Rosneft Vietnam Worried About South China Sea Drilling

Lester Mason
May 17, 2018

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.

The well is located in the Lan Do gas field, which, according to Wood Mackenzie, falls within the nine-dash line outlined by Beijing as marking the territory that it has claim over in the South China Sea. China and Taiwan, however, rejected this ruling. The report did not specify whether these sources were affiliated with Rosneft, China, or Vietnam, or were knowledgeable outside observers.

"We urge relevant parties to earnestly respect China's sovereign and jurisdictional rights and not do anything that could impact bilateral relations or this region's peace and stability", Lu said. The cancellation could cost the company up to $200 million in investments, including $41 million spent on exploring the area. There is no sign of any concern in the company's press release with the latest drilling update, but another oil company, Repsol, got burned not long ago when it tried to drill in the Vietnamese shelf.

The line, which has been met with strong opposition from the global community, overlaps with claims by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan, and violates Vietnam's sovereignty over its waters in the South China Sea.

Last Sunday, police at Cam Ranh International Airport in the central province of Khanh Hoa discovered 14 Chinese tourists passing through immigration wearing T-shirts with a Chinese map that violates Vietnam's sovereignty.

While it is illegal for someone in Vietnam to demonstrate the nine-dash line, there is now no specific legal regulation to handle this situation, according to provincial officials.

Vietnamese social media users were enraged by images of the T-shirt and demanded the immediate deportation of the tourists.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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