Exploration & Production

ExxonMobil could spark Chinese fury over Blue Whale

The giant gas field offshore Vietnam is near waters claimed by China, presenting significant geopolitical risks to its development The giant gas field offshore Vietnam is near waters claimed by China, presenting significant geopolitical risks to its development.
By Damon Evans 11 October 2018 0 32863
Talisman Energy and Repsol exploring offshore Vietnam. (Repsol/Flickr)

Beijing is closely watching progress on the ExxonMobil-led Blue Whale gas development offshore Vietnam, as the project is near waters claimed by China in the South China Sea. 

Although the giant field, which holds an estimated 150 billion cubic metres of gas reserves, does not technically fall within China’s controversial ‘nine-dash line’, drilling carried out by Exxon will drain the same basin China was exploring in 2014 with its Haiyang Shiyou 981 drilling unit. And this could trigger Beijing’s ire.

If China adopts a hardline approach...