South China Sea Spat Threatens Region’s Future
Territorial disputes in the South China Sea, rich in oil and natural gas reserves, require a quick and peaceful resolution to boost energy production and meet growing regional demand, a US official said.
“You have this conundrum of a region that needs energy and yet has a lot of territorial disputes or gray areas that inhibit the ability to produce some of it,” Robert Hormats, US undersecretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment, said today at a briefing in Hanoi. “These are long-term investments, so you really need to start now if you’re going to have the energy five years or 10 years out.”
Vietnam and the Philippines have rejected China’s map of the South China Sea as a basis for joint oil and gas development, leading to clashes in one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. China claims “indisputable sovereignty” over most of the waters, including blocks off Vietnam that Exxon Mobil Corp. and Russia’s Gazprom OAO are exploring.
Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry said March 15 that Cnooc’s moves to develop the oil- and gas-rich northern areas of the South China Sea violates its sovereignty. China’s biggest offshore oil explorer opened bids to foreign companies last year for 19 blocks near the disputed Paracel Islands, according to its Web site.
The South China Sea may hold 213 billion barrels of oil, equivalent to 80 percent of Saudi Arabia’s reserves, according to Chinese studies cited in 2008 by the US Energy Information Agency.
- Illegal Foreign Oil Platforms Discovered in South China Sea (chinasmack.com)
- The South China Sea (nation.com.pk)
- Resources fuel tensions in South China Sea (japantimes.co.jp)
Posted on March 22, 2012, in Asia, China, East Asia, Seas, South China Sea and tagged China, ExxonMobil, Paracel Islands, Philippine, Robert Hormats, Saudi Arabia, South China Sea, Spratly Island. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off.