School of Law

Mohammad Hazrati

 Mohammad Hazrati


Sustainable Use of Oil and Gas Resources: A Comparative Study of Iran, Canada and Malaysia


Professor Raphael Heffron and Norah Gallagher

Summary of research

This research is intended to make recommendations for Iran to use its oil and gas resources in a more sustainable way. In order to achieve this aim, this project going to comparatively examine the legal framework, practices and policies governing the oil and gas life cycle of Iran, Canada and Malaysia, through the energy justice framework. Energy justice provides a framework for assessing the justice implications – or simply the injustices – of current policy decisions as well as making practical recommendations.

While it is commonly believed that the current energy system needs a fundamental turn towards a more sustainable and just system, with a high share of cleaner energy resources in the energy mix, this transition in the oil and gas resource-rich countries might be more complex as their higher dependency on these resources. So, uncovering injustices alongside the current their oil and gas system and restore them, is as important as planning for transition to a cleaner energy. However, following lifting sanctions in the early of 2016, Iran is increasing its oil and gas production, which revivals several serious concerns about the lack of proper and just legal and policy framework, for sustainable use of its oil and gas resource.

Two main questions of the thesis are, “Are the Iranian legal and policy frameworks, and practices, governing the oil and gas activities, consistent with energy justice principles?” and, “How can Iran use its oil and gas in a more sustainable and just way?”

Sustainable development is the fundamental value of the research and energy justice principles are the evaluation criteria for this study. The core three tenets of energy justice, namely, distributional, procedural, and recognition will be the study’s criteria for the evaluation. The legal doctrinal, socio-legal and comparative legal research, as methodologies of the thesis have been chosen. For comparative legal research, three oil and gas rich countries namely Canada, Malaysia and Iran, have been chosen. Since the aim of the comparative study is to improve the Iran’s legal and policy framework, a contextual approach is going to apply.


Mohammad Hazrati is a PhD student of the Energy and Natural Resources Institute at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). Prior to joining to QMUL, Mohammad worked for several years as a legal advisor in Iran. He undertook and completed two MSc programmes, in Private Law (Iran), and Oil and Gas Law (Reading University) with distinction. He has written a book chapter, several journal articles mainly in Iranian journals, two book reviews in the Journal of World Energy Law and Business, and Journal of Energy Resource and Social Science. Mohammad Hazrati has been Research Assistant of Professor Raphael Heffron at Dundee University since September 2018.