TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo‘s outspoken governor says the city has decided to buy a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea to bolster Japanese claims to the territory, a move that could elevate tensions with China.
Gov. Shintaro Ishihara said the city is close to reaching an agreement with the private Japanese owner of three of the four islands in the group known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese.
“Tokyo has decided to buy the Senkaku islands. Tokyo will protect the Senkakus,” Ishihara said in a speech Monday at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington. “The Japanese are acquiring the islands to protect our own territory. Would anyone have a problem with that?”
Ishihara, a strong nationalist, said the idea is to block China from taking the islands from Japanese control, as the central government is reluctant to upset China.
He did not indicate how much the city would pay, but said the deal would be finalized while he is visiting the United States.
In Beijing, Liu Weimin, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reacted harshly to Ishihara’s comment and reiterated China’s claim over the islands.
“Any unilateral measure taken by Japan is illegal and invalid, and will not change the fact that those islands belong to China,” he said in a statement.
Tokyo city official Tatsuo Fujii said details of the deal could not be released immediately and further discussions would be held with Okinawa prefecture, which has jurisdiction over the islands, and other related authorities.
The government currently pays rent to the owners of the four islands in the Senkaku group so they won’t be sold to any questionable buyer. It pays 24.5 million yen ($304,000) a year to the owner of the three islands, which are unused. The fourth island is used by the U.S. military for drills.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura reiterated on Tuesday that Japan has sovereignty over the Senkaku islands and said the central government might purchase them.
Japan and China also have disputes over undersea gas deposits in the East China Sea and Japan’s wartime history.
Ishihara previously helped to erect a lighthouse on one of the Senkaku islands, which a group of nationalists later replaced with a larger one recorded on navigation charts.
Ishihara’s comments about the disputed islands are also seen as politically motivated to discredit Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda‘s government, which is struggling to gain public support.
- UPDATE2: Tokyo gov’t in talks with owners to buy Senkaku Islands: Ishihara (english.kyodonews.jp)
- UPDATE4: Tokyo gov’t in talks with owners to buy Senkaku Islands: Ishihara (english.kyodonews.jp)
- UPDATE3: Tokyo gov’t in talks with owners to buy Senkaku Islands: Ishihara (english.kyodonews.jp)
- Tokyo governor says city will buy disputed islands (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- UPDATE1: Japan protests China’s possible East China Sea gas drilling (english.kyodonews.jp)
- Japan names 39 unihabited islands to cement economic zone (english.kyodonews.jp)
|This week the SubseaIQ team added 12 new projects and updated 31 projects. You can see all the updates made over any time period via the Project Update History search. The latest offshore field develoment news and activities are listed below for your convenience.|
- Recap: Worldwide Field Development News (Feb 10 – Feb 16, 2012) (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Newfound Billions Of Barrels Of Shale Oil In Newfoundland (mb50.wordpress.com)
- WellEz Updates Wellbore Schematic Software for Drilling & Completion Reporting (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Lucius: Deepwater Gulf of Mexico (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Statoil Introduces New “Cat J” Jackup Rig for Norwegian Continental Shelf + [VIDEO] (mb50.wordpress.com)
Red Spider, the Remote Open Close Technology specialist delivering multi-million pound savings and reduced risk to the oil & gas industry, has completed its biggest-ever deal with work valued at £1.5million to supply new products for well completion operations.
Red Spider’s UK sales manager Andy Skinner said: “We are very excited about the technology and believe it takes our ROCT products to the next level, offering unparalleled savings and risk reduction.’’
eRED, Red Spider’s first tool to use its patented ROCT for remotely operating downhole valves, has been used by more than 20 operators resulting in significant risk reduction and maximising production time by removing wireline runs from operations. The technology is on its way to becoming the industry standard solution for various downhole applications.
The valve has allowed major operators to save more than £300,000 during a single subsea completion operation, typically reducing slickline runs from 8 to 1. In deepwater workover operations, savings of up to 36 hours and £500,000 have also been recorded in a single job, as well as major reductions in risk.
It quickly became apparent from the eRED’s continuing success that there were other potential applications for ROCT in the completion of wells. Further customer requests led to nearly £2million of investment and over two years of extensive research and development work, which has resulted in products including the eRED-FB.
eRED-FB valves provide a downhole barrier that can be opened and closed by remote command, allowing the tubing integrity to be tested without using conventional plug and prong equipment. This eliminates the need to deploy traditional wireline methods which results in the following benefits:
• removing the requirement for rigging-up and rigging-down wireline units
• speeding up operations
• reducing risk to personnel and equipment
• reducing the risk of exposure to bad weather
• delivering savings of between 32 to 38 hours (£400,000 to £500,000)
- Wireline Intervention on Offshore Platform – The basics (drillingwelloffshore.wordpress.com)
- UK: Talisman Selects Helix Well Ops for Subsea Works on Its Assets (mb50.wordpress.com)
- ExxonMobil Awards Technip GoM Subsea Contract (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Well Enhancer en route to Africa for region’s first LWI project (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Norway: Aker Solutions Delivers Subsea Templates for Skuld Fast-Track Development (mb50.wordpress.com)
The multi-component seismic company Reservoir Exploration Technology ASA (RXT) has received a letter of award from an oil company for an ocean bottom cable survey in the Middle East.
Formal agreement will be entered into. The survey is scheduled to commence during 2012 and is estimated to take 13 months.
The estimated contract value is USD 104.5 mill.
- API: Oil & Gas industry pays the government nearly $90 million dollars a day (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Middle East Crumbles Around Obama’s Foreign Policy (mb50.wordpress.com)
The partnership announced today that it has made a high impact discovery in the Pão de Açúcar prospect located in the BM-C-33 block in the Campos Basin. The well, drilled by the Stena DrillMAX drillship, is located some 195 kilometres offshore Rio de Janeiro State in 2,800 meters of water.
The Pão de Açúcar well encountered two pre-salt accumulations comprising a hydrocarbon column of 480 meters with a total pay of around 350 meters. A test performed in a partial section of the pay zone flowed 5,000 barrels per day of light oil and 28.5 million cubic feet per day of gas. This was a choked Drill Stem Test (DST) with very limited drawdown. The Pão de Açúcar discovery is the third find made in the BM-C-33 block after Seat and Gávea and confirms the area’s high potential.
“The development potential of the Pão and Gávea discoveries will now be evaluated by the partnership. This discovery increases our understanding of the pre-salt potential in the Campos Basin and improves our confidence in the recently acquired acreage position in the pre-salt Kwanza basin of Angola,” says executive vice president for Exploration in Statoil, Tim Dodson.
“Statoil’s exploration strategy focuses on high impact opportunities and the deepening of core areas. The Pão de Açúcar success shows that we are delivering on our strategy,” continues Dodson.
“Statoil has clear ambitions to grow in Brazil through new exploration opportunities. The Pão discovery will become an important building block in our growth ambitions,” says Kjetil Hove, country president for Statoil in Brazil.
Repsol Sinopec is operator of the exploration consortium with a 35% stake. Partners Statoil and Petrobras hold respective 35% and 30% shares.
Statoil is also the operator of the Peregrino field in Brazil, which came on stream in April 2011.
The Pão discovery is the sixth high impact discovery made by Statoil in the last 12 months. The other discoveries are Skrugard and Havis in the Barents Sea, Johan Sverdrup (former Aldous/Avaldsnes) in the North Sea, Peregrino South in Brazil and Zafarani in Tanzania.
(*) ”High-impact well” = a total of more than 250 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe), or 100 million boe net to Statoil.
- Petrobras Announces New Discovery in Carioca Area, Offshore Brazil (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Petrobras Discovers Oil at Tucura Well, Campos Basin, Offshore Brazil (mb50.wordpress.com)
Professor Mark J. Perry’s Blog for Economics and Finance
While the overall economy struggles to create jobs during another “jobless recovery,” it’s been a much rosier employment picture in one of America’s most successful “shovel-ready” job-creating industries: Oil and Gas Extraction.
The chart above displays the monthly percentage changes in employment levels since January 2007 for oil and gas extraction jobs compared to total nonfarm payroll jobs. As of January 2012, payroll employment is 3.3%, and 4.7 million jobs, below the month of January five years ago. In contrast, the explosion of new oil and gas jobs has increased employment in that industry by about 1/3 since January 2007. Over the last 12 months, oil and gas companies have added 23,200 new workers, at a rate of almost 100 new hires every business day.
Although U.S. officials have insisted for years that they do not regard China’s rise to great-power status as a threatening development, Washington’s statements and actions increasingly belie those assurances. Any doubt on that point disappeared following President Obama’s November 17 speech in Canberra, Australia. In his address to the Australian parliament, Obama boldly asserted that “the United States is a Pacific power, and we are here to stay.” Observers in Australia and throughout the region interpreted that comment as sending a message to China that the United States was not about to quietly relinquish its hegemony in East Asia and let the PRC become the leading power.
The Canberra speech was not the only measure that suggested that Washington was adopting a harder line toward Beijing on security issues. Just hours before his address to parliament, Obama announced that the United States would send military aircraft and as many as 2,500 Marines to northern Australia over the next few years to develop a training hub to assist allies and protect American interests throughout the region.
The next day, while attending an East Asian economic summit in Bali, the president went out of his way to emphasize the importance of the U.S. defense alliance with the Philippines and pledged to strengthen that relationship. His comment followed a blunt statement from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regarding the ongoing dispute between China and several of its neighbors (including the Philippines) over territorial claims in the South China Sea. “Any nation with a claim has a right to exert it,” Clinton stated during a visit to Manila on November 16, “but they do not have a right to pursue it through intimidation or coercion.” She added that “the United States will always be in the corner of the Philippines and we will stand and fight with you.” Although the latter remark could be interpreted merely as a restatement of the rationale for the six-decade-old mutual-defense treaty, given the secretary’s comments about the South China Sea dispute Beijing could certainly view her statement as a specific warning regarding that issue.
Those moves, along with previous efforts to strengthen cooperative military ties with other traditional allies such as South Korea and Japan and one-time U.S. adversaries such as Vietnam, have all the earmarks of a rather unsubtle containment policy directed against China. It is a foolish strategy that will complicate and perhaps permanently damage the crucial U.S.-China relationship. Perhaps even worse, it is a containment strategy that is long on symbolism and short on substance, thereby managing to be simultaneously provocative and ineffectual.
Take the U.S. decision to send 2,500 Marines to Australia. It is hard to imagine a scenario in which such a small deployment would be militarily useful. If there is a security contingency somewhere in East Asia, it is likely to be decided by air and naval power, not a meager force of Marines. Yet, while militarily useless, such a deployment conveys a hostile message to Beijing, thereby managing to antagonize the Chinese.
A similar conclusion is warranted with regard to the Obama administration’s transparent effort to revitalize the nearly moribund alliance with the Philippines. That chronically misgoverned, third-rate military power would hardly make a good security partner in any crisis. Yet by siding with a country that is deeply embroiled with China over territorial claims in the South China Sea, the United States once again appears to be going out of its way to antagonize Beijing.
That would be an ill-advised approach under the best of circumstances. But to embrace a containment policy—especially one that is primarily bluster and symbolism—when Washington badly needs China to continue funding the seemingly endless flow of U.S. Treasury debt verges on being dim-witted. It’s never a good idea to anger one’s banker. And one can assume that Beijing is watching U.S. actions, not just the pro-forma assurances that the United States wants good relations and does not regard China as a threat. Those assurances ring increasingly hollow, and one can assume that Chinese leaders will react accordingly. That does not bode well for the future of the U.S.-China relationship.
- The Coalition Against Chinese Hegemony (mb50.wordpress.com)
- U.S.-China tensions risk spilling over into Asia summit (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Flash-point: China issues warning to India on disputes in the South China Sea (theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com)
- Beijing naval drills to go ahead amid sovereignty row (chinapost.com.tw)
- China military condemns US-Australia pact (news.smh.com.au)