Comparison of Stringency of The Environmental Requirements and Compliance with Them in Upstream Sector of Oil and Gas in Iranian and American Law

Document Type: Original Article


1 PhD student in Law, Law Department, Allameh Tabatabae`i University, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Private Law Department, Allameh Tabatabae`i University, Tehran, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Department of Energy Economics, Faculty of Economics, Allameh Tabataba`i University, Tehran, Iran


The purpose of this study is to compare stringency of and compliance with environmental requirements in upstream sector of oil and gas in law of Iran and the USA. This study is conducted using the inter-spinned mix method (qualitative – quantitative). In the qualitative part, library studies are used. In the quantitative part, the studied society is a group of six professionals in the field of oil and gas, who filled out a questionnaire consisted of 34 questions prepared by the Worley Parsons in a similar research approved by jurisdictions of ten countries. The questions are prepared by a team of experts with international experience. The components of stringency and compliance with law during the phases of approval, operation, and closure of a hydrocarbon project are studied using the Delphi method. At the level of stringency, the environmental assessment in the US is carried out with 10 times more human resources and 26 times more costs than in Iran. In the US, with 13 scores, it is more stringent than Iran with 5 scores. In the project closure phase, Iran does not put in place any obligations for rehabilitation and restoration. At the level of compliance, the Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) is mandatory in both countries. In Iran, the list of violations and their consequences will not be published. The US regulatory mechanisms of restoration are an appropriate model. Totally, Iran gains 29 and the United States 42 scores. The recommendations are based on these two scores.