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Editor’s Note: The following report is excerpted from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium online newsletter published by the founder of WND. Subscriptions are $99 a year or, for monthly trials, just $9.95 per month for credit card users, and provide instant access for the complete reports.
WASHINGTON – China has shown uncharacteristic behavior in pushing its weight around with its neighbors over access and control of what supposedly are vast offshore oil and gas deposits in the East and South China Seas, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Now, scientists say that the deposits in the disputed areas may be vast, or they may not be.
However, questions are being raised that no matter how much there may be, how should it be allocated to China as well as neighbors Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia.
China’s lust for increased energy in the future also could present a competition for resources from other parts of the world, especially in Africa and increasingly in Latin America.
That competition already has begun, especially as demand rises in China and in another highly populated country – India – as it seeks greater consumption due to industrialization and the demand for cars.
Indeed, India already has begun to venture into China’s sphere of influence by teaming up with Vietnam to explore for needed oil and gas in disputed waters.
Scientists from the U.S. Energy Information Administration say there are an estimated 11 billion barrels of proven and probable oil deposits in the South China Sea, along with 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, which in comparable energy terms amounts to the equivalent of some 33 billion barrels of oil.
China’s annual consumption is some 3.5 billion barrels of oil and the gas equivalent of another 800 million barrels. By 2030, that demand will grow by 70 percent to six billion barrels a year. It also will be consuming some 11 trillion cubic feet of natural gas a year.
Scientists say that given the proven and probable reserves in the South China Sea, it would mean that China would have less than two years of what China will need by 2035 and only 17 years of natural gas to meet demand.
China can only hope that there will be some other deposits to be found but haven’t yet. The U.S. Geological Services says there may be another 16 billion barrels of oil and 145 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, or the equivalent of some 25 billion barrels of oil.
An important reason why the undiscovered oil and gas hasn’t yet been found is because sovereignty disputes have prevented oil companies from exploration, according to David Brown, former U.S. diplomat who specializes on Vietnam.
He said this includes the billions of barrels of potential oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas that is believed to be around the disputed Spratley Islands area. A number of countries, including China, want to lay claim to these maritime resources.
Another problem is that these potential deposits are at such great depths and in formations too complex to be worth the trouble given today’s technology capabilities and the price for energy.
To press its claims of jurisdiction over the South China Sea, however, Beijing wants to believe there may be considerably more oil and natural gas beneath the South China Sea.
Based on its own analysts, China assesses that there may be some 125 billion barrels of oil and some 93 billion barrels of oil equivalent in natural gas.
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