Offshore Safety in the Wake of the Macondo Disaster


J Weaver


Offshore Safety in the Wake of the Macondo Disaster: business as usual or sea change?

A public lecture by Jacqueline L. Weaver, the A.A. White Professor of Law, University of Houston Law Center and Terence Daintith, Professorial Fellow, University of London’s Institute of Advanced Legal Studies

Easter Sunday will mark the seventh anniversary of the incident in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico when eleven workers on the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform died and almost five million barrels of oil poured into the Gulf from the Macondo well for 87 days. Yet the worst environmental disaster in US history failed to trigger any changes by the US Congress in safety or environmental laws offshore. Drilling activity in the Gulf’s deep waters rebounded in a short time. It is time to ask: is drilling in the Gulf safer now than it was before the disaster?

Professors Weaver and Daintith reflected on this and other questions in this lecture.

About the Speakers

Jacqueline L. Weaver is the A.A. White Professor of Law at the University of Houston Law Center. Her teaching and research interests cover oil and gas law, energy law and policy, international petroleum, and environmental and natural resources law. She is a co-author of the nationally used casebook titled Energy, Economics and the Environment, and the treatise International Petroleum Exploration & Exploitation Agreements (Barrows Publishing 2009). She has lectured on topics in international petroleum transactions in Africa, Kazakhstan (as a Fulbright scholar), Lisbon, Bangkok and Beijing.

Professor Weaver is a 2017 Institute of Advanced Studies Visiting Fellow.

Terence Daintith is the former director of the University of London’s Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, where he now holds a professorial fellowship. His main research interests are in oil and gas law, constitutional law, and regulation. He is joint editor of Daintith, Willoughby and Hill’s multivolume United Kingdom Oil and Gas Law, the basic reference in the field.  In 2016 he continued his joint research with John Chandler on regulatory institutions for upstream petroleum activities: an article comparing institutional arrangements in Australia, the United Kingdom and Norway will appear in the Houston Journal of International Law in 2017.

Professor Daintith is a 2017 UWA Robert and Maude Gledden Short Stay Visiting Fellow.