February 26, 2024
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Extension Granted: India’s ONGC Videsh Extends South China Sea Exploration by 3 Years

Indian energy company ONGC Videsh has successfully obtained a three-year extension from Vietnam to continue its exploration activities in ‘Block 128’ situated within the South China Sea. This announcement was made through a post on the social messaging platform X, previously known as Twitter.

The disputes over territorial claims in the South China Sea have a long history, but recent years have witnessed an escalation as nations like China and its counterparts have fortified their positions on the various rocks and reefs they control.

ONGC Videsh highlighted its unwavering strategic commitment as it embarks on its exploration venture with an eighth extension that extends until June 15, 2026. ONGC Videsh serves as the overseas investment division of India’s leading oil exploration entity, Oil and Natural Gas Corp.

In the past, India has engaged in diplomatic disagreements with China regarding its gas and oil exploration activities near the Vietnamese coastline. China asserts its rights over almost the entire resource-rich South China Sea and has notably increased its military presence within the region.

Part of ‘Block 128’ falls within the U-shaped “nine-dash line,” a demarcation that outlines China’s expansive claims in the sea—a vital passageway for over $5 trillion worth of trade annually. Notably, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and Taiwan also assert their respective claims in this area.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

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