Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tensions heat up over oil, gas in South China Sea

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Tensions between China and other nations bordering the South China Sea are escalating, with the oil and gas resources that lie beneath those waters playing a central role.

Conservative projections estimate that the South China Sea contains 4.8 billion barrels of oil and 64 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, according to the United States Geological Survey. That's equivalent to Alaska's discovered oil reserves, and more than the discovered gas reserves in the Gulf of Mexico.

China, Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia have long been in a dispute over who controls the region's vast resources. At issue is not just oil and gas, but also fishing and mineral rights.

China says that it has rights to just about all of the sea's resources, and its neighbors allege that it's been acting in a hostile manner as a result. Read More