South China Sea News

19 Feb 2019

Shell: A Cost Saver for Chinese RoRos

Image: Shell Marine

Shell Marine integrated solutions have saved the equivalent of around $123,000 annually for its customer China’s operator of RoRo tonnage Hainan Strait Shipping.On Shell’s advice, Hainan Strait Shipping had switched its trunk piston engine oils to a combination of Shell Argina S3 40 and Shell Gadinia S3 40 for six ships operating in the South China Sea.With this change, Hainan Strait Shipping was able to reduce maintenance and lubricant costs, while improving the efficiency and longevity of its MAN Diesel & Turbo main and auxiliary engines.Joris van Brussel…

13 Feb 2019

Mnuchin: China Talks "So far, so good"

© windy Li/AdobeStock

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said talks with China went well on Wednesday, as the world's two largest economies try to iron out an agreement to resolve their trade dispute."So far, so good," he said when asked by reporters on how the meetings in Beijing went. He did not say who he met.Mnuchin said earlier he hoped for "productive" trade meetings as the two countries seek to end a festering dispute that has seen both sides level tariffs at one other.U.S. tariffs on $200…

08 Feb 2019

Aker Solutions Revenues Up 8%

Luis Araujo, CEO, Aker Solutions

Aker Solutions reports Q4 2018 revenue of $813 million, an 8% rise compared to Q4 2017 powered by “significant international awards in a competitive, but improving market.” In total, order intake for the quarter was $615.6 million, leaving the company with an order backlog of more than $4 billion. Better still, looking forward the company sees “continued signs of a recovery in the global market” with approximately $5.2 billion worth of contracts currently in the bid phase.In analyzing the results…

23 Jan 2019

Offshore Upswing: CNOOC Spend Highest Since 2014

© xmentoys/AdobeStock

China's state-owned offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC Ltd said it is confident of achieving its spending target this year, the highest since 2014, as its responds to a call to build up the nation's petroleum output and reserves.The company plans to spend 70 billion to 80 billion yuan ($10.3 billion to $11.8 billion) on exploration and production, CNOOC said in a press release on Wednesday, compared with an expected 63 billion yuan in capital spending for 2018.Beijing has called…

14 Jan 2019

Chinese Eye Philippines Hanjin Shipyard

Image:  Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction

Two Chinese shipbuilding companies have expressed intent to invest in the largest Philippine shipyard, debt-riddled Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines, the Department of Trade Industry (DTI) said.Drowning in debt,  the Philippine business of the Hanjin Group of South Korea, has asked the government for help in search of an investor who would take over the business and save the troubled shipbuilder.Philippines Rodrigo Duterte administration has stepped in to help save the troubled investor in Subic.According to local media reports…

11 Jan 2019

PetroVietnam: Maritime Tensions Weigh on Operations

(Photo: PetroVietnam)

Vietnam's state oil firm PetroVietnam said on Friday that tension in the South China Sea will continue to weigh on its offshore operations this year.The company, formally known as Vietnam Oil and Gas Group targets to produce 12.37 million metric tonnes of crude oil this year, down 11.45 percent from last year's output, it said in a statement.Vietnam and China have been embroiled in maritime disputes in parts of the busy waterway, where China claims 90 percent of the potentially energy-rich maritime territory, which Vietnam calls the East Sea."The complicated developments in the East Sea have h

10 Dec 2018

Scientist Pool Data to Create the $3B Ocean Map

© peteri/Adobe Stock

For experts in the field of ocean mapping it is no small irony that we know more about the surfaces of the Moon and Mars than we do about our planet's sea floor."Can you imagine operating on the land without a map, or doing anything without a map?" asked Larry Mayer, director of the U.S.-based Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, a research body that trains hydrographers and develops tools for mapping."We depend on having that knowledge of what's around us - and the same is true for the ocean…

25 Sep 2018

US Navy Ship Denied Entry into Hong Kong Port

File photo: The amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) (U.S. Navy photo by Levingston Lewis)

China has denied a request for a U.S. warship to visit Hong Kong, the U.S. consulate in the Chinese city said on Tuesday, amid rising tension between Beijing and Washington over trade and a U.S. decision to sanction the Asian nation's military.The amphibious assault ship Wasp had been due to make a port call in the former British colony of Hong Kong in October, diplomatic sources said."The Chinese Government did not approve a request for a U.S. port visit to Hong Kong by the USS Wasp…

31 Aug 2018

Ronald Reagan Strike Group, JMSDF Participate in Bilateral Training

Photo: U.S. Navy

The Ronald Reagan Strike Group and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Escort Flotilla 4 Battle Group, participated in bilateral training Aug. 31 while underway in the South China Sea.During the training, units from the two maritime forces sailed in formation, participated in replenishment-at-sea training, exchanged Naval Liaison Officers and practiced maneuvering procedures.Additionally, Rear Adm. Karl O. Thomas, Commander, Task Force 70, and CTF 70 personnel visited JS Kaga to speak with JMSDF Rear Adm. Tatsuya Fukuda, Commander, Escort Flotilla 4, about JMSDF and U.S.

28 Aug 2018

Ocean Installer Wins First Contract in China

Image: Ocean Installer

Ocean Installer has been awarded a contract for 3rd Party Verification and Engineering Support work for the Liuhua 29-1 Gas Field Development located in the South China Sea.The work scope encompasses 3rd party verification of detailed design and subsea construction engineering, as well as various other support functions to the client’s engineering team.This is the company’s first job in China, and Ocean Installer will conduct the work as a subcontractor to COOEC Subsea Technology Co.…

19 Jun 2018

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)

05 Jun 2018

Phoenix Petroleum, CNOOC Partner for LNG Terminal

© Wojciech Wrzesien / Adobe Stock photo

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…

22 May 2018

Mappers Look to Chart World's Ocean Floor by 2030

Photo courtesy of Nippon Foundation and GEBCO

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…

29 May 2018

Mattis Says US Will Continue Operations in South China Sea

(U.S. Navy photo by Peter Burghart)

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…

17 May 2018

Rosneft: South China Sea Drilling is Within Vietnam Waters

(Photo: Rosneft)

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

24 May 2018

Beijing's South China Sea Building Boom Grows

The Republic of Singapore navy Formidable-class frigate RSS Supreme (FFG 73) and the Victory-class corvette RSS Valiant (PGG 91) transit the South China Sea behind the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). Theodore Roosevelt is underway for a regularly scheduled deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Michael Colemanberry/Released)

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.

30 May 2018

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.

29 Mar 2018

China: South China Sea Drills 'Routine'

File Image: A Chinese Navy Frigate. (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) VanderWolf)

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…

09 Apr 2018

Philippines Eyes Exploration Deal with China in S.China Sea

© Regormark / Adobe Stock

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…

10 Apr 2018

After China's Massive Drill, U.S. Patrols Disputed South China Sea

Photo by U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Anthony J. Rivera

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…

11 Apr 2018

Vietnam Mulls Coast Guard 'Open Fire' Rules

(File photo courtesy of the Vietnam Coast Guard)

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.

23 Apr 2018

Tanker Rescues Castaway in South China Sea

© lindbrielle / MarineTraffic.com

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…

23 Apr 2018

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…

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