Taiwan plans oil, gas exploration in South China Sea

Taiwan plans to start exploring for oil and gas in the South China Sea from next year, according to an official and local media, in a development that could increase tensions in the contested waters.

The Bureau of Mines and state-run oil supplier CPC Corp are expected to kick off exploration in 2013 in the sea around Taiping, the biggest islet in the Spratly archipelago, the United Daily News website and other media reported.

Jerry Ou, head of the Bureau of Energy, announced the plan Thursday in parliament, the paper said, adding that a budget of Tw$17 million ($585,000) had been set aside for the project.

"At the moment, it's something that's being planned by the government, and we haven't received any details yet," an official with CPC Corp told AFP, declining to be named.

The Bureau of Energy declined comment, while the Bureau of Mining was not immediately available for a reaction to the report.

Taiwan, which does not have any oil resources of its own and is dependent on imports mainly from the Middle East and Africa, would seem to have solid economic reasons for looking for new energy reserves.

However, carrying out oil and gas exploration in the Spratlys could ratchet up tensions, as the islands are claimed entirely or in part by Taiwan, Brunei, China, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

All claimants except Brunei have troops based on the group of more than 100 islets, reefs and atolls, which are spread across a vast area but have a total land mass of less than five square kilometres (two square miles).

Taiwan maintains a small coastguard garrison on Taiping, 1,400 kilometres (870 miles) from its southern coast, and earlier this year sent new mortar and anti-aircraft systems to the islet, angering Vietnam.

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • What can void a new car warranty? James Deakin - Wheel Power
    What can void a new car warranty?

    "I was denied warranty once for changing my horn!" One very annoyed reader wrote. "I was told that placing a backup camera will void my warranty" said another. The others are best left in my private inbox as Yahoo! have a swear jar in the office that I do not feel like donating this week's pay to. Continue reading → …

  • Docu exposes destruction of PH marine resources VERA Files - The Inbox
    Docu exposes destruction of PH marine resources

    By Kiersnerr Gerwin B. Tacadena, VERA Files “Gutom (hunger),” Sen. Loren Legarda said is what’s in store for the Filipino people if destruction of the country's marine resources is not stopped. Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on Environment and Natural … Continue reading → …

  • ‘Yolanda’ fiberglass boats modern-day Noah’s ark VERA Files - The Inbox
    ‘Yolanda’ fiberglass boats modern-day Noah’s ark

    By Jane Dasal, VERA Files If you want to save the earth, build a boat. That's what a group of environmentalists is saying, especially if you want to save both the forests and fishermen affected by supertyphoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan). “Haiyan … Continue reading → …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options