Signs of oil and gas have been found by a Chinese rig that was drilling off a disputed island chain in the South China Seas, according to Chinese state media.The drilling area does have the basic conditions and potential for oil exploration, Wang Zhen, deputy director of CNPC Policy Research Office, told Xinhua.
The drilling operation, known as the Zhongjiannan Project, was completed on July 15, according to the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). The state-owned energy company will further analyze the collected geological data before announcing their next steps.
When China dispatched the oil rig on May 2 to begin drilling near the Paracel Islands in the South China Seas, the move kicked off a series of confrontations between Chinese and Vietnamese vessels in the area. Both nations claim ownership over the chain China refers to as the Xisha islands.