PetroVietnam Seeks Partners at Home, Abroad for Oil, Gas Development

PetroVietnam is seeking partners to expand its oil and natural gas production at home and internationally to meet Vietnam's growing economy and energy needs, said company officials at the Offshore Technology Conference Monday in Houston.

Vietnam's rising energy demand, which has grown at a rate of 15 percent per year, has prompted the country to seek to aggressively increase its overseas exploration budget. That demand lagged some in the past two years, but is expected to rise again in 2013, said PetroVietnam officials in a panel discussion.

Total oil production in Vietnam has grown to 320,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd)) of sweet crude. PetroVietnam aims to ramp up its production from 120,000 bopd this year to 180,000 bopd in 2015 to 470,000 bopd in 2025. PetroVietnam currently produces 1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of gas; plans call for that production to grow to 1.5 Bcf/d within the next four to five years as the company fully develops its offshore gas resources.          

The company started pursuing offshore exploration and production globally in the early 2000s, and now participates in 20 projects in 15 countries globally, including South America, North Africa, Central and Southeast Asia. The company now has 90 production sharing agreements with partners in Vietnam and overseas. PetroVietnam aims to increase its international production from 26,000 bopd to 60,000 bopd by 2015, with first production expected from projects in Peru, Algeria and Russia in November of this year and in 2014 and 2015.

Domestic exploration efforts have focused on Vietnam's offshore continental shelf, but officials say the nation's has significant untapped ultra-deepwater potential with undiscovered resources of 3.250 million cubic meters (114.8 million cubic feet), said Do Van Hau, president and CEO of PetroVietnam. The company is seeking partners to help it address the challenging challenges of producing natural gas with high carbon dioxide content.

The company has interests available in acreage in Uzbekistan and Myanmar; PetroVietnam is negotiating with a partner for its Myanmar interest.

Hau said the company does not have any plans at this time to drill in Cuba. Reuters reported last year that PetroVietnam was considering drilling offshore Cuba in 2013.


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