Russian oil producer highlights Asian reach

Russian oil producer Rosneft said it aims to drill more off the coast of Vietnam next year, even as lower oil prices curb the appetite for spending.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   Aug. 2, 2017 at 6:55 AM
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Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Russian oil producer Rosneft highlighted its focus on operations offshore Asia by boasting of its future exploration and production plans for Vietnam.

The Vietnamese subsidiary said it was marking 15 years of operations offshore Vietnam. Though a dominant player on the global energy stage, and one of the top exporters to the European economy, Russian energy companies have maintained a strong footing in the Asia-Pacific region.

"Implementation of Vietnam projects is one of the priorities of Rosneft's international strategy," the company stated.

The Rosneft division in Vietnam draws mostly natural gas from offshore fields, and steers about a fifth of its production toward power generating facilities in the country. Gazprom, Russia's main natural gas company, estimates the Moc Tinh and Hai Thach fields off the Vietnamese coast hold around 1.2 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas. The Nagumanovskoye field holds around 7 million barrels of recoverable oil reserves.

Rosneft's counterpart Gazprom Neft, the oil division of Gazprom, in 2015 laid out terms of bilateral cooperation with PetroVietnam, targeting a 49 percent share of the Dung Quat refinery in Vietnam, which refines about 48 million barrels of oil per year.

Those agreements came as Russian energy interests align more closely with those of Asian economies looking to take on more oil and natural gas. Though lower oil and natural gas prices are curbing spending in exploration and production, Rosneft said it plans to drill three more wells offshore Vietnam next year.

"Development of offshore fields in one of the most dynamically growing countries of the Asian-Pacific region is a good example of high-tech cooperation between Rosneft and international partners," the Russian company said.

In a July review, the International Monetary Fund said Vietnam's economy performed well because it was diverse. Growth, however, has moderated because of the impact of weakness in the energy sector during the first quarter.

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