China to ONGC: bu pao

The South China Sea

Image via Wikipedia

With gas prices at the pump close to $6 to a gallon and a bulk of its energy being imported, India is out exploring for oil. However, it has hit a wall in its efforts, a Chinese-wall, if you will:

India is being pulled into a complex and increasingly tense territorial dispute in the South China Sea, with China repeatedly warning ONGC, the Indian state oil company, that its joint exploration plans with Vietnam amount to a violation of Chinese sovereignty.

The South China Sea, which Beijing claims almost in its entirety, is thought to be rich in oil and gas and is one of the world’s most important shipping routes. And is increasingly becoming one of the region’s major potential flashpoints.

ONGC’s overseas arm, ONGC Videsh, accounts for much of India’s investment in Vietnam. It operates one gas field—Block 06.1 in the Nam Con Son basin off Vietnam’s south coast—in a joint venture with TNK-BP and PetroVietnam, which China has not protested over.

While the world is busy with the old world’s problems, this has the potential to turn real ugly real fast.

Read more here.

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