China could again be giving ExxonMobil the jitters after the former reiterated its stance against companies drilling in the disputed South China Sea.
Eoin O’Cinneide & news wires 31 October 2011 10:58 GMT
The warning from China’s foreign ministry on Monday comes shortly after ExxonMobil revealed it had struck hydrocarbons in a disputed region off Vietnam.
“China has indisputable sovereignty over the Spratly Islands and adjacent waters,” Reuters quoted Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Hong Lei, as saying at a regular briefing.
“We hope foreign companies do not get involved in disputed waters for oil and gas exploration and development. This position has been consistent.”
Hong did not, however, single out ExxonMobil for criticism. The US supermajor has licences from Vietnam to explore at numerous blocks off Danang.
Last week ExxonMobil announced it had made a discovery at a well, drilled in August, in Block 118 off Danang in the Phu Khanh basin.
PetroVietnam, ExxonMobil’s production partner in the well, called it a gas discovery, according to a report in the Financial Times last week.
Sources recently told Upstream in September that ExxonMobil plans to drill at least one more exploration well in the block.