Three decades ago, the search for petroleum and natural gas moved to the ocean floor. Offshore exploration, modestly begun in shallow water, opened up a new frontier in petroleum exploration and exploitationwhich now extends to water depths beyond 1600 feet. Today, the seabeds off the shores of coastal countries supply approximately seven percent ot the world's oil and gas requirements. Yet only a small portion of the world's continental shelves have actually been tested for their natural resource potential, and exploration of the potential petroleum and natural gas supply of the deep seabed is still in its infancy.
The Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea: Questions of Equity for American Business,
Nw. J. Int'l L. & Bus.