Exploration and Development Offshore Southern Vietnam
Alastair M. Ferguson
In Vietnam, the major focus of the oil and gas industry is on the Nam Con Son and Cuu Long Basins in the southern offshore area.
Major licensing first occurred here in the early 1970s. Some exploration was also undertaken by foreign companies in the early 1980s. In 1981, the Soviet Union undertook to assist Vietnam with the development of oil and gas. Vietsovpetro, a joint venture between the then Soviet Oil and Gas Ministry and the Vietnam Oil and Gas Corporation was formed. Most of Vietsovpetro's efforts have been to develop the Bach Ho field in the Cuu Long Basin. This now produces ~130,000 bopd.
The most recent large scale licensing round occurred in 1992, and, at present, there are over thirty foreign companies active in these Basins' blocks . The first phase of exploration is ending and successes in the Nam Con Son Basin include the BP-led Lan Tay/Lan Do gas discoveries and Pedco's gas discoveries. Mitsubishi's and Petronas' oil discoveries in the Cuu Long Basin have attracted much attention also. The Dai Hung oil field (BHP-operated) has been producing since late 1994. Certain blocks are being appraised, and exploration work is also continuing. Areas of the Cuu Long Basin that were part of Vietsovpetro's acreage, but which may soon be re-licensed, have generated keen interest.
The presence of an active upstream industry - exploring, appraising, developing and producing - indicates the emergence of Vietnam as an important East Asian oil and gas player.
AAPG Search and Discover Article #91019©1996 AAPG Convention and Exhibition 19-22 May 1996, San Diego, California