Repsol says drilling suspended on Vietnam oil block disputed by China

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MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s Repsol said it had suspended oil drilling in a block off Vietnam, where the prospecting in South China Sea waters claimed by China had infuriated Beijing and brought Chinese pressure on Vietnam to stop.

Tension has been growing between Vietnam and China over energy development in the waterway, where extensive Chinese claims are challenged by five Southeast Asian countries and disputed by the United States.

Repsol’s chief financial officer, Miguel Martinez, said work had been suspended off Vietnam, according to the transcript of a conference call with analysts last week.

“We are working with the PetroVietnam and with the Vietnamese authorities and the only comment is that right now, operations have been suspended,” he said.

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