Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
by Staff Writers
Taipei (AFP) Dec 28, 2012
Taiwan plans to start exploring for oil and gas in the South China Sea from next year, an official and local media said Friday, 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.
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|