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Conoco views Vietnam as core growth area investment

Joe Hwang, president and general manager of Conoco Vietnam.

U.S.-based, oil and gas multinational Conoco views Vietnam as a core growth area, and a vital part of its overall, long-term investment plan for Southeast Asia.

ôWe plan to invest more than $500 million over the next five years to significantly expand our operations in the country,ö said Joe Hwang, president and general manager of Conoco Vietnam, based in Ho Chi Minh City.

Since entering Vietnamĺs petroleum industry in 1996, Conoco has invested over $200 million. The companyĺs additional investment will fund new and continuing exploration and development programs, as well as support its plans to establish a viable natural gas business in the country. The companyĺs activities to date have focused primarily on oil exploration and production. Hwang reaffirms the companyĺs vision to become a long-term, premier energy supplier in Vietnam.

Conocoĺs bullish outlook is fueled by the following fact: Vietnamĺs crude oil exports are over 100 million tons and 745 million barrels, estimated at $15 billion.

Conoco has grown at a fast pace over the last few years. The company holds a large portfolio of high-quality offshore assets, where it explores and produces crude oil and natural gas. It holds substantial interests in six offshore blocks, totaling more than 6 million gross acres, which represents the largest acreage position of any foreign energy company operating in Vietnam.

Rang Dong Floating, Production Storage & Offtake (FPSO) unit, Rang Dong field, Block 15-2, offshore Vietnam.

Fisheye lens view of oil tanker Rang Dong FPSO unit.

Platform, Sutu Den field, Block 15-1, offshore Vietnam.

In 2000, Conoco established itself as a major oil producer, with the Block 15-2 joint venture with Japanĺs and Vietnamĺs national oil companies. Block 15-2, offshore Vietnam in the oil-prone Cuu Long Basin, includes the large, producing Rang Dong field. Since then, Conoco has had several other significant oil discoveries and added new acreage and assets to its already sizable portfolio.

Conoco continues its close working relationship with the government toward the development of Vietnamĺs natural gas resources, commencing with an initiative to capture the associated natural gas produced by offshore oil fields in the Mekong Delta. The elimination of gas flaring will have a significant and positive environmental impact.

ôOur investment in Vietnam is based on an effective business relationship with PetroVietnam to develop the countryĺs abundant natural resources, which ultimately will provide a reliable source of clean, efficient and affordable energy to help fuel the countryĺs economic growth,ö added Hwang.

Of course, Conoco is in Vietnam for the long term, but certainly this U.S. company is more than hopeful the economy will surge forward, requiring more energy to propel its development.


ę InternationalReports.net / The Washington Times 1994-2002

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