Japan worried about China shipping pipes to East China Sea

Oct 07, 2005 02:00 AM

China is shipping pipes to disputed fields in the East China Sea that will likely be used to transport oil and natural gas to the mainland, Japan's Trade Minister Shoichi Nakagawa said.
“It would be a problem if China is doing this after we requested a halt to production,'' Nakagawa said. It is “highly possible'' the pipes will be used to send oil and gas to China as “there are too many just for developing fields.''

Asia's two biggest oil consumers agreed on Oct. 1 to hold talks in Beijing on issues including possible joint development of energy resources in disputed areas of the East China Sea. Japan wants China to cease production that it says will siphon gas from Japanese territory.
Japan and China are sparring over energy rights in the East China Sea because they've yet to agree on the location of their sea border. China claims its territory extends to the end of the continental shelf, while Japan says the sea border is the median line, or halfway between the countries' shores.

During a third-round of talks Sept. 30 to Oct. 1, Japan proposed a plan to jointly develop four fields: Chunxiao, Duanqiao, Tianwaitian and Longjing.
“We saw at least one ship.'' Nakagawa said. It was “heading toward the Chunxiao and Tianwaitian fields.'' Nakagawa said he's heard China plans to connect those two fields with the Pinghu field to ship oil through an existing pipeline to Shanghai.

He also said China will build a pipeline linking the Chunxiao and Tianwaitian fields and build another link from Tianwaitian to ship gas to the city of Ninbo.
The Pinghu field, located about 365 km offshore Shanghai in the East China Sea, began supplying gas to the city in April 1999.

Source: Bloomberg
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