroleum installations. Specifically, it analyses the law of the sea framework established under the umbrella of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 as well as other international legal instruments and regulatory measures pertaining to the security of offshore installations.

The original contribution made by this thesis includes the compilation of a comprehensive chronology of attacks on and interferences with offshore petroleum installations, the analysis of various security threats faced by offshore petroleum installations, examination of factors that make offshore petroleum installations attractive targets, and a detailed analysis of the international regulatory framework.

The thesis concludes that there are gaps and limitations in the current international regulatory framework for the protection and security of offshore petroleum installations. It argues that there is a scope for improvement in the international legal framework and that further regulatory changes are necessary at the international level in order to enhance security of offshore petroleum installations. The thesis also provides several specific suggestions that would improve the international legal framework for the protection and security of offshore petroleum installations.


This thesis is unavailable due to its continuing embargo.