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22 August 2010 @ 12:15 am
Южно-Китайское море  
Площадь — 3 537 289 км², максимальная глубина — 5560 м, Температура воды на поверхности в феврале от 20 °С на севере до 27 °С на юге, в августе достигает 28-29 °С по всей площади. Соленость воды — 32-34 ‰. Летом и осенью частые тайфуны.

Острова, лежащие по сторонам Главного морского пути, имеют различное строение. Парасельские острова (Сиша) и острова Спратли (Наньша) низкие, сложены из кораллового песка и покрыты низкорослой растительностью. Между ними лежит много коралловых рифов, банок и подводных атоллов. Особенно много рифов среди островов Наньша, обширный район которых почти не обследован.

Грунт на больших глубинах — ил и песок, а вблизи островов и рифов — коралл. В южной части пути преобладает ил, песок и ракушка, на банках — коралл, а у берегов скалистых островов встречается скалистый грунт.


The sea lies above a drowned continental shelf; during recent ice ages global sea level was hundreds of metres lower, and Borneo was part of the Asian mainland.
The South China Sea opened after around 45 million years ago when the Dangerous Grounds were rifted away from southern China. Extension culminated in seafloor spreading around 30 million years ago, a process that propagated to the SW resulting in the V-shaped basin we see today. Extension ceased around 17 million years ago. Arguments have continued about the role of tectonic extrusion in forming the basin.

It is an extremely significant body of water in a geopolitical sense. It is the second most used sea lane in the world, while in terms of world annual merchant fleet tonnage, over 50% passes through the Strait of Malacca, the Sunda Strait, and the Lombok Strait.
Over 1.6 million m³ (10 million barrels) of crude oil a day are shipped through the Strait of Malacca, where there are regular reports of piracy, but much less frequently than before the mid-20th century.
The region has proven oil reserves of around 1.2 km³ (7.7 billion barrels), with an estimate of 4.5 km³ (28 billion barrels) in total.
Natural gas reserves are estimated to total around 7,500 km³ (266 trillion cubic feet).


Южно-Китайское море


Oil & Natural Gas

The focus of most attention regarding the South China Sea's (SCS) resources has been on hydrocarbons, especially oil. Oil reserve estimates for the entire SCS region vary. One Chinese estimate suggests potential oil resources as high as 213 billion barrels of oil (bbl). A 1993/1994 estimate by the U.S. Geological Survey estimated the sum total of discovered reserves and undiscovered resources in the offshore basins of the SCS at 28 billion bbl.

The fact that surrounding areas are rich in oil deposits has led to speculation that the Spratly Islands could be an untapped oil-bearing province. There is little evidence outside of Chinese claims to support the view that the region contains substantial oil resources. One of the more moderate Chinese estimates suggested that potential oil resources (not proved reserves) of the Spratly and Paracel Islands could be as high as 105 billion bbl. Due to the lack of exploratory drilling, there are no proven oil reserve estimates for the Spratly or Paracel Islands.

Natural Gas
Natural gas might be the most abundant hydrocarbon resource in the SCS. Most of the hydrocarbon fields explored in the SCS regions of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines contain natural gas, not oil. Estimates by the U.S. Geological Survey and others indicate that about 60 to 70 percent of the region's hydrocarbon resources are natural gas.

As with oil, estimates of the SCS’ natural gas resources vary widely. One Chinese estimate for the entire SCS estimates natural gas reserves to be 2 quadrillion cubic feet. Another Chinese report estimates 225 billion barrels of oil equivalent in the Spratly Islands alone. If 70 percent of these hydrocarbons are gas as some studies suggest, total gas resources (as opposed to proved reserves) would be almost 900 trillion cubic feet (Tcf). In April 2006, Husky Energy working with the Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation announced a find of proven natural gas reserves of nearly 4 to 6 Tcf near the Spratly Islands.

Field ownership is an important point to be clarified prior to production in any area of the world (please refer to South China Sea Territorial Issues for an overview, or click here for a map detailing fields and boundary disputes). Despite the contested nature of the SCS, production is being undertaken by the following countries:

Indonesia: claims the natural gas-rich fields offshore of the Natuna Islands. As of 2008, the fields are estimated to have close to 46 Tcf of recoverable reserves. Indonesia’s claim was undisputed until China released an official map with unclear maritime boundaries indicating that Chinese-claimed waters in the South China Sea may extend into the waters around the Natuna Islands. Indonesia responded in 1996 by holding large military exercises in the Natuna Islands region. Since then, Indonesia has begun major natural gas production in the Natuna area without China voicing any objection. Indonesia has been exporting Natuna gas to Singapore’s Jurong island via a 400-mile undersea pipeline since 2001.

Philippines: The Filipino Malampaya and Camago fields are in waters claimed by China. Both fields are estimated to contain a combined amount of 2.3 to 4.4 Tcf of natural gas reserves. The Philippines has proceeded with development of the fields and linked the gas output to three power plants via a 312-mile pipeline. There have been no objections from China regarding this development. The Malampaya field has an estimated 150 million bbl of oil; as of January 2008, plans were underway to begin international bidding rounds for development of the field.

Malaysia: Many Malaysian natural gas fields located offshore Sarawak are also claimed by China, but to date, China has not specifically objected to their development. Discoveries of oil in 2002 and 2004 (by Murphy Oil and Shell Malaysia, respectively) off the coast of Sabah have contributed to the dispute between Malaysia and Brunei over offshore rights. Brunei had asserted a 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off its coastline in 2000. Negotiations between the two governments to resolve the issue are ongoing.



Южно-Китайское море



China’s Offshore, Heating Up


Спорные территории
South China Sea Territorial Issues
Regional Conflict and Resolution

Several countries have made competing territorial claims over the South China Sea. Such disputes have been regarded as Asia's most potentially dangerous point of conflict. Both People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC) claim almost the entire body as their own, which claims overlap with virtually every other country in the region. Competing claims include:
Indonesia, China, and Taiwan over waters NE of the Natuna Islands
The Philippines, China, and Taiwan over the Malampaya and Camago gas fields.
The Philippines, China, and Taiwan over Scarborough Shoal.
Vietnam, China, and Taiwan over waters west of the Spratly Islands. Some or all of the islands themselves are also disputed between Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Brunei, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
The Paracel Islands are disputed between the PRC/ROC and Vietnam.
Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam over areas in the Gulf of Thailand.
Singapore and Malaysia along the Strait of Johore and the Strait of Singapore.

China and Vietnam have both been vigorous in prosecuting their claims. The Paracel Islands were invaded (Vietnam's view) by China in 1974 and 18 soldiers were killed. The Spratly Islands have been the site of a naval clash, in which over seventy Vietnamese sailors were killed just south of Chigua Reef in March 1988. Disputing claimants regularly report clashes between naval vessels.

Острова Спратли, расположенные в Южно-Китайском море (около 115°E 10°N), необитаемы и оспариваются Брунеем (морская часть), Китаем, Малайзией (частично), Филиппинами (частично), Тайванем и Вьетнамом.
До недавнего времени на острова претендовали также Франция, Япония, Португалия, Испания, Великобритания.
Острова были испанской территорией по Тордесильскому соглашению 1494 года, перешелшей в 1898 году Филиппинам по Парижскому договору. Япония предъявила в 1951 году свои претензии на острова, а в 1957 США начали постройку своей военно-воздушной базы на островах. В 1971 году острова были оккупированы Тайванем.



Парацельсовы острова расположены в Южно-Китайском море (около 114°E 15°N). Острова необитаемы и оспариваются Китаем, Тайванем и Вьетнамом.


Южно-Китайское море


China, Philippines stoke island tensions

Geological evolution, palaeogeography and tectonics of East and Southeast Asia in relation to the evolution of Gondwanaland and Tethys