Table 6

Table 6. Disputes over Drilling and Exploration in the South China Sea 

Date Countries Disputes
1992 China, Vietnam China signs a contract with U.S. firm Crestone in May to explore for oil near the Spratly Islands in an area that Vietnam says is located on its continental shelf, over 600 miles south of China’s Hainan Island. In September, Vietnam accuses China of drilling for oil in Vietnamese waters in the Gulf of Tonkin.
1994 China, Vietnam Crestone joins with a Chinese partner to explore China’s Wan’ Bei-21 (WAB-21 block. Vietnam protests that the exploration is in Vietnamese waters in their blocks 133, 134, and 135.
1996 China, Vietnam Vietnam leases exploration blocks to U.S. firm Conoco in April. Vietnamese blocks 133 and 134 cover half the zone leased to Crestone by China. In May, China reaffirms a national law claiming the South China Sea as its own.
1997 China, Vietnam Vietnamese protest after Chinese Kantan-3 oil rig drills near Spratly Islands in March. The drilling occurrs offshore Da Nang, in an area Vietnam calls Block 113. The block is located 64 nautical miles off Chan May cape in Vietnam, and 71 nautical miles off China’s Hainan Island. 

  Source: “South China Sea Region,” United States Energy Information Administration, Country Analysis Briefs, August 1998

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