Statoil Sells Vietnam Exploration Licenses

The government authority in Vietnam has authorized the transfer of Statoil's shares in Blocks 06-1 and 05-2 in the Nam Con Son Basin BP and other partners. Following the purchase, BP's shares of 26.67% in Block 06-1 and 66.7% in Block 05-2 have risen to 35% and 100% respectively. While Block 06-1 hosts the Lan Tay and Lan Do gas discoveries being developed as part of the Nam Con Son gas utilization project by a consortium of companies, Block 05-2 is still in an exploration phase. Statoil held a 13.33% equity in Block 06-1, which it earlier agreed to divest as 8.33% to BP and 5% to PetroVietnam, subject to government approval. Block 05-02 equity was shared as 33.3% and 66.7% by Statoil and BP.

Following the release of Statoil's interest, PetroVietnam's stake in Block 06-1 has risen to 20%. ONGC Videsh Ltd holds the remaining 45%. The Nam Con Son gas utilization project includes the development of some 2-trillion cu ft of gas reserves in the Lan Tay and Lan Do gas fields; the construction of a 400-km pipeline and accompanying facilities to bring the gas ashore; and the construction of gas-fired power plants for power generation at Phu My on the southern coast of Vietnam. Gas deliveries are expected to commence in the early part of 2002.

Statoil plans to completely exit Vietnam. The company announced its intention to liquidate its Vietnam portfolio earlier last year as a part of corporate restructuring.