In countries like the US, Germany and Australia that have a federal system of government, is offshore natural resources such as Oil and Gas owned by the states or the federal government?

  • Any reason to think it's different offshore vs. onshore? – gerrit Nov 30 at 10:19
  • I think we need to draw a distinction between "control" and "ownership". In some countries (like Norway, Mexico, etc.), oil companies are state-owned enterprises, whereas in other counties (like the United States, Canada, etc.) oil companies are privately owned. So your question would be about who exercises regulatory authority in those cases. – Wes Sayeed Nov 30 at 19:59

In Australia, states control operations up to 3 miles from the coast, and the federal government beyond that. Source: Geoscience Australia website:

In the US it is similar, according to Wikipedia, with states controlling up to 3 miles from the coast and federal government beyond (this is a result of the 1953 Submerged Land Act):

This is only a partial answer but I'm sure you could find information on other countries with a bit of Googling.

  • For example, Switzerland to this day does not have a law regarding this issue because it's a Land-Locked Country and doesn't need to worry about territorial waters (It's lakes are presumably managed by the Cantons they reside in and are protected militarily by the Swiss Militia). – hszmv Nov 30 at 19:22

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