Tag Archives: Oil

No third party can explore oil, gas in South China Sea: Beijing

Oct 02, 2015 01:12 IST China on Thursday said no third country has the right to explore oil and gas in the South China Sea in areas under its jurisdiction and without its permission. Responding to questions on the India-US-Japan statement on access to navigation and commerce in maritime routes across the world including the South China Sea, China said it has indisputable rights not only on the Spratly (Nansha in Chinese) islands but also on the sea bed around it. Beijing is locked in disputes with multiple countries in the region over the ownership of islands on the South China Sea and much of the seas around the islands. The list includes Vietnam with which India has an agreement to allow ONGC to explore undersea oil in areas over which China claims jurisdiction. “China enjoys indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters as well as sovereign rights and jurisdiction over relevant seabed and subsoil. China is against any country or enterprise’s oil and gas exploration activity in the waters under China’s jurisdiction without China’s permission,” the ministry of foreign Affairs told HT in response to a list of questions without mentioning India. Read more: http://www.hindustantimes.com/world/no-third-party-can-explore-oil-gas-in-south-china-sea-beijing/story-rRx5twIClJXRFGhdcIuuvJ.html


China is consolidating its newfound authority over the international South China Sea by declaring it controls international waters off the coast of independent Vietnam. “India’s intention to once again explore for oil in the disputed waters of the South China Sea is an unwise move, as it will further complicate the maritime disputes and do a disservice to maintaining the positive momentum that has been achieved in China-India ties,” declared the state-run China Daily, as translated by the Times of India. “The Indian company should be told: Without the permission from the Chinese government, activities conducted by any foreign company in these disputed waters are illegal,” the editorial continued. The search is “illegal,” said China’s government. The Indian-owned oil company should “rethink its oil exploration plans,” China threatened. Actually, India’s oil “exploration” is in partnership with Vietnam and has progressed far enough for the Indians to begin preparations for moving an oil platform into the area. Want China Times of Taiwan notes that the deal between an Indian company and Vietnam’s state-run PetroVietnam was signed three years before China opened international bidding on exploration of the waters under its control.   Read more: http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/09/04/china-declares-indian-oil-exploration-in-south-china-sea-illegal/

South China Sea tensions deter oil exploration

An energy analyst said exploring for oil and gas near disputed islands in the South China Sea is too much of a gamble for international energy companies because of the tensions in the region and unconfirmed estimates of the size of the oil and gas deposits. China has been reclaiming land and building port and military facilities on disputed islands and reefs in the South China Sea, which stretches from Singapore to Taiwan. Last year, there were skirmishes between China and Vietnam after a Chinese oil rig started drilling in waters claimed by both countries. The South China Sea is claimed by countries including China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and the Philippines. The seabed beneath the disputed islands and reefs is often described as rich in oil and gas. However, Christopher Len from the Energy Studies Institute at the National University of Singapore said studies forecasting the size of the resources were not accurate. “What we have are essentially what I would describe as guesstimates,” he said in an interview with the ABC in Singapore. “The problem is that no party can conduct proper exploration of the region because of the ongoing tensions.   Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-11/south-china-sea-tensions-deter-oil-exploration/6688988

‘Gas in WPS can energize entire PH’

The natural gas resources on the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) are so vast that the fuel there can energize the Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao grids for at least 20 years, the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers’ Association (LPG-MA) said on Sunday. “This is one of the compelling reasons why we have to secure our 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone and its contiguous area, including the seabed of the continental shelf up to 350 miles from the national coastal baseline. We have to defend the zone against China and other foreign threats,” LPGMA Rep. Arnel Ty, who is also the House Deputy Minority Leader, said. “In fact, we should invest in new warships, including frigates, missile gunboats and fast attack crafts, for deployment to the zone. We should build a strong naval base in northwest Palawan,” Ty, speaking for the minority bloc in the House energy committee, added. The country’s territory in the WPS is believe to have a number of Malampaya-like natural gas fields, the lawmaker said. Read more: http://www.manilatimes.net/gas-in-wps-can-energize-entire-ph/207961/

Philippines making waves over China’s moves in disputed waters

China’s moves to explore for oil and undertake land reclamation projects on contested islets in the South China Sea have upset a number of its neighbors, including Vietnam. But none has taken a tougher stance against Beijing’s moves than the Philippines. The archipelago has shaped up as the loudest voice in Southeast Asia against China’s show of strength in the Pacific. The Philippines has detained Chinese boats, arrested fishermen and lodged a formal United Nations protest against Beijing. Manila’s boldness is underpinned by two facts: Unlike many of China’s neighbors, the Philippines has relatively little to lose if Beijing retaliates economically. And, unlike several South China Sea neighbors, the Philippines enjoys military support from the United States.   Read more: http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la-fg-ff-philippines-china-20150404-story.html

China invokes ‘cabbage tactics’ in South China Sea

China is conducting ‘cabbage’ or a militarily overwhelming strategy and ‘salami-slicing’ – insidious land-grabbing tactics to strengthen its power in the South China Sea By Huseyin Erdogan China is following a long-term strategy with its so called “Cabbage Tactic” to increase its power in the South China Sea, said an expert from China’s Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, on Tuesday. “At a strategic level China is expanding its territorial control over the South China sea and also securing the trade routes that are vital to its continuous economic development,” Ahmet Goncu, an associate professor at China’s Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, told The Anadolu Agency AA via email. He added that “to achieve its strategic goals, China is following very clever tactics that are difficult to counter.” The South China Sea is a critical world trade route and a potential source of hydrocarbons, particularly natural gas, with competing claims of ownership over the sea and its resources, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, EIA. The EIA estimates the South China Sea contains approximately 11 billion barrels of oil and 5.7 trillion cubic meters of natural gas in proved and probable reserves. Conventional hydrocarbons mostly reside in undisputed territory. Goncu further said the “Cabbage Tactic” the Chinese navy follows. “Whenever there is a conflicted small island, the Chinese military and paramilitary forces are sent to overwhelm the islands and lay siege to the surrounding islands with military ships, fishing boats along with other kinds of paramilitary vessels.” Read more: http://www.aa.com.tr/en/economy/483375–china-invokes-cabbage-tactics-in-south-china-sea

East Sea issues draw attention from Belgian experts

A conference on the international law perspective on the East Sea came under the spotlight in an article carried by the Belgian Euro Press Image (EPI) portal on March 11. Professor Erik Franck, a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) chaired the conference in Brussels, which brought together over 100 scholars, lawyers, researchers and former judges at international courts along with officials from the European Union and the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The discussion was focused on fishery, navigation, islands and archipelagos, and the settlement of international disputes. The article quoted PhD Friedrich Wieland, head of the legal section of the European Commission Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fishery, as saying the aquatic resources in the East Sea are being overexploited, causing negative effects on the environment. According to Wieland, one of the causes behind this problem is the lack of clear delimitation of sovereignty. To solve this problem, the involved parties should cooperate, avoid any unilateral action and respect international law, he said. Experts agreed that the so-called “nine-dash line” claim of China in 2009 lacks legal foundations and to date China has failed to produce any valid legal documents to prove its claim.   Read more: http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/government/125347/east-sea-issues-draw-attention-from-belgian-experts.html

The South China Sea ‘V-I-P’ solution

The ‘VIP’ Group of Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines all share both advantageous relations with and deep disagreements with China in the South China Sea. Working together, they could present a united front. This would include establishing Joint Development Areas allotted by auction and linked by a common-carrier open-access energy infrastructure. Each has a serious offshore territorial dispute with China. Meanwhile, each cooperates with China in important ways. The disputes revolve around over China’s nine-dotted-line maritime territorial claim. How the V-I-P countries respond will determine how peacefully Asia is in coming decades. None of the three can take on China alone. But together, however, they can create a compelling negotiating counter party. Start with Vietnam. In 1974, China seized the Paracel Islands from Vietnam. In 1979, China and Vietnam fought a land border war. In 2014 China placed a rig in waters claimed by Vietnam. Despite this, China and Vietnam now cooperate in the Tonkin Gulf. There, Vietnam and China jointly manage fisheries and are working together to explore for energy resources in the offshore area straddling their offshore equidistance line. Over at Scarborough Shoal off the Philippine Island of Luzon, the Philippines and China have engaged in water cannon fights.   Read more: http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=17157&page=1

PHL stops oil and gas drilling in Reed Bank, cites dispute with China

(Updated 4:47 p.m.) The Department of Energy (DOE) has suspended all drilling and exploration works in the West Philippine Sea, particularly in the area covered by Service Contract (SC) 72 in the Reed Bank, citing a force majeure as the site is the subject a territorial dispute between the Philippines and China. Philex Petroleum Corp., holds a substantial stake in SC 72, confirmed the DOE action in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday. The other stakeholder in SC 72 is Monte Oro Resources and Energy Inc., according to previous filings of Philex Petroleum with the Philippine Stock Exchange. “Forum Energy, the UK incorporated oil and gas exploration and production company with a focus on the Philippines, today confirms that the Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) has granted a force majeure on Service Contract (SC) 72, because this contract area falls within the territorial disputed area of the West Philippine Sea which is the subject of an United Nations arbitration process between the Republic of Philippines and the People’s Republic of China,” the disclosure read. Philex Petroleum holds a 60.49 percent interest in Forum Energy – which operates SC 72 in Reed Bank – also called Recto Bank, covering the Sampaguita Gas Field as well as several oil and gas leads. In turn Forum Energy has a 70 percent in SC 72. Under the terms of the force majeure, Philex Petroleum said all works related to oil and gas exploration in the area were immediately suspended from 15 December 2014 until the DOE notifies the company that drilling and exploration may commence. Read more: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/445665/economy/companies/phl-stops-oil-and-gas-drilling-in-reed-bank-cites-dispute-with-china

How China is transforming the South China Sea

New images reveal the extent of China’s land reclamation and construction in the South China Sea. Experts warn the new developments will make it increasingly difficult to counter Beijing’s regional claims. On February 4, the Philippines filed a diplomatic protest to the Chinese Embassy in Manila, urging Beijing to stop the land reclamation at the Mischief Reef. Manila argued that the dredging activities at the reef – located some 135 kilometers southeast of the Philippine island of Palawan – were in violation of its exclusive economic zone. But no photographs of the construction at the reef had been made publicly available until now. Surveillance imagery obtained by the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), a Washington-based think tank, now shows the size and scope of China’s building and land reclamation projects in the Spratly Islands, a highly contested area in the South China Sea. The photographs, released on February 18, focus on six reefs claimed by China in the area – the Gaven Reef, Johnson South Reef, Fiery Cross Reef, Mischief Reef, Cuarteron Reef, Hughes reef – and reveal that the development of these features has taken place at a much larger scale and faster rate than expected, according to analysts. Read more: http://www.dw.de/how-china-is-transforming-the-south-china-sea/a-18271485