With the potential for the South China Sea to posses numerous petroleum resources we will continue to see disputes over which countries claim sovereignty for the land and minerals rights for economic gain. In this article China's national offshore oil company (CNOOC) had opened nineteen blocks for bidding by international oil companies. Vietnam responded by asking China to cease all operations that violate Vietnam's sovereignty. The combination of economic and political power associated with this conflict could be the beginning of a string of more serious conflicts surrounding the offshore assets in the region. These assets have been assessed to be as large as 200+ billion barrels of oil. Let's hope these issues are addressed in a responsible and timely manner. Considering the demand for international companies to avoid such geopolitical risks it seems plausible that the dispute will be resolved.