Mappers Look to Chart World's Ocean Floor by 2030
Using data collected from underwater drones, merchant ships, fishing boats and even explorers, a new scientific project aims to map the ocean floor by 2030 and solve one of the world’s enduring mysteries.With 190 million square km (73 million square miles) of water - or about 93 percent of the world's oceans with a depth of over 200 meters (650 feet) - yet to be charted, the initiative is ambitious.Satinder Bindra, director of the Seabed 2030 project, said the work can be completed within the period and will shed light on everything from tsunami wave patterns to pollution…
Mattis Says US Will Continue Operations in South China Sea
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Tuesday that the United States would continue to confront what Washington sees as China's militarization of islands in the South China Sea, despite drawing condemnation from Beijing for an operation in the region over the weekend.Reuters first reported that two U.S. Navy warships sailed near South China Sea islands claimed by China on Sunday, even as President Donald Trump seeks Chinese cooperation on North Korea.The operation, known as "freedom of navigation…
CNOOC Developing New Deep Sea Gas Block in South China Sea
China's offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC has started developing a new gas field in the South China Sea, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday.The Lingshui 17-2 gas field is the first deep sea gas block fully operated by a Chinese company, Xinhua said citing CNOOC officials.The deep sea project, which was discovered in 2014, is 150 km (94 miles) south of China's southern Hainan island, with an average operational depth of 1,500 metres, according to a Reuters report from that year.CNOOC is ready to start building a subsea level platform used for drilling, Xinhua said.(Reporting by Meng Meng and Aizhu Chen; Editing by Tom Hogue)
Rosneft: South China Sea Drilling is Within Vietnam Waters
Drilling in the South China Sea by Rosneft is within Vietnamese territorial waters, the Russian state oil firm said in a statement on Thursday, two days after its Vietnamese subsidiary began drilling in Vietnamese waters claimed by China.Rosneft's local unit, Rosneft Vietnam BV, is concerned that its recent drilling in an area of the South China Sea that falls within China's "nine-dash line" could upset Beijing, two sources with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters on Wednesday."Offshore license areas of Rosneft on the South China Sea are situated within the territorial waters of Vie
East China Sea Dispute: Japan Protests China Drilling Vessel
Japan has protested to China for allowing a gas drilling vessel to operate in disputed waters in the East China Sea, the government said on Friday.
Beijing's South China Sea Building Boom Grows
At first glance from above it looks like any clean and neatly planned small town, complete with sports grounds, neat roads and large civic buildings. But the town is on Subi reef in the Spratlys archipelago of the hotly contested South China Sea and, regional security experts believe, could soon be home to China's first troops based in the maritime heart of Southeast Asia. Private sector data analysis reviewed by Reuters shows Subi, some 1,200 km (750 miles) from China's coast, is now home to nearly 400 individual buildings – far more than other Chinese islands.
Plans Emerge for Strategic Indian Ocean Naval Port
Indonesia and India pledged on Wednesday to step up defense and maritime cooperation, with plans to develop a strategic Indonesian naval port in the Indian Ocean, the leaders of the two countries said after meeting in Jakarta. Indonesian President Joko Widodo met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss, among other issues, developing infrastructure and an economic zone at Sabang, on the tip of Sumatra island and at the mouth of the Malacca Strait, one of the busiest shipping channels for global trade. "India is a strategic defence partner...and we will continue to advance our cooperation in developing infrastructure, including at Sabang Island and the Andaman Islands," Widodo told a news conference after the meeting at the presidential palace.
Phoenix Petroleum, CNOOC Partner for LNG Terminal
Philippine fuel retailer Phoenix Petroleum said it had agreed to partner with a subsidiary of state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) to explore building a receiving terminal for liquefied natural gas in the country.The Philippines is seeking investors to build a storage and distribution facility for imported LNG as it moves to replace its Malampaya gas reserves, expected to be depleted by 2024.Phoenix Petroleum, owned by a local businessman who helped bankroll President Rodrigo Duterte's 2016 election campaign…
ASEAN Pushes for South China Sea 'Code of Conduct'
The Association of South East Asian Nations is hoping to expedite negotiations on a code of conduct with China for the South China Sea but it is not realistic to expect an agreement within a year, Singapore's defence minister said on Wednesday. China and the 10-member ASEAN bloc adopted a negotiating framework on the code for the disputed and busy waterway, largely controlled by China but also claimed by some ASEAN states, in August and have begun talks. "We hope it will be expedited but it's a very…
Piracy, Armed Robbery in Asia Drop in January: ReCAAP
A total of seven incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia - five actual incidents and two attempted incidents - in January 2018, compared to 16 incidents reported in December 2017, according to regional piracy watchdog ReCAAP ISC. Out of the seven reported, five were actual and two were attempted incidents. One of these was a piracy incident and six were armed robberies against ships. Five incidents occurred on board ships while at anchor/berth…
Chinese Warships Enter East Indian Ocean
Eleven Chinese warships sailed into the East Indian Ocean this month, a Chinese news portal said, amid a constitutional crisis in the tiny tropical island chain of the Maldives now under a state of emergency. A fleet of destroyers and at least one frigate, a 30,000-tone amphibious transport dock and three support tankers entered the Indian Ocean, news portal Sina.com.cn said, without linking the deployment to the crisis in the Maldives or giving a reason. "If you look at warships and other equipment, the gap between the Indian and Chinese navy is not large," Sina.com.cn said on Sunday.
Fugro Returns to China for Gas Hydrate Research
Dutch survey and geotechnical services firm Fugro said it has been awarded a contract by China’s Guangzhou Marine Geological Survey (GMGS) to perform gas hydrate investigation on the Northern Continental Slope of the South China Sea. The contract is valued at approximately $40 million and is expected to commence in the second quarter of 2018. The gas hydrate field research program is the fifth that Fugro will undertake for GMGS, and the two companies have worked together in this field of research since 2007.
Tech File: An Inside Look at Ballast Tank Linings
The proper lining of ballast tanks is essential and critical to ship safety. Not too many decades ago, ships traveling the North Atlantic routes were experiencing terrible losses from outright sinking in the turbulent seas. It was eventually discovered that the primary culprit was hull failure from ballast tanks rupturing from the inside out due to simple, plain old-fashioned rusting and galvanic corrosion. The U.S. Navy led the way and came up with a recommended formula, or recipe, for a ballast tank coating that paint manufactures could copy in bidding for Navy business.
Australia to Stress International Law in South China Sea Dispute
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will on Tuesday hail the role of international law in settling regional conflicts, comments apparently aimed at bolstering Australian efforts to build a coalition against Chinese assertiveness. Bishop, in a speech ahead of a special meeting of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Sydney, will not name China but will argue that international law will stabilise a region strained by rival claims in the South China Sea. "The rules-based order is designed to regulate behaviour and rivalries of and between states…
Chinese Navy Plans Combat Drills in South China Sea
China's navy will carry out combat drills in the South China Sea, the military's official newspaper said on Friday, describing the move as part of regular annual exercises. Taiwan's defence ministry said this week it had shadowed a Chinese aircraft carrier group traversing the Taiwan Strait in a southwesterly direction - meaning into the disputed South China Sea - in what Taiwan judged to be a drill. In a brief report on its WeChat account, the People's Liberation Army Daily said the combat exercises would take place shortly…
Vietnam Scraps South China Sea Oil Drilling Project
Vietnam's state oil firm PetroVietnam has ordered Spanish energy firm Repsol to suspend its "Red Emperor" project off the country's southeastern coast following pressure from China, the BBC reported on Friday. It would be the second time in less than a year that Vietnam has had to cancel a major oil development in the South China Sea under pressure from China. The move comes as Repsol was making final preparations for commercial drilling. A rig, the Ensco 8504, was scheduled to depart from Singapore for the drill site on Thursday, the report said, citing an unnamed energy industry source. The cancellation could cost Repsol and its partners $200 million in sunk investment, according to the BBC. Repsol and PetroVietnam executives could not immediately be reached for comment.
Satellite Images Show China's Show of Force in South China Sea
Dozens of Chinese naval vessels are exercising this week with an aircraft carrier in a large show of force off Hainan island in the South China Sea, satellite images obtained by Reuters show. The images, provided by Planet Labs Inc, confirm a Chinese carrier group has entered the vital trade waterway as part of what the Chinese navy earlier described as combat drills that were part of routine annual exercises. The Liaoning carrier group last week traversed the Taiwan Strait, according to the Taiwanese defense ministry.
China: South China Sea Drills 'Routine'
China's Defence Ministry said on Thursday the military was carrying out routine training in the South China Sea, but would not comment on the presence of China's sole operational aircraft carrier there. Dozens of Chinese naval vessels are exercising this week with an aircraft carrier in a large show of force off China's Hainan island in the South China Sea, satellite images obtained by Reuters show. The images, provided by Planet Labs Inc, confirmed a Chinese carrier group had…
Philippines Eyes Exploration Deal with China in S.China Sea
The Philippines is looking to seal a pact with China within a few months to jointly explore for oil and gas in a part of the busy South China Sea waterway claimed by both countries, a Philippine official said on Monday. In February, the two countries agreed to set up a special panel to work out how to jointly explore for offshore oil and gas in areas both sides claim, without needing to address the touchy issue of sovereignty. "We're trying to see if we can achieve an agreement…
After China's Massive Drill, U.S. Patrols Disputed South China Sea
In a span of 20 minutes, 20 F-18 fighter jets took off and landed on the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, in a powerful display of military precision and efficiency. The nuclear-powered warship, leading a carrier strike group, was conducting what the U.S. military called routine training in the disputed South China Sea on Tuesday, headed for a port call in the Philippines, a defence treaty ally. The United States is not alone in carrying out naval patrols in the strategic waterway…
Vietnam Mulls Coast Guard 'Open Fire' Rules
Vietnam wants to give its coast guard more flexibility to open fire at sea, amid tension in the busy South China Sea waterway, a draft law released on Wednesday showed. The law, expected to be voted by lawmakers at the end of this year, would allow greater assertiveness in disputed waters by the coast guard, now armed with modern U.S. and Japanese patrol boats, in a policy likely to alarm neighbouring China. China claims almost all the South China Sea, through which about $3 trillion worth of sea-borne trade passes every year.
Tanker Rescues Castaway in South China Sea
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. announced that on April 14, 2018, the MOL-operated/managed crude oil tanker Altair Trader rescued a castaway in the South China Sea.At 19:10 local time on April 14, while underway in the South China Sea toward the port of Kawasaki, Japan, the Altair Trader noticed a light on the sea surface ahead the starboard and spotted a castaway.The vessel immediately turned around and started rescue operations, and by 20:28 the same day, the survivor was safely rescued.At 22:30 on April 15…
China's First Home-built Carrier to Start Sea Trials
China first domestically developed aircraft carrier looks set to begin sea trials after pictures appeared on the Chinese internet on Monday of it leaving its dock in the northeastern port of Dalian. The still-unnamed carrier was launched this time last year but since then has been undergoing fitting of weapons and other systems and has not yet entered service. Chinese President Xi Jinping is overseeing an ambitious military modernisation scheme, including stealth jets and anti-satellite missiles, as China ramps up its presence in the disputed South China Sea and around self-ruled Taiwan, an island it considers its own. Online Chinese news portals…