The Vietnam Petroleum Association (VPA) has said that the Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation’s (CNOOC) announcement to invite international bids for nine oil and gas lots within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf seriously violates Vietnam’s sovereignty.
In a Declaration on the issue released on June 29, the VPA affirmed that CNOOC invited international bids for nine lots located within Vietnam ’s 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone and continental shelf which are absolutely not disputed areas.
It says that a check on the coordinates of the lots released by China revealed that the lots are situated deep within the area of Vietnam ’s continental shelf, and overlap lots 128 to 132 and 145 to 156 where the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) has been operating for a considerable time.
The association said the CNOOC’s invitation of international bids for exploration and production at nine oil and gas lots (with a total area of 160,129.38 sq km) on its website, in both English and Chinese languages, on June 23 2012, is an illegal act of no value, contrary to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and not commensurate with international oil and gas practice.
“This act gravely violates Vietnam ’s sovereign rights, jurisdictional rights and national interests, complicating the situation and fanning tensions in the East Sea ,” said the VPA.
The VPA strongly condemns the Chinese company’s action and requests that it immediately cease the unlawful bid invitation, strictly comply with the agreements on basic principles guiding the settlement of Vietnam-China sea issues, and respect international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea.
VPA requests international oil and gas companies not to join the bidding for nine oil and gas lots invited by CNOOC which are situated within Vietnam ’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.
VPA always attaches importance to promoting traditional friendship and cooperation between the Vietnamese and Chinese people, and those others working in the oil and gas field on the basis of respecting national independence, sovereignty and the territorial integrity of countries, respecting international law, contributing to maintaining peace and security in the region.
VPA welcomes CNOOC, other Chinese oil and gas companies and international oil and gas businesses to join cooperatively in Vietnam ’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, on the basis of respecting Vietnam ’s sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdictional rights in line with Vietnamese and international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
On its part, VPA will coordinate with relevant Vietnamese agencies to provide support and ensure that these cooperative activities are implemented smoothly.-VNA