Article 18: Sovereignty over Energy Resources

(1) The Contracting Parties recognise state sovereignty and sovereign rights over energy resources. They reaffirm that these must be exercised in accordance with and subject to the rules of international law.

(2) Without affecting the objectives of promoting access to energy resources, and exploration and development thereof on a commercial basis, the Treaty shall in no way prejudice the rules in Contracting Parties governing the system of property ownership of energy resources.

The representatives declared that Article 18(2) shall not be construed to allow the circumvention of the application of the other provisions of the Treaty.

In particular in the context of Article 18(2) they recalled that a party may not invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty. The Treaty shall be interpreted in good faith in accordance with the ordinary meaning to be given to the terms of treaty in their context and in the light of its object and purpose.

(3) Each state continues to hold in particular the rights to decide the geographical areas within its Area to be made available for exploration and development of its energy resources, the optimisation of their recovery and the rate at which they may be depleted or otherwise exploited, to specify and enjoy any taxes, royalties or other financial payments payable by virtue of such exploration and exploitation, and to regulate the environmental and safety aspects of such exploration, development and reclamation within its Area, and to participate in such exploration and exploitation, inter alia, through direct participation by the government or through state enterprises.

(4) The Contracting Parties undertake to facilitate access to energy resources, inter alia, by allocating in a non-discriminatory manner on the basis of published criteria authorisations, licences, concessions and contracts to prospect and explore for or to exploit or extract energy resources.