|Satellite data lift the veil on offshore platforms in the South China Sea|
Liu, Y.; Sun, C.; Sun, J.; Li, H.; Zhan, W.; Yang, Y.; Zhang, S. (2016). Satellite data lift the veil on offshore platforms in the South China Sea. NPG Scientific Reports 6(33623 ): 9 pp
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322, more
|Authors|| || Top |
- Liu, Y.
- Sun, C.
- Sun, J.
- Li, H.
- Zhan, W.
- Yang, Y.
- Zhang, S.
Oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea (SCS) has garnered global attention recently; however, uncertainty regarding the accurate number of offshore platforms in the SCS, let alone their detailed spatial distribution and dynamic change, may lead to significant misjudgment of the true status of offshore hydrocarbon production in the region. Using both fresh and archived space-borne images with multiple resolutions, we enumerated the number, distribution, and annual rate of increase of offshore platforms across the SCS. Our results show that: (1) a total of 1082 platforms are present in the SCS, mainly located in shallow-water; and (2) offshore oil/gas exploitation in the SCS is increasing in intensity and advancing from shallow to deep water, and even to ultra-deep-water. Nevertheless, our findings suggest that oil and gas exploration in the SCS may have been over-estimated by one-third in previous reports. However, this overestimation does not imply any amelioration of the potential for future maritime disputes, since the rate of increase of platforms in disputed waters is twice that in undisputed waters.