VietNamNet Bridge – The Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) has invested in 17 overseas projects, mainly in the field of oil and gas exploration, an official has said.


Vu Van Nghiem, head of PetroVietnam’s management board of outbound projects, said these projects would add 170 million tons of oil equivalent (toe) to the group’s reserves.

The ton of oil equivalent (toe) is a unit of energy defined as the amount of energy released by burning one ton of crude oil. PetroVietnam has so far exploited 5.4 million toes from the overseas projects, with a total profit of $470 million against the $2.6 billion investment.   

Nguyen Quoc Thap, PetroVietnam’s Deputy general director, revealed that the group and Exxon Mobil of the US could collaborate to mine a new gas field off Vietnam’s central coast under a $10 billion project.

Thap said the Blue Whale gas field, located in the waters between the central provinces of Quang Ngai and Quang Nam, is the largest of its kind ever found in Vietnam.

The procedures are being implemented, and the gas exploited from the field will fuel a power plant ashore. The project has received support from top government officials, but there are still several challenges, including negotiations on gas selling prices, he added.

Under favorable conditions, it is hoped that the power plant can begin sourcing gas from the Blue Whale by 2021, he said.

Many PetroVietnam subsidiaries and affiliates are poised to go public under a government-ordered restructuring plan.

Binh Son Refinery and Petrochemical – the operator of the country’s sole refinery Dung Quat – Dung Quat Shipyard, and Ca Mau Fertilizer Co. will undergo a privatization process by 2015, while PetroVietnam Power and PetroVietnam Oil will go public after 2015, according to Nguyen Minh Hong, another deputy general director of PetroVietnam.

Hong also said that PetroVietnam is in talks to sell a 49 percent stake in Dung Quat Refinery, located in Quang Ngai, to a Russian company.

The negotiation is hoped to finish late this year or 2015, Hong said.