CNOOC, partners to survey Spratly Islands area

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 30 -- China National Offshore Oil Corp., Philippine National Oil Co., and Vietnam Oil & Gas Corp. have agreed to shoot marine seismic surveys around the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

CNOOC announced Aug. 26 that its subsidiary, China Oilfield Services Ltd., won a 2D seismic contract in bidding organized by the three national oil companies Aug. 8-12.

The bidding came after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and his Vietnamese counterpart, Phan Van Khai, agreed on July 4 that their countries, together with the Philippines, should jointly explore several disputed areas of the South China Sea (OGJ Online, July 5, 2005).

The companies will acquire 2D and 3D seismic data in the 140,000 sq km area over a 3-year period.

Brunei, Malaysia, and Taiwan also have claims to the Spratly Islands. All claimants, except Brunei, station troops on parts of the archipelago.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@spidernet.com.cy.

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