China Sending 4 Rigs To S China Sea Amid Tensions

Posted by Joseph R. Fonseca
Friday, June 20, 2014
South China Seas

 

China is sending four oil rigs into the South China Sea in a sign that Beijing its stepping up its exploration for oil and gas in the tense region, less than two months after it positioned a giant drilling platform in waters claimed by Vietnam.

Coordinates posted on the website of China's Maritime Safety Administration showed the Nanhai number 2 and 5 rigs would be deployed roughly between southern China and the Pratas islands, which are occupied by Taiwan. The Nanhai 4 rig would be towed close to the Chinese coast.

The agency, which did not say who owns the rigs, said all three would be in place by Aug. 12.

Earlier this week, it gave coordinates for a fourth rig, the Nanhai 9, which would be positioned just outside Vietnam's exclusive economic zone by Friday.

The announcement comes at a time when many countries in Asia, particularly Vietnam and the Philippines, are nervous at China's increasing assertiveness in the South China Sea, where sovereignty over countless islands and reefs is in dispute.

The Global Times, a popular tabloid published by the Communist Party's official People's Daily, quoted Zhuang Guotu, director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at Xiamen University, as calling the rig deployment a "strategic move".

"The increase in oil rigs will inevitably jab a sensitive nerve for Vietnamand the Philippines," Zhuang said.

China's state oil behemoth CNOOC Ltd has said it had four new projects scheduled to come on stream in the western and eastern South China Sea in the second half of 2014.

It was unclear if the four rigs were part of those projects. A CNOOC spokesman declined to comment, but the company has long said that in a bid to boost production it wanted to explore in deeper waters offChina.

CNOOC has said it would increase by up to a third its annual capital spending for 2014 to almost $20 billion.

Anti-Chinese violence flared in Vietnam last month after a $1 billion deepwater rig owned by CNOOC Group, the parent of the listed unit, was parked 240 km (150 miles) off the coast of Vietnam.

Hanoi says the rig is in its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone and on its continental shelf. China has said the rig was operating completely within its waters.

China claims about 90 percent of the potentially energy-rich South China Sea. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have claims to parts of the waters.

(Reporting by Megha Rajagopalan and Charlie Zhu; Editing by Dean Yates)

Maritime Reporter November 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Maritime Security

NASSCO Opens Bremerton Repair Facility

General Dynamics NASSCO celebrated the grand opening of its new location in Bremerton, Wash., yesterday. The facility will support the company’s recently-awarded contract to repair and maintain U.

USCG Commandant to Address PVA Convention

Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Paul F. Zukunft will attend the PVA Annual Convention at MariTrends 2015 in Long Beach, Calif. and deliver a keynote

Philippines to Buy Naval Assets, China Sea Dispute Simmers

The Philippines aims to buy two frigates, two helicopters and three gunboats for deployment in the South China Sea where a territorial dispute with China has lent

News

WSC CEO Koch to Retire in 2015

Chris Koch, current president and CEO of the World Shipping Council (WSC), will retire from his position on July 31, 2015, and WSC Senior Vice-President and General Counsel,

NMEA Updates Installation Standards

2014 edition of NMEA 0400, Version 4.00 features extensive updates and new information   The National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) has published Edition 2014, Version 4.

Port of Galveston to Repair Public Pier

Galveston Wharves’ board of trustees today unanimously approved a project to repair pilings and pier deck in the Pier 19 area of the port. The board awarded the contract,

Marine Equipment

NMEA Updates Installation Standards

2014 edition of NMEA 0400, Version 4.00 features extensive updates and new information   The National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) has published Edition 2014, Version 4.

Waterjet-propelled Crewboat Delivered to Petrobras

BS Camburi, a 36-meter Monohull Crewboat built in Brazil by Arpoador Engenharia to the Petrobras type P2 specification has been launched and delivered.   Designed by Incat Crowther,

Hoists Facilitate Offshore Crane Repairs

When the diesel engine of a deck crane failed, it caused major handling problems for an offshore platform operating in the Dutch sector of the southern North Sea,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Ship Electronics Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2136 sec (5 req/sec)