- NBR - The National Bureau of Asian Research

Maritime Energy Resources in Asia (MERA)

Opportunities for Joint Development

Outstanding maritime sovereignty disputes are among the greatest potential threats to security in Asia. Given the complexity of the political, historic, legal, economic, and strategic factors at play, resolution of these boundary disputes has eluded claimant states. These complexities are compounded by mounting pressure to develop energy resources in the region as global demand soars. It is thus essential to provide stakeholders with the analysis and policy tools to diffuse the prospect of conflict.

Supported by the MacArthur Foundation’s Asia Security Initiative, The National Bureau of Asian Research directs a three-year research project on the opportunities for joint development of energy resources in the South China Sea, East China Sea, and Gulf of Thailand. Dr. Clive Schofield, Director of Research and QEII Research Fellow at the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS), serves as the principal investigator for the project. In this capacity, he leads the research of a diverse group of project experts, including senior researchers as well as rising scholars from many of the claimant states.

NBR works with project experts and key stakeholders to analyze the contours of the disputes, propose models for resolution and joint development, and disseminate research findings and recommendations through various events and publications. Through this collaborative effort, the project aims to strengthen regional networks and develop capacity building mechanisms.


For more information, please contact:

Meredith Miller
Senior Vice President, Trade, Economic and Energy Affairs & Outreach and Director, Washington D.C. office

Tim Cook
Project Director

Maritime Energy Resources in Asia: Energy and Geopolitics

A team of international scholars, led by principal investigator Clive Schofield, examines the energy and geopolitical drivers influencing the maritime jurisdictional disputes in the East China Sea, South China Sea, and Gulf of Thailand in this NBR Special Report.

Maritime Energy Resources in Asia: Results Launch Meeting

On Monday, December 12, 2011, members of the project's research team, led by Dr. Clive Schofield, presented the findings of their research at an event co-hosted by NBR and the Habibie Center in Jakarta, Indonesia. Learn more.

Maritime Energy Resources in Asia: Legal Regimes and Cooperation

This report by a team of international scholars examines key challenges and developments in the international legal sphere affecting maritime jurisdictional disputes in East and Southeast Asia and considers options for managing disputes in the East China Sea, South China Sea, and Gulf of Thailand.

Overcoming Barriers to Maritime Cooperation in East and Southeast Asia

Long-standing disputes over maritime jurisdictional claims in the East China Sea, South China Sea, and Gulf of Thailand threaten the long-term stability and prosperity of states in East and Southeast Asia. This report assesses maritime jurisdictional disputes and opportunities for cooperation.

2010 MERA Workshop

In partnership with the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, NBR hosted a private workshop with maritime experts in Ho Chi Minh City on August 5-7, 2010. The main objective of the workshop was to provide project experts with an opportunity to present their preliminary findings to top experts on contemporary maritime issues and generate critical discussion and feedback. In 2011, the research findings will be broadly disseminated through publications and briefings to stakeholders.

2009 MERA Planning Meeting

NBR launched the first phase of the three-year project entitled "Maritime Energy Resources in Asia: Opportunities for Joint Development,” with a private planning meeting on December 3–5, 2009, in Bali, Indonesia. Project experts investigated case studies of maritime sovereignty disputes in the South China Sea, East China Sea, and Gulf of Thailand.