28 August 2015
India’s state-owned Oil & Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) plans to revive exploration activity in waters off Vietnam’s coastline that are also claimed by China, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said.
The company has approval from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration to drill exploratory wells in a disputed part of the South China Sea that it acquired rights to in 2006, the person said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are confidential. ONGC last attempted drilling in 2009, three years before China invited bids for the same area.
The move to assert India’s commercial rights in a contested area may be a sign Modi is joining the US and other Asia-Pacific nations to check China’s territorial ambitions. Previous efforts by Vietnam and the Philippines to explore in disputed parts of the South China Sea have led to clashes with China.
… “It’s clear that India has interests in the South China Sea as is evident by deepening maritime relations with the US and Japan,” said Ralf Emmers, associate dean at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. “And certainly China has been more active in the Indian Ocean, making Delhi a bit nervous.”
CMS / GPO / RSIS / Online
Last updated on 31/08/2015