PetroVietnam asks foreign firms not to bid on offshore blocks illegally offered by China

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The Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam or PVN) has asked foreign companies not to bid on nine offshore blocks in the East Sea offered by China because they are located in Vietnamese waters.

Do Van Hau, PVN chief executive, said in a letter (dated June 29) sent to some international oil contractors that the blocks lie deep within the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf of Vietnam as regulated by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Hau said PVN and its foreign partners have already been operating in the area for many years, and would continue their operations as normal.

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PVN stressed that the area is not a disputed area and that China's state owned National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) does not have the right to arrange oil blocks or offer them to international companies for bidding.

It slammed China's open call for bids in the area as "an illegal activity which seriously violates international law and Vietnam's rights to sovereignty and jurisdiction and its legitimate national interests."

PVN said it demands that CNOOC rescinds its illegal call for bids.

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