In recent, due to the shortage of energy resources, the seabed oil exploitations by offshore drilling plants are being processed actively and in future it is also expected that those activities are more expanded in terms of their scale and geographical scope. These activities of seabed oil exploitations by offshore drilling plants can be led to transboundary oil pollution damage by their locations and environmental circumstances.
For the case of marine oil pollution by ships, the liability and compensation scheme in the form of international conventions is established and proper compensations for damages can be provided in any time. But for the case of transboundary oil pollution by offshore drilling plants, that kind of international scheme is not yet established so that compensations for damages cannot be provided easily. With same reasons, there is no international liability and compensation scheme for transboundary oil pollution damage in Northeast Asian Sea, even though there is big possibility of that kind of accidents occurred.
This study aims to establish the liability and compensation scheme for the transboundary oil pollution damage by offshore drilling plants. To do this, many international convention and regional agreement including the UNCLOS and international environmental laws are compared and reviewed as well as the current status of seabed oil exploitations by offshore drilling plants in Northeast Asian Sea and of national liability and compensation scheme of concerned countries are reviewed and analysed.
It is desirable that the liability and compensation scheme for the transboundary oil pollution damage by offshore drilling plants is established in the form of international conventions, but in consideration of international circumstances it is considered that the establishment of regional agreement is more resonable.
For the former examples of it, many regional agreements including the OPOL and other regional agreements are reviewed and it is confirmed that OPOL provides with the liability and compensation for transboundary oil pollution damage and can be a good model of regional agreement.
The results of this study suggest the regional agreement as the counter measures for the transboundary oil pollution by offshore drilling plants in Northeast Asian Sea area and this agreement contains the provisions which are necessary for liability and compensation scheme.
In the future, the additional studies need to be carried out to define the jurisdictional sea area of signatories to the agreement and to set the maximum liability of compensation based on the measured reserve of an offshore oil well to enable the practical application of regional agreement. Moreover, it is suggested that Korean government must to participate continuously in relevant international conferences and promote the diplomatic cooperations with the countries in Northeast Asian Sea area to enter in force the regional agreement as soon as possible.