Crossing Agreements

The choice of contractor belongs to the crossing party, but the crossover agreement could define certain specific provisions in terms of qualifications and experience. To get an agreement on Alliance crossroads, please email us. The Alliance will respond to requests for agreement within 10 business days. However, in practice, many crossing agreements are usually concluded relatively late. This allows the involvement of the installation company that has been selected by the Crossing Party and which will perform much of the physical work. The knowledge and inputs of the installation company are obviously valuable for the successful and timely completion of the project. The detailed crossover project can be added to the crossover contract. It may also be difficult to persuade the party concerned to negotiate quickly if the transfer of the intersection is several years in the future. This chapter focuses on sea crossings, i.e. sea-bottom crossings outside coastal seas. While the problems on land are similar and there is a similar need for crossing agreements, sea agreements have some peculiarities. For example, the coastal state may have used its jurisdiction to influence border crossing rules and influence the liability and compensation regime.

In addition, it is very likely that there will be other types of pipelines, such as water pipes and onshore pipes. The analysis of this chapter is limited to three types of “connections”4 mentioned above: oil and gas pipelines, electrical cables and telecommunications cables. One of the direct consequences of increasingly interconnected global and offshore production plants – such as oil and wind farm platforms – is the increasing number of crossings between subsea transport facilities such as oil and gas pipelines, electrical cables of various voltages and telecommunications cables such as fibre optics and all traditional telegraph and telephone cables. Especially in closed basins, such as the Mediterranean, Baltic Sea and North Sea, the number of crossings has increased exponentially over the years.3 As a general rule, each crossing is subject to an agreement almost always called “crossing agreement” concluded by the owners. Finally, all work in the crossing area, after the completion of the facility, raises liability and compensation issues, which will be resolved either by the existing crossing contract or by a new agreement to be concluded. For example, the NordLink electrical cable, currently under construction between Norway and Germany, will have about 20 underwater crossings. The electrical cable project, also under construction, the North Sea Connection Electrical Cable (NSL) between Norway and the United Kingdom will have about 30 underwater crossings. As far as the duration of the contract is concerned, this is often open. It is presumed that the border crossing contract is in effect as long as the crossing exists. The parties to the crossing agreement will be the party concerned and the Crossing Party, but several other companies will also have a direct interest in the content of the agreement, especially those related to the Crossing Party. These interested third parties will generally be lenders, insurance providers and the company that will install the Crossing Connector on behalf of the Crossing Party.

Most agreements do not distinguish between solutions by party, which means that the provisions are symmetrical and the party concerned will adopt the same position as the Crossing Party.