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September 30, 2010

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Deep-sea drill planned

SHANGHAI is planning to build the nation's first deep-sea drilling vessel, scientists said yesterday as the Shanghai Ocean Technology Research Center started pilot operations.

The vessel will be the world's third, after the United States and Japan.

The ocean research center will cooperate with other science centers and government departments to construct the deep-sea drilling ship, a sea-floor observatory network and deep-diving vehicles when the nation's 12th five-year plan kicks off next year.

Scientists are expected to spend 10 years and 10 billion yuan (US$1.5 billion) on the deep-sea projects.

"Deep-sea projects are very meaningful to China for ocean resource exploration, protection and development; disaster prevention and control; and ocean environment monitoring under the impact of human being's activity and climate change," said Wang Pinxian, director of Shanghai Ocean Technology Research Center's expert commission.

Experts said the drilling vessel is essential if China is to pursue its ambitions for extracting petroleum, natural gas and flammable ice and other ocean resources, and for developing new marine energy sources and deep-sea genetic research.

Shanghai is also stepping up the construction of the East China Sea sea floor observatory network.

The city built a small sea-floor observatory spot in the the sea last year and is experimenting on key technologies for a long-term observatory network in the shallow sea area. "Experiments will be done in the deep sea in the South China Sea next year for a wide-coverage observatory network," Wang said.


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