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Chinese Oil Rig Withdraws From Vietnamese Waters

After months of drama over the Chinese oil rig that had encroached on Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone, Xinhua News Agency reports that the platform has finished its exploration and is on the move.

The rig, HD-981, had sparked a diplomatic spat between China and Vietnam since it arrived in Vietnamese waters on May 2, drawing international condemnation. Domestically, the rig’s presence had resulted in self-immolation, some unique pizzas and sunken ships.

According to Reuters

“Xinhua said the US$1 billion (S$1.24 billion) deepwater rig was scheduled to be relocated to what it called the Hainan Lingshui project operations. It gave no date or location for the platform's next job, although Lingshui is a region on the coast of China's southern Hainan island.”

Xinhua quoted a statement from China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), the dominant oil and gas producer in China, as saying signs of oil and gas were found during drilling. It did not give any indication of the estimated quantity or accessibility of reserves.

"The company will assess the data collected and decide on the next step," the statement said."

Whether the move is a result of a recent U.S. Senate resolution or the impending typhoon, hopefully it will thaw the chilly relations between Hanoi and Beijing.

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