The Exploitation of Oceanic Methane Hydrate: Legal Issues and Implications for China
School of Law, Dalian Maritime University, Dalian
Abstract：With the growth of global energy demand, States are actively considering the exploration for new energy. Methane hydrate is one of the world’s new energy sources with high energy density and abundant reserves, which have great strategic significance. This article focuses on three aspects, namely, project preparation, risk prevention and accident management, and addresses the risk issues arising from the exploration of methane hydrate. It is important to apply the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and other treaties, as well as customary international law, while examining the rules applicable to the exploration of methane hydrate. State practice such as those of the United States, Russia, Japan, the European Union and China, are also discussed. The article puts forward some suggestions on the development of China’s methane hydrate resources. The core objective is to achieve a balanced approach to the development of environmental protection and energy development.
Keyword：smethane hydrate – risk prevention – transboundary environmental impact –environmental impact assessment