China, Vietnam at odds over offshore oil rig in disputed waters
Tensions are growing between China and Vietnam after the Chinese placed an oil exploration rig in the South China Sea close to the Paracel Islands, which are claimed by both countries.
Vietnam officials are saying that Chinese ships rammed Vietnamese boats and fired water cannons at them. Chinese officials are claiming that Vietnamese ships smashed into Chinese vessels at least 171 times in the past week.
The United States State Department has condemned China for putting the oil rig into disputed waters. “China’s decision to introduce an oil rig accompanied by numerous government vessels for the first time in waters disputed with Vietnam is provocative and raises tensions. This unilateral action appears to be part of a broader pattern of Chinese behavior to advance its claims over disputed territory in a manner that undermines peace and stability in the region,” said Jen Psaki, U.S. State Department spokesperson.
According to Kyodo News, Japan is also strongly concerned about the mounting tensions in the South China Sea due to China’s unilateral exploration.
Yi XianLiang, China’s deputy director general of Boundary and Ocean Affairs, told a press briefing that China Oilfield Services’s drilling was legitimate and inside China’s sovereign territory and that Chinese companies had been operating in the area for a decade and the recent drilling was a “routine continuation” of that, as reported by Bloomberg News.
Ownership of territories in the South China Sea has been disputed between Asian countries for decades. But now that there is a potential for a major oil field find, tensions are more intense and relationships strained.
Estimates are that there could be approximately 11 billion barrels (bbl) of oil reserves and 190 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas reserves in the South China Sea, according to the Energy Information Administration. But energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie estimates the sea to contain only 2.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent in proved oil and gas reserves.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.