China Confirms Oil Rig In South China Sea Removed

by Niam Seet Wei

BEIJING, July 16 (Bernama) -- China confirmed that drilling operations in South China Sea had seized and the oil rig removed from the disputed waters on July 15.

China had deployed a giant oil rig, HYSY 981, on May 2 near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, which was also claimed by Vietnam.

The drilling operations which started on May 2, was completed successfully on July 15, as scheduled, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement released on Wednesday.

Hong said the companies would analyse and assess the geological data obtained and plan on the next step.

State-run Xinhua news agency on Tuesday reported China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), one of the country leading oil companies in the country, announced it had terminated drilling and exploration due to the start of the typhoon season in July.

Ties between China and Vietnam have remained strained after the world's second largest economy deployed an oil rig in waters which were also claimed by Vietnam.

A series of anti-China protests triggered in Vietnam following the deployment of the Chinese oil rig in the disputed waters.

More than a dozen foreign-owned factories were torched in the protest.


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