Notwithstanding that civil liability for pollution damage as well as compensation is
emphatically recognised and established under international treaty, there is a conspicuous
absence of a single comprehensive regional framework as well as universal treaty that
address this issue with regards to offshore oil and gas exploration. The reason for this might
not be unconnected to the occasional occurrence of offshore platform and oil well
blowouts. Meanwhile, offshore operations pose a constant threat to the marine environment
particularly in the face of new and continuous technological advancement as well as human
quest for energy-oil supply, which has encouraged ultra deep exploration of oil and gas,
therefore making ecological disaster imminent. The adoption of regional arrangement has
been the trend adopted to tackle this predicament and this has been made more pronounced
by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) by its declaration that ‘as much as
bilateral and regional agreements are in view, global one is not’ coupled with the deafening
silence of other related United Nations’ organs on the issue.
So in the light of this, this study argues that Africa’s single and comprehensive regional
treaty on offshore oil rig regulation is long overdue.