Geologists in China have discovered 38 oil and gas basins in the northern South China Sea and plan to explore them this year.

Vice-minister of Land and Resources Wang Min told China Daily that the ministry would carry out comprehensive geological and environmental inspections at key offshore areas including the northern South China Sea, the southern Yellow Sea and areas near the southern China island of Hainan.

The geologists have also discovered onshore oil and gas deposits near Songliao Basin and Yin’e Basin in northern China, and Qiangtang Basin on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, according to Wang.

The exact locations of the oil and gas deposits were not disclosed because of security reasons.