Tuesday, May 21, 2019

China's Arctic Drilling Rig Makes Another Major Natural Gas Discovery

Two from the Barents Observer. First up, May 20:

Chinese rig makes second large discovery in Russian Arctic waters
The «Nan Hai Ba Hao» has found more than a trillion cubic meters of natural gas in the Kara Sea. The rig will be back in the area this summer.

The 15,469 deadweight ton installation has made it from the South China Sea to the Russian Arctic two years in a row. In 2017, it drilled in the Leningradskoye license area in the Kara Sea and expanded the resource potential of the structure by more than 850 million cubic meters of gas to a total of 1,9 trillion cubic meters. The year afterwards, it was back in the area to drill in the nearby Rusanvoskoye area. Both operations were made in cooperation with Russia’s natural gas company Gazprom.

The Russian company now confirms that the well drilling at the Rusanvoskoye revealed 390,2 billion cubic meters of gas. The discovery has been named after Soviet Minister of Energy V.A Dinkov and is located at 72 degrees North about 100 km off the west coast of the Yamal Peninsula.
With the discovery of the V.A Dinkov field, the Chinese rig has made two of Russia’s biggest offshore findings over the last decade. The accumulated resources of the discoveries amount to more than 1,2 trillion cubic meters of natural gas....MORE
And May 11
China seeks a more active role in the Arctic 
China defines itself as a near-Arctic state and says it will actively participate with wisdom and strength to future protection and development. 
Roger that, wisdom and strength, over.

Flashback, June 2018:
...On the other hand, if you read Xinhua's translation of January's "Full text: China's Arctic Policy" you'll note they call themselves a ‘Near-Arctic state’.
This is to counter people like me using the 'non-polar' or 'non-Arctic' phrasing.

Additionally China is couching their interest in terms of research:
States from outside the Arctic region do not have territorial sovereignty in the Arctic, but they do have rights in respect of scientific research, navigation, overflight, fishing, laying of submarine cables and pipelines in the high seas and other relevant sea areas in the Arctic Ocean, and rights to resource exploration and exploitation in the Area, pursuant to treaties such as UNCLOS and general international law. In addition, Contracting Parties to the Spitsbergen Treaty enjoy the liberty of access and entry to certain areas of the Arctic, the right under conditions of equality and, in accordance with law, to the exercise and practice of scientific research, production and commercial activities such as hunting, fishing, and mining in these areas....
and is dedicating 1100 square feet of space on the latest planned icebreaker to laboratories.

For some reason I'm reminded of the time the Chinese bought their first aircraft carrier from Ukraine....

And May 5, 2019, I got your research:

"Pentagon warns of risk of Chinese submarines in the Arctic"

From the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, May 4:
China has shown interest in the region for years and may be mapping submarine routes....