PetroVietnam says oil activities normal in East Sea

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The state-owned Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) said despite "complications" last year, it was business as usual for it in the East Sea.

Phung Dinh Thuc, the chief executive of PetroVietnam, which explores and drills oil in the sea, said at a press conference Monday that thanks to assistance from the ministries of public security, defense, and foreign affairs, its activities in the East Sea remained "quite smooth"

The company was operating within Vietnam's 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone, he said

On May 26 last year PetroVietnam vessel Binh Minh 2 had its exploration cables severed by a Chinese marine surveillance vessel some 120 nautical miles off the central Vietnamese coast.

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Two weeks later Viking II, a Norwegian ship contracted by a PetroVietnam joint venture, was also harassed by Chinese ships.

Later a visit to China in October by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong saw the signing of an agreement setting out a basic legal framework for negotiating and resolving sea disputes between the two countries.

China and Vietnam agreed to follow the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 2002 Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, also known as the South China Sea, while resolving disputes through negotiations.

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