PetroVietnam expects approval for Exxon gas field this month

By Toan Dao   July 13, 2016 | 10:11 pm PT
The field is expected to produce about 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year.

Vietnam’s national oil and gas group PetroVietnam is hoping the government will give approval later this month for the Overall Development Plan at Ca Voi Xanh, the largest gas field ever discovered in the East Sea, internationally known as the South China Sea.

Ca Voi Xanh is one of PetroVietnam's priorities for this year. In the second half, the company is looking for the government to green-light a gas processing plant and a gas-fired power project, which will use gas from Ca Voi Xanh, the company said in a recent statement.

The Ca Voi Xanh gas field is located about 100km off the coast of Quang Nam Province. ExxonMobil said in 2011 it had found hydrocarbons while drilling in the field, before making additional discoveries in the area in July 2012.

The U.S. energy giant will set up a wellhead platform, which will process natural gas to be produced from eight wells at Ca Voi Xanh. An 88km pipeline will connect the field with facilities onshore, according to PetroVietnam.

The two oil and gas giants expect to produce the first gas from Ca Voi Xanh by 2021. It is hoped the field will produce about 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year, almost the same as Vietnam’s total output in 2015.

Ca Voi Xanh is estimated to hold reserves of 150 billion cubic meters of natural gas, which is three times bigger than the combined reserves of the country’s two most productive gas fields, Lan Tay and Lan Do, in the southern Nam Con Son Basin.


Quang Ngai's Dung Quat Bay where natural gas from Ca Voi Xanh field is expected to be transported to the Dung Quat Economic Zone via a pipeline. Photo by VnExpress/Tri Tin

PetroVietnam signed an agreement with Quang Nam Province in March this year to begin selecting sites for the projects. The local provincial government has pledged to push forward infrastructure development in the area to support the proposed projects.

Vietnam’s national oil and gas group plans to set up a gas processing plant and a gas-fired power project with a capacity of about 1,400 megawatts in Nui Thanh District. The two projects are expected to be operational by 2023.

PetroVietnam also wants to set up another power project of similar capacity near the Dung Quat refinery in the nearby province of Quang Ngai. The company said it plans to supply about one billion cubic meters of natural gas to a petrochemical unit to be built near the refinery.

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