PetroVietnam last week objected to China’s invitation for international bids on nine blocks within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.
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PetroVietnam’s general director Do Van Hau said the area where China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) put out for an international bidding was entirely within Vietnam’s 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone and continental shelf in accordance with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
“This is absolutely not a disputed area and the area has been being explored by PetroVietnam and its foreign partners for long time,” Hau said.
“The open invitation of bids for an area in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf by China is an illegal activity of no value, which seriously violates the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and does not comply with international oil and gas practices,” read PetroVietnam’s statement.
“PetroVietnam strongly condemns and requests that CNOOC cease the above-mentioned illegal and wrongful bid invitation and strictly comply with the agreement on the basic principles guiding the implementation of Vietnam-China sea issue and respect international laws,” it said.
PetroVietnam also requested international oil companies not to participate in the bidding for those nine blocks.
Hau said that since those nine blocks were in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf PetroVietnam and its current partners would be not impacted by this violation.
“Ongoing activities and contracts which were signed previously in this area will be continued as normal,” Hau said.
Hau said four contracts were signed between PetroVietnam and its partners in this area. They are the contract with Russia’s GAZPROM in blocks129–132, a contract with India Oil and Natural Gas Corporation in block 128, contract with the US’s Exxon Mobil in blocks 156-59 and contract with PetroVietnam’s Exploration Production Corporation in blocks 148-149, all of those are in implementation.
Since June 23, 2012 CNOOC’s Chinese and English websites have announced the invitation of international bids for nine oil and gas blocks in the exploration production cooperation in 2012 with foreign companies.
The total area of these blocks is more than 160,000 square kilometres.