|PetroVietnam explores overseas options|
|Friday, 01 April 2011 16:25|
Three oil rigs off the coast of Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province. The rigs are operated by Vietsovpetro, a joint venture between PetroVietnam and Russian oil company Zarubejneft. — VNA/VNS Photo Trang Duong
HA NOI — The PetroVietnam Group will spend US$2.35 billion developing 25 petroleum projects in countries of the former Soviet Union, as well as in Venezuela and elsewhere in Latin America. Oil and gas exploitation overseas would eventually reach 2-3 million tonnes per year, with reserves as high as 15 million tonnes.
The group made the announcement at a conference in Ha Noi on Tuesday held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade to discuss opportunities for the development of Viet Nam's oil and gas industry with Dutch companies.
PetroVietnam was also intending to invest a total of $84 billion between now and 2015 in strengthening oil and gas exploitation, petrochemicals production and other related lines of business, the group said.
Nguyen Thanh Tung, an official from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, told the conference that the potential for the oil and gas industry and the energy sector overall in Viet Nam remained great. However, he said, foreign investment and technology was needed to develop a domestic gas processing industry.
Tung said that, to attract investment in the petroleum sector, the Vietnamese Government had offered incentives and created opportunities for foreign investors and joint ventures to develop various projects in the nation's oil industry.
Gas exploration and exploitation, particularly in the southern part of the continental shelf, remained in the beginning stages, he said. The nation's untapped gas reserves have been estimated at 682 billion cubic metres, offering a greater potential for exploitation than oil.
According to PetroVietnam, Viet Nam's crude oil reserves stood at 4.4 billion barrels at the end of 2010, while crude oil productivity last year reached 15.1 million tonnes. Gas production reached 9.4 billion cubic metres.
The Dung Quat oil refinery has been in operation for two years with a capacity of 6.5 million tonnes per year, corresponding to approximately 148,000 barrels a day and meeting 30 per cent of domestic demand for refined petroleum products.
PetroVietnam has plans to build additional refineries in the provinces of Thanh Hoa and Ba Ria-Vung Tau.
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