The Continental Shelf – five decades of progress (1966-2016)


Authors : Mazlan MadonPublication : Bulletin of the Geological Society of MalaysiaVolume : 63Page : 145 - 156Year : 2017


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Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, Volume 63, June 2017, pp. 145 - 156

The Continental Shelf – five decades of progress (1966-2016)

Mazlan Madon

PETRONAS, Level 16, Tower 1, Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Present address: 6, Jalan Kelab Golf 13/6G, Seksyen 13, 40100 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
Email address: mazlan.madon@gmail.com
 

Abstract: In the inaugural (July 1966) issue of the Newsletter of the Geological Society of Malaysia, the Society’s founding president, Neville S. Haile, wrote an interesting note on the enactment by Malaysia’s parliament of the Continental Shelf Act 1966. At that time, offshore oil exploration in Malaysia was just beginning and the geology of the continental shelf was virtually unknown. Fifty years have passed since, and we now have a much better understanding of the geology of the continental shelf, thanks to academic research and petroleum exploration. In parallel with the rapid advances in geoscientific understanding of continental margins and ocean basins and in the theory of plate tectonics, legal instruments have been put in place, internationally and nationally, to enable coastal States3 to exercise jurisdiction over their maritime spaces, in particular the continental shelf, which may include the “extended” continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles4 (M) from the coastlines, for the purpose of exploration and exploitation of natural resources. This note is a brief progress update of the continental shelf in the Malaysian context after five decades of the enactment of the Continental Shelf Act 1966.
 

Keywords: continental shelf, UNCLOS, marine geology, Continental Shelf Act 1966