Outer Continental Shelf
- See "outer continental shelf" for the generic geographical term
The Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) is a peculiarity of the political geography of the United States and is the part of the internationally recognized continental shelf of the United States which does not fall under the jurisdictions of the individual U.S. states.
Formally, the OCS is governed by Title 43, Chapter 29 "Submerged Lands", Subchapter III "Outer Continental Shelf Lands", of the U.S. Code. The term "outer Continental Shelf" refers to all submerged lands, its subsoil, and seabed that belong to the United States and are lying seaward and outside of the states' jurisdiction, the latter defined as the “lands beneath navigable waters" in Title 43, Chapter 29, Subchapter I, Section 1301.
The United States OCS has been divided into four leasing regions:
- Gulf of Mexico OCS Region
- Atlantic OCS Region
- Pacific OCS Region
- Alaska OCS Region
State jurisdiction is defined as follows:
- Texas and the Gulf coast of Florida are extended 3 marine leagues (approximately 9 nautical miles) seaward from the baseline from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured.
- Louisiana is extended 3 (pre-1954 U.S.) nautical miles (5.560 km; 3.455 mi) seaward of the baseline from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured (as defined pre-1954 in the U.S.: nautical mile = 6080.2 feet).
- All other States' seaward limits are extended 3 international nautical miles (5.556 km/3.452 mi) seaward of the baseline from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured.
Federal jurisdiction is defined under accepted principles of public international law. The seaward limit is defined as the farthest of 200 nautical miles seaward of the baseline from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured or, if the continental shelf can be shown to exceed 200 nautical miles, a distance not greater than a line 100 nautical miles from the 2,500-meter isobath or a line 350 nautical miles from the baseline.
Outer Continental Shelf limits greater than 200 nautical miles but less than either the 2,500 meter isobath plus 100 nautical miles or 350 nautical miles are defined by a line 60 nautical miles seaward of the foot of the continental slope or by a line seaward of the foot of the continental slope connecting points where the sediment thickness divided by the distance to the foot of the slope equals 0.01, whichever is farthest.
Coastlines are emergent. Thus the landward boundary of the outer continental shelf is a legal construct rather than a physical construct, modified only at intervals by appropriate processes of law.
For legislation concerning the OCS, the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation has jurisdiction within the United States Senate. In the House of Representatives, the Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources has jursidiction over administration and legislation amending the OSCLA.
Within the United States government, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE), also known as the Bureau of Ocean Energy (BOE), and formerly known as the Minerals Management Service (MMS), is the agency charged to provide regulatory oversight of deepwater oil drilling and offshore wind energy sources in U.S. Federal waters that extend beyond State jurisdiction.
- Coastal geography
- Beach evolution
- Chukchi Sea Shelf
- International Boundary and Water Commission
- Law of the Sea Treaty
- Maritime Security (USCG)
- Maritime Security Regimes
- UNEP Shelf Programme
- Coastal States Organization
- ^ US. Code Collection: Title 43, Chapter 29 "Submerged Lands"
- ^ a b c d "What is the Outer Continental Shelf?", by Minerals Management Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior
- ^ Rivet, Ryan (Summer 2008). "Petroleum Dynamite". Tulanian: pp. 20–27. http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/ODE/Tulanian/. Retrieved 7 Sep 2009. "Under its original acquisition terms with the federal government in 1803, Louisiana’s mineral rights extended out for only three miles. When [the Federal government was] approached by the [Louisiana governor Earl] Long administration [in 1948], the federal government said it was willing to discuss a compromise and split of the royalties in the area beyond three miles. ... [Ultimately,] Truman [said no]."
- ^ http://commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=About.Jurisdiction U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation
- ^ Who is the Minerals Management Service?, U.S. Department of the Interior, accessed 2010-06-13.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Outer continental shelf — (OCS) The submerged lands extending from the out limit of the historic territorial sea (typically three miles) to some undefined outer limit, usually a depth of 600 feet. In the United States, this is the portion of the shelf under federal… … Energy terms
Outer Continental Shelf — Offshore Federal domain. U.S. Dept. of Energy, Energy Information Administration s Energy Glossary … Energy terms
outer continental shelf — (OCS) All lands lying submerged seaward and not including lands beneath navigable waters. The subsoil and sea bed of such lands are subject to the jurisdiction and control of the United States. 43 U.S.C.A. No. 1331 … Black's law dictionary
Outer Continental Shelf — All submerged lands lying seaward and outside of the area of lands beneath navigable waters, and of which the subsoil and sea bed appertain to the United States and are subject to its jurisdiction and control. 43 USC § 1331(a) … Ballentine's law dictionary
Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act — A federal statute declaring and implementing the policy of the United States in reference to the subsoil and sea bed of the Outer Continental Shelf. 43 USC §§ 1313 et seq … Ballentine's law dictionary
Continental shelf — Marine habitats Anatomy of a continental shelf off the south eastern coast of the United States Littoral zone Intertidal zone … Wikipedia
Continental shelf of Russia — Contents 1 2001 extension claim 1.1 Additional research 1.2 International response … Wikipedia
Continental shelf of the United States — The term continental shelf of the United States has two related meanings. Geologically, it is the total of the continental shelves adjacent to the United States. In the context of the international law as defined by the United Nations Convention… … Wikipedia
Continental Shelf — See Outer Continental Shelf … Ballentine's law dictionary
continental shelf — n. a submerged shelf of land that begins at a continental shoreline, slopes downward gradually at an angle of about 0.1° for a variable distance, and ends at the top of a much steeper downward slope (continental slope) at an angle of about 3° to… … English World dictionary