Posted: January 1st, 2015 | Tags: Al Jazeera, China, China National Offshore Oil Corporation, CNOOC, CNOOC 981, deepwater, energy, Haiyang Shiyou 981, oil and gas, South China Sea, territorial disputes | No Comments »
Since I wrote this for Al Jazeera English in March 2013, China’s growing deepwater ambitions have ratcheted up tensions in the South China Sea. Last year China’s main offshore energy explorer CNOOC launched its first deepwater natural gas project in the South China Sea, and then triggered a months-long maritime standoff with Vietnam by towing its biggest oil rig into Vietnamese waters.
CNOOC, owned and controlled by the Chinese central government, sees the underexplored, tempestuous deep waters of the South China Sea as a source of future oil and gas production growth. Its existing fields are mature and are in decline. Venturing further afield is the company’s best hope.