Oil Laws of Latin America
- Edward Schuster | Frank Feuille Jr.
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Transactions of the AIME
- Publication Date
- December 1923
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1,061 - 1,081
- 1923. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 7.4 Energy Economics
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- 152 since 2007
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As the time allotted is short, we can present only a general idea of the oillaws in the Latin-American republics, as a supplement to Bulletin 206 of theDepartment of the Interior compiled under the direction of J. W. Thompson ofthe Bureau of Mines and entitled "Petroleum Laws of All America." Weshall not discuss the European colonies in Latin America nor the islandrepublics. As to the countries discussed, we shall attempt to give the mainfeatures of such special petroleum legislation as has been adopted prior to theearly part of this year; where no special petroleum laws exist, we must look tothe mining codes for light on the petroleum policy.
As the laws and regulations for the extraction of the metals are oftendifficult of application to, and are lacking in many essentials for, thepetroleum industry, it is best for persons or companies desiring to enter, on alarge scale, into the petroleum exploration and development of countries nothaving special petroleum legislation, to obtain a concession contract from theexecutive of the country under consideration, and to have the concessionapproved by the congress. If this concession, which would then be a speciallaw, contains nothing contrary to the constitution of that country and does notinfringe on vested rights of third parties, it should be reasonably safe. If insuch country there is some doubt as to whether the petroleum subsoil is ownedby the nation or the private surface owner, only public lands should be coveredwith the concession.
Guatemala is the only republic in the group that discriminates directlyagainst foreigners. Bolivia, Ecuador, Mexico and Venezuela require waivers ofdiplomatic protection. Colombia requires foreigners to agree to be bound by itsalien law.
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