On 9 August, the Joint Russian and Vietnamese Operating Company (JOC) Vietgazprom has commenced the construction of the first of the two scheduled exploration wells at the deep-water structure of Than Bien located at block No 131 of the Continental Shelf of Vietnam. The second well will be drilled at the Than Dat structure.
The structure is located 313 km away from the city of Vung Tau; the water depth at the work site is 1638 m, target well depth – 4975 m.
The work on both wells is intended to last for about a year. Difficulties faced in the course of drilling operations are not just about the large depths at the drilling sites but also complicated geologic mountain conditions: high temperature and formation pressure anomaly ratio, the possible presence of hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide.
Well drilling at block 131 is carried out from the dynamically positioned drillship Deepsea Metro I, owned by Golden Close Maritime Corp. Ltd, in observance of all environmental requirements and safety measures provided for the international oil and gas industry practice.
Blocks No 129 through No 132, amounting to a total of 28,4 thousand square kilometers in area, are located at the southern shelf of Vietnam, in the northeastern section of the Nam Con Son petroleum bearing basin. Resources available at these blocks are estimated to amount to 1,432.5 billion cubic meters of gas and 1,154.5 million tons of oil.
Vietgazprom currently develops blocks No 129 through No 132 pursuant to the Oil and Gas Contract made in 2008 between the Public Joint-Stock Company Gazprom, the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group Petrovietnam, the PVEP Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Corporation PVEP (a part or Petrovietnam) and the Joint-Stock Company Gazprom Zarubezhneftegaz (now operating as Gazprom International). Block exploration operations are intended to involve a complete range of geological and geophysical works: 2D and 3D seismic exploration, geochemical study, electrical exploration, drilling of exploration and prospecting wells.
In 2000, Gazprom and Petrovietnam signed a contract on the prospecting, exploration, mining and sale of fossil fuels at block No 112 of the SRV Continental Shelf. For the performance thereof, the parties have founded the JOC Vietgazprom on pari passu basis in 2002. Later, the adjacent blocks No111/04 and No113 were added to the contractual area. In 2007, the Bao Vang gas deposit was opened within the contractual area, followed by Bao Den in 2009.
In 2008, the parties have signed the Cooperation Agreement, which provides for the performance of geological exploration works and further development of four new blocks of the SRV shelf, as well as the incorporation of the Gazpromviet Joint Venture to operate in Russia and third countries.
In October 2008, Gazprom and Petrovietnam signed a long-term production sharing contract on the project for the development of blocks No 129, 130, 131 and 132 of the Continental Shelf of Vietnam, with Vietgazprom acting as the operator within the boundaries thereof as well.
In 2009, Gazprom and Petrovietnam signed the Strategic Partnership Agreement. The parties have agreed to continue cooperation in the SRV Shelf within the boundaries of earlier contracts and study the opportunities to work on new licensed blocks.
On behalf of Gazprom, Gazprom International has joined the Moc Tinh and Hai Thach gas deposit exploration and development project implemented within the boundaries of licensed shelf blocks 05-2 and 05-3 in 2012, having commenced commercial production therein in September 2013.
In October 2013, the Agreement on the Basic Principles of Operation of the Joint Venture within the Boundaries of the Project for the Usage of Natural Gas as Engine Fuel within the Territory of Vietnam was signed. The Joint Venture PVGAZPROM NGV is currently being incorporated for the purpose of implementation thereof.