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Vietnam Today

Vietnam asks Exxon Mobil to hasten negotiations over Blue Whale gas field

Released at: 20:01, 12/10/2017

Vietnam asks Exxon Mobil to hasten negotiations over Blue Whale gas field

Deputy PM Trinh Dinh Dung (R) and Mr. Paul Greenwood during their meeting in Hanoi on Oct. 10. Photo: VGP

Deputy PM makes call at meeting with US giant in Hanoi.

by Quang Huy

Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam), and the US’s Exxon Mobil to speed up negotiations on the development and exploitation of the Blue Whale gas field, Vietnam’s largest. 

At a meeting with Mr. Paul Greenwood, Vice President of Africa and Asia Pacific Business Development at Exxon Mobil Gas and Power Marketing, in Hanoi on October 10, the Deputy PM lauded the firm for its engagement in the project, which is significant in ensuring national energy security and the operations of thermal power plants in the central region. 

He reaffirmed the government’s commitment to creating optimal conditions so the project can begin pumping gas from the Blue Whale field in 2023. Mr. Greenwood said that the project is important for Exxon Mobil in fostering cooperation with Vietnam in exploiting and producing oil and gas products. 

He made some proposals on removing obstacles for the firm and the Vietnamese side, so a final agreement can be quickly realized. 

The Blue Whale field has an estimated 150 billion cu m of reserves. In an August meeting, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc told Exxon Mobil that he hoped that construction of the project would officially begin before the APEC Summit in November, which US President Donald Trump and US government officials are expected to attend.

During PM Phuc’s three-day trip to the US in May, General Electric’s power unit signed a memorandum of understanding to build two 750-MW gas fired turbine power plants in conjunction with PetroVietnam, using the Blue Whale gas field.

PetroVietnam signed an agreement with the Vietnamese unit of Exxon Mobil in January to develop the field, and said the project would contribute nearly $20 billion to the State budget.

The Blue Whale field is about 100 km east of Vietnam’s central coast. The PM recently approved the construction of four gas-fired power plants in Quang Nam and Quang Ngai provinces with total capacity of 3,000 MW, using gas from the field. He also agreed to use part of the gas exploited from the field to develop the oil refining industry.

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