PetroVietnam seeks pipeline partners

Vietnam’s state-run oil and gas group PetroVietnam announced a bid to entice new investors to the group-led $8 billion Block B-O Mon gas exploitation and pipeline complex following the withdrawal of the US’ oil giant Chevron from the strategic project to fuel future southern gas-fired power plants.

Construction of the Block B-O Mon complex officially started last week, aimed at collecting 107 billion cubic metres of gas and 12.65 million barrels of condensate from offshore Block B to supply energy for power plants the Mekong Delta region.

The Block B – Omon complex has been developed since 2010 by a consortium of the US’ Chevron, Japan’s Mitsui Oil Exploration (MOECO) and PetroVietnam. However, last year Chevron transferred its stakes to PetroVietnam because the two sides could not come to an agreement on the price of gas.

According to PetroVietnam’s general director Nguyen Vu Truong Son, even though the project had geared up,  it would be still possible for other serious investors to join in this giant project.

Son added that according to the initial statistics from PetroVietnam they can expect profits for its 20 year operation of the block to provide up to $20 billion to the state budget.

Around 5.06 billion cubic metres of gas are expected to be brought ashore every year from 2020 to 2040 to fuel power plants in Kien Giang and O Mon district of Can Tho city, thus satisfying the power demand for the southern region in the post-2020 period.

The development of Block B will cost $6.8 billion over 20 years, consisting of one technology centre with 46 drilling platforms, one accommodation platform, one condensate tank, and approximately 750 drilling wells, Son said.

Meanwhile, the 431 kilometre Block B – O Mon gas pipeline worth $1.2 billion is designed to have a capacity of 20.3 million cubic meters, operated by PetroVietnam, MOECO and PTTEP. It will transport gas from Block B to An Minh district in Kien Giang province and supplement gas for the Phu My 3-Ca Mau pipeline.

Simultaneously, with the implementation of these two projects PetroVietnam will also invest in gas-fired power plants in Kien Giang and state-run Electricity of Vietnam will invest in building power plants in Can Tho’s O Mon district.

PetroVietnam has also begun preparations on a pipeline system to transfer gas from Ca Voi Xanh (Blue Whale) natural gas field offshore.

Located at 100km off Vietnam’s central coast of Quang Nam province and having  the total investment capital of $3.8 billion, the facility is managed by the US’ Exxon Mobil and at full production the field will supply 10 billion cubic metres of natural gas onshore. This project is scheduled to begin in 2017 and put into operation in 2023.

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