Vietnam Targets Oil and Gas Exploration in Sudan

State-owned Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) is interested in investing in oil and gas exploration and production in Sudan.

The Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade today expressed hopes that the Sudanese government and state-run Sudapet will create favorable conditions for PetroVietnam to invest in projects in the African country.

Do Huu Hao, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade met executives from Sudapet earlier this week in Hanoi, the ministry said in a statement released in Vietnam capital on Thursday.

Sudan now produces 500,000 barrels a day, most of which is exported to China, Japan and Indonesia.

In December, PetroVietnam and Sudapet signed an oil cooperation framework agreement. The pact will enable the two companies to jointly invest in oil and gas projects in Sudan, Vietnam and in third countries.

Since March 2007, Sudan and Vietnam agreed during a held by Sudanese presidential aide Nafi Ali Nafi to promote friendly ties and multifaceted co-operation.

In October 2009, Sudanese State Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Karti was in Hanoi where he attended a Vietnam-Sudan business forum and visited several economic and cultural establishments.

Vietnam's Vice President Mrs. Nguyen Thi Doan told the visiting official at the time the two countries should boost bilateral cooperation in the areas of economic and trade to fully tap their potential.

PetroVietnam will invest billions of dollars in projects overseas this year to expand its investments and exports.

Last year, the group signed agreements with partners in Nicaragua, Bolivia, Argentina, Kazastan, Mozambique and Angola. It also founded Gazpromviet Joint Venture Company with Russian giant Gazprom.

PetroVietnam during the past year earned $5 billion exporting services and equipment to international clients. The earning was a record with 47% increase year-on-year.

Le Minh Hong, PetroVietnam's deputy general director, said the firm produced 16.3 million tons of crude oil and 8 billion cubic meters of gas in 2009, 7-9 more than a year earlier. It exported 14 million tons of crude oil, or an 11.5 percent annual increase, in 2009. The group aims for $18.27 billion in revenues this year.

Copyright (c) 2010, Sudan Tribune. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.