Order and the offshore: the territories of deepwater oil production
Rowman & Littlefield International
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Under temporary indefinite embargo pending publisher permission.
Introduction How might territory in the deep oceans be practised differently from more familiar terrestrial environments? In this chapter I consider the reterritorialisation of space that enables offshore oil production and countervailing processes of deterritorialisation that have complicated the practice of territory. Oil companies are concerned with the discovery and extraction of materials that are territorially bound in geological deposits, whereas the ocean environments that they encounter are by their nature in flux, constantly moving independent of human efforts to calculate and to control territory. In contrast to deterritorialised industries and globalized flows of capital, the oil industry remains closely tied to place, yet operates in environments where place is continually reformed by the movement of water and all that moves with it and through it. This temporal-spatial disjuncture between the ocean and the subterranean world is associated with distinct practices of territorial control that have been both enabled and constrained by the material conditions under which the offshore oil industry operates.
In: Territory Beyond Terra, edited by Dr. Kimberley Peters, Philip Steinberg, and Elaine Stratford. Chapter 4
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