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Monday, January 28, 2008

Petrovietnam Eyeing Foreign Oil Fields

PV LogoJanuary 24, 2008 Rigzone News - Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) plans to buy two oil fields abroad this year, said general director Tran Ngoc Canh at a press conference in Hanoi on Monday. PetroVietnam has just submitted documents to purchase an oil field in Azerbaijan. If it won the bid, it would begin oil and gas exploitation this year, Canh said. The group is also in talks with Kazakhstan, Iran and Venezuela in hopes of buying one more oil field or gaining permission to access further oil and gas resources. "If the talks succeed, it may take the group and foreign partners 3-5 years to survey and explore the oil fields there," Canh said. The group also signed two contracts with Algeria and were appraising three wells there. In addition, it inked two deals with Cuba to exploit oil and gas along three blocks of coastline and four blocks offshore, Canh added. "PetroVietnam has just finished its negotiation with Peru and inked a deal to access oil and gas there," he said. Madagascar, Cameroon, Iran, and Iraq have also been targets of the groups interest. "PetroVietnam plans to import gas from Russia and the Middle East to satisfy rising demand on the local market," Canh said. Last year, PetroVietnam produced only 100,000 tonnes of crude oil from oil fields in Malaysia. The general director admitted that this figure fell far behind earlier expectations of one million tonnes of crude oil to be reaped from fields abroad. Dinh La Thang, chairman of the groups management board, attributed the lower-than-expected output from abroad to the failure to secure overseas deals. The failure arose because of government approval restrictions, he said. If rival bidders raised the price quickly, they were sure to win the contract. PetroVietnam had asked the government to grant the company autonomy in such matters, Thang said. "Promoting oil and gas exploitation abroad is key," stressed Canh.

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