The Challenge of Insurance in the Context of Oil Transportation by Sea

Brahim Idelhakkar
The operation of the major industrialized economies is largely dependent on the availability of oil resources. Production and consumption sites of this raw material are often in total geographical disconnection. Oil shipping remains the least expensive mode of transportation. This activity is risky and complex. Risky”, since accidents are a source of environmental and economical damages; considerably important enough to obscure the rare nature of such disasters. Complex”, because there are many actors and intermediaries, often of different nationalities and are sometimes difficult to be identified. In the energy fields, the service provider company like the shipment of oil from exploration site to the market is often faced with signing a contract of marine insurance. Such an agreement yields to certain sensitive standards. Facing the risks of sea crossing of a highly risked energetic product as oil and its derivatives, the insurance contract is a very useful and often presents more difficulties that should be qualified. How is the environment integrated in our market economy? The traditional approach, consisting of regulating the most possible, has shown its inability to solve environmental problems. A new approach, which is more flexible and more efficient in combining regulatory and economic instruments, should lead to improve both economic and ecological results to fight against pollution.
Risk; Tanker; Externality; Oil Pollution; Market Benefits; Environmental Regulation; Insurance
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