On June 27, the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) held a press briefing on China’s invitation of international bids for 09 oil and gas blocks in an area that belongs to Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.
At the press briefing, PetroVietnam General Director Do Van Hau said that since June 23, CNOOC’s Chinese and English websites have announced the invitation of international bids for nine oil and gas blocks under the 2012 Exploration Production Cooperation with foreign companies. The total area of these blocks is 160,129 square kilometers.
After checking the coordinates announced by the Chinese site, it has been shown that these blocks lie deeply within the continental shelf of Vietnam, overlapping blocks 128 through to 132 and 145 to 156 with which PetroVietnam are already carrying out its oil and gas exploration activities.
PetroVietnam has delivered its formal statement as follows:
PetroVietnam affirms that the area where CNOOC put out for international bidding lies entirely within Vietnam’s 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone and continental shelf in accordance with the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. This is absolutely not a disputed area.
The openly invitation of bids for an area in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf by China seriously violates Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone, sovereignty rights and jurisdiction rights and legitimate national interest. It also complicates the situation and causes tensions in the East Sea.
PetroVietnam strongly condemns and requests that CNOOC cease the above-mentioned wrongful bid invitation and strictly comply with the agreement on the basic principles guiding the implementation of Vietnam-China sea issues, and respect international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).
PetroVietnam requests international oil companies not to participate in the bidding for 9 blocks in the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of Vietnam.
Vietnam always attaches importance to its friendship cooperation relations with China. PetroVietnam also treasures its cooperative partnership with CNOOC. PetroVietnam praises CNOOC and Chinese oil companies for their cooperation with it in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf as well as with other international oil companies.
As it has been affirmed, the above-mentioned area lies on Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. PetroVietnam and its partners will continue implementing petroleum activities in conformity with the signed oil and gas contracts and with Vietnam’s laws.
PetroVietnam will collaborate with Vietnamese relevant bodies to ensure the activities will go smoothly.
The same day, the Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented a diplomatic note to the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi protesting CNOOC’s erroneous activity.
The day earlier, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Luong Thanh Nghi said Vietnam vehemently condemns the action and requests China to cease and refrain from activities that complicate the situation in the East Sea by causing further disputes.
Mr Nghi also asked China to strictly comply with the agreement on the basic principles guiding the implementation of Vietnam-China sea issues, and to respect international laws in particular the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).