Jul 18, 2011 02:12 PM

Blue Waters, Black Oil in the South China Sea


No Asian country with territorial claims in the blue waters of the South China Sea – and claims to the black oil far beneath the waves – has installed a single oil drill in the heart of the disputed region.

To date, only the sea's continental shelves and coasts of sea-bordering countries have been explored and exploited for oil and natural gas. These sites can be found off the eastern shores of Vietnam, east of Malaysia, north of Indonesia and Brunei, west of the Philippines, and south of China.

International oil giants dominate oil and gas production contracts signed with Southeast Asian countries around the South China Sea. The most radical development has been in Vietnam, where the former Mobil Oil Corp. was the first to discover oil off the southern coast in 1975.

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