The Institute for Transnational Arbitration supported by the ICC held their 8th annual conference on international arbitration in the energy sector took place on Friday 22nd January, 2020, where Peter Cameron spoke to an audience of leading international lawyers, arbitrators and in-house counsel.
When asked “what has changed since the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in the USA ten years ago?”, Peter responded “not much”.
Peter joined the panel discussion ‘Macondo’s 10th Anniversary: What are the lessons learned?’. Giving the audience a perspective on the international scene, he summarised the risks that remained to internationally operating companies in terms of liability, negligence and regulation. Peter reviewed the discussion around the EU’s offshore safety directive that covered civil liability and third-party claims for compensation, as well as international measures taken over the Arctic and the Mediterranean.
Unlike the Macondo accident:
- governments in many parts of the world lacked the resources for large-scale clean-up operations;
- many companies had weaker balance sheets than BP;
- some were state-owned creating conflicts of interest with regulators;
- accidents were likely to have a cross-border impact .
Current legal frameworks are not robust enough to deal with this combination of factors.