Published 17 October 2022
The oil and gas industry is one of the largest, most important, and most complex industries in the world, with lots of uncertainties. Although this industry has a large community of actors and activists around the world, it also has inherent distinctive features, challenges, and complexities of its own. Over the course of more than a century, the actors in the petroleum industry have regulated unique "soft law" to regulate the relationships between different actors and manage the challenges in this industry. The question is, what would be the "transnational petroleum soft law" in the oil and gas industry, and what could be its sanctions? This article utilises an analytical approach to deal with this question. This article shows that the transnational petroleum soft law, through declarations, covenants, norms, regulatory initiatives, protocols, standards, and codes of conduct, fills the legal, technical, environmental, and social gaps. Despite the fact that transnational petroleum soft law appears to be voluntary, it has its own sanction mechanisms. A "sanction" is not simply a statutory legal sanction, but rather any effects and punishment created due to a violation of transnational petroleum soft law. This research also shows that members of the petroleum society are bound to observe transnational petroleum soft law by its own sanction mechanisms, including financial, economic, and non-financial sanctions. The members of this society formulate "transnational petroleum soft law" alongside "transnational petroleum hard law" to make "transnational petroleum law" (Lex Petrolea).