China & the South China Sea
The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the South China Sea has potentially 21.6 billion barrels of oil and 299 trillion cubic feet of gas. Because of these potentially large reserves, countries in the area are disputing territorial claims.
Here is a map of the area with territorial claims:
As the map shows, China is claiming almost all of the area.
The U.S. is shifting some of its military assets to this region to prevent potential conflicts over territorial claims.
Analysts regard the area as Asia’s most-dangerous potential problem spot.
These global hot spots will continue to keep oil prices elevated and volatile.