• 4 minutes Why Trump will win the wall fight
  • 8 minutes Cuba Charges U.S. Moving Special Forces, Preparing Venezuelan Intervention
  • 12 minutes Maduro Asks OPEC For Help Against U.S. Sanctions
  • 16 minutes Washington Eyes Crackdown On OPEC
  • 1 hour is climate change a hoax? $2 Trillion/year worth of programs intended to be handed out by politicians and bureaucrats?
  • 6 hours Solar and Wind Will Not "Save" the Climate
  • 1 hour Some Good News on Climate Change Maybe
  • 3 hours Ayn Rand Was Right
  • 1 hour Indian Oil Signs First Annual Deal For U.S. OilIndian Oil Signs First Annual Deal For U.S. Oil
  • 41 mins Expected Breakdown: Israel-Central Europe Summit Canceled After Polish Pullout
  • 23 hours students walk out of school in protest of climate change
  • 14 hours IT IS FINISHED. OPEC Victorious
  • 8 hours Oil Prices Bookended for Rest of This Year? Maybe $50 to $80? (My old 'See Saw' theory redux)
  • 16 hours Amazon’s Exit Could Scare Off Tech Companies From New York

China, Philippines Working Out South China Sea Oil Exploration

China gas

China and the Philippines have set up a panel to study ways of resolving their rival claims to parts of the South China Sea that may contain oil and gas reserves, the Philippine ambassador to China told media after a meeting of government officials from the two countries.

Ambassador Chito Sta. Romana noted that this is just the start of a process but added it was a breakthrough in its own right after years of disagreement that even led to a lawsuit in 2016. A court in The Hague ruled against China’s territorial claims and in favor of the Philippines—one of several neighbors opposing China’s expansion in the basin. China however, has not acknowledged the ruling, which has heightened tensions in the area.

This heightened tension and China’s muscle-flexing to its neighbors with artificial islands and troop deployment has made it very difficult for anyone to imagine that the conflict could be resolved. Yet, the Philippines are in urgent need of new oil and gas supply as its economy is growing at a fast rate and the country is almost entirely dependent on imports to satisfy its energy needs. The fact that its only producing gas field will be depleted by 2024 adds to the urgency.

The South China Sea may hold 28 billion barrels of oil, according to an estimate from the U.S. Geological Survey from the mid-90s. Since then, with technology improvements, this figure could have increased substantially.

Related: IEA Warns Of New Oil Glut

China is claiming about 90 percent of the basin and has been crystal clear in its message to its neighbors: don’t try to explore for oil and gas in disputed areas, or else. In July last year, for example, Vietnam called off a drilling project in one of these areas, just a week after it started, after pressure from Beijing.

The Philippines has been more careful. Also, last year reports emerged that Manila and Beijing may agree on joint exploration, but there was no follow-up with specific information on that progress. Now, coming from a senior government official, the confirmation that the two are closer to working on oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea could be cause for optimism that there will be an end to regional tensions in one of the world’s top shipping routes.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News