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Russia, Vietnam sign gas exploration deal

April 6, 2012 at 6:32 AM

MOSCOW, April 6 (UPI) -- Russian natural gas company Gazprom said it signed a deal to take a minority stake in the development of two gas projects off the coast of Vietnam.

Gazprom said it signed a deal with Vietnam to explore the two licensed blocks in the Vietnamese continental shelf in the South China Sea.

"In the presence of the Vietnamese president, agreements were signed on personnel training and retraining and Gazprom's participation in the project to jointly develop licensed blocks 05.2 and 05.3 on the shelf of Vietnam," the company was quoted by Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti as saying.

Gazprom takes a 49 percent stake in the offshore blocks. Gazprom and PetroVietnam in 2009 signed a strategic partnership agreement to work off the country's southern coast.

The companies said they would drill more than a dozen operational wells as deep as 15,000 feet. The blocks named in the agreement hold an estimated 1.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and more than 25 million tons of gas condensate.

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