Chevron, Petronas Win right to explore Vietnam oil block

US oil giant Chevron Corp. and Malaysia's Petronas Carigali have won exploration and production rights for an oil block off central Vietnam coast, Down Jones newswire reported Wednesday.

The two companies have each won a 50% stake in Block 122 in Phu Khanh basin, Tran Duc Chinh, the director of PetroVietnam's Exploration & Production Department, told Dow Jones Newswires.

Block 122 covers an area of 6,981 square kilometers. Phu Khanh is a deep water basin located about 100 kilometers east of central Phu Yen province.

Chinh didn't say how much oil reserves the block could hold.

The Phu Khanh basin, situated 500 kilometers north of Vietnam's two biggest producing oil fields Bach Ho and Su Tu Den, is estimated to hold potential oil reserves of about 2 billion barrels.

Petronas Carigali is a unit of Malaysian national oil company Petroliam Nasional Bhd.

In October 2004, PetroVietnam invited foreign oil and gas firms to participate in the country's 2004 licensing round for Block 122 to Block 130 in Phu Khanh Basin.

Each of the nine blocks covers about 7,000 square kilometers in area, with depths ranging from 50 meters to 2,500 meters and sediment thickness of up to 8,000 meters.

"So far we have agreed to grant E&P rights for three blocks and will continue to study bids by other foreign firms," Chinh said.

India's state-owned oil firm Oil & Natural Gas Corp. has won the right to explore Block 127, while two companies based in the U.S. and Canada have jointly won the right to exploit Block 124, he said.

PetroVietnam will issue licenses to the companies at a later time, PetroVietnam officials said.

(Source: Down Jones)
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Published: 12 October, 2005, 13:30:52 (GMT+7)
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