As oil companies struggle with the collapse in crude prices and industry upheaval, assessing the future of exploration and production (E&P) in specific countries requires a longer term vision of a market in which prices will have stabilized and rebounded to a level yet undetermined. Seen in this lengthier view, Vietnam holds substantial E&P opportunity because of its resource potential, its expanding economy and surging internal energy demand, the diverse group of global operators active in the country, and the interest of national oil company Petrovietnam in expanding partnerships with international E&P players.
At the same time, a limitation on this upside lies in the dispute between Vietnam and China over territorial waters, which is affecting international investment in some E&P prospects. While sporadic tensions have arisen between the countries, Vietnam and China remain in discussions over the disputed areas. A peaceful resolution could benefit both countries and the oil and gas industry. Notably, well to the north of the disputed waters, Petrovietnam and China National Offshore Oil Company have a joint exploration agreement covering the Gulf of Tonkin.
In the decades since the end of the Vietnam War, exploration and development in Vietnam have grown by leaps and bounds. With 4.4 billion bbl of oil reserves, the country now ranks No. 3 in the Asia-Pacific region, trailing only China and India....
Vietnam Still Holds Much E&P Opportunity
Joel Parshall, JPT Features Editor
01 March 2016