China is getting a 2 percent discount compared to the rest of the world on crude oil from Vietnam.
Vietnam lost as much as $15 million from crude oil exports to China in the first eight months after charging its northern neigbor a much lower rate than the global market price.
The country exported 4.9 million tons of crude oil at $408 per ton to other markets, but only charged $400 per ton for the 1.7 million tons it exported to China, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.
Tensions remain high between Vietnam and China over the East Sea, the Vietnamese reference for the South China Sea, regarding overlapping maritime claims.
China claims almost 90 percent of the potentially energy rich ocean, despite competing claims from Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan. The waters are thought to hold vast untapped reserves of oil and natural gas that could potentially place those who control of them in league with the likes of Saudi Arabia, Russia and Qatar.