Wednesday, January 02, 2013

China starts oil production in disputed territories

One of China's major oil companies said that it had started production in disputed territories in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea), according to a recent report by state-owned English language newspaper China Daily. 

The report quoted a statement from the China National Offshore Oil Company Ltd. (CNOOC) as saying that the country's largest offshore oil and gas producer's two oil fields were located in the Pearl River Estuary Basin in the South China Sea. 

The first oil field, Panyu 4-2/5-1, "is expected to reach its peak output level in 2014," according to the report. 

CNOOC owns 75.5 percent of the field, while Burlington Resources China Llc owns the remainder, China Daily said. 

CNOOC identified the second oil field as Liuhua 4-1, which the company fully owns. Its production is expected to peak this year. 

In the first week of December 2012, China announced its oil exploration plans. 

Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) secretary Albert del Rosario said in an earlier interview that China’s plan would be “acceptable” if it is within the exclusive continental shelf of Beijing as provided by the United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos).

DFA spokesman  Raul Hernandez said that the Philippines was prepared to protect its oil interests in the West Philippine Sea and had been upgrading its defense capabilities to be able to defend the country from any aggressive actions by other regions.

"Our constitution mandates the state to secure the integrity of our national territory and protect the nation's resources in its archipelagic waters, territorial sea, and exclusive economic zone" Hernandez said.

"We have been upgrading our capabilities and endeavoring to build a mininum credible defense position," he added.

China is in dispute with several of its neighbors, including the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei. Malaysia, and Taiwan, over claims to parts of the oil and gas-rich sea.

India, which is not among the claimants, also said earlier that it was prepared to act, if necessary, to protect its maritime and economic interests in the region.

It said the Indian Navy was prepared to deploy vessels to South China Sea to protect India's oil interests there.-Interaksyon (January 01, 2013 6:16PM)

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