Energy reserves contested in South China Sea

The conflict between Beijing and Hanoi over the energy reserves in the South China Sea, which had been simmering for a couple of months, entered a new phase when India’s ONGC announced going ahead with the exploratory drilling on the Vietnamese shelf regardless of the threats voiced by China.

The South China Sea shelf supposedly holds 30 billion tons of crude plus 16 trillion cu m of natural gas, and the conflict over the lucrative reserves surfaced after China’s CNOOC opened an international tender to develop nine blocks in the marine zone stretching across 160,100 square kilometers.

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