Essar Plans Investment in Vietnamese Oil Exploration Sector

Thursday, October 04, 2007
Close on the heels of announcing its plans to invest in a steel plant in Vietnam, Essar group is now looking forward to investing in the oil and gas exploration sector in the country. According to sources, Essar Energy Holdings Ltd – the group oil and gas outfit – has recently participated in the ‘2nd international bidding round for open blocks in Song Hong Basin’, offshore northern Vietnam. The bid was submitted for one block on a standalone basis, though the name of the block was not given. Vietnam Oil & Gas Group, known as PetroVietnam, had launched the bidding round in June this year. The blocks are located at average water depths of 60-100 meters covering 50 square km area at 50 to 100 km distance from the shoreline. According to PetroVietnam, the hydrocarbon potential of the blocks may reach five billion barrels of oil and oil equivalent. Essar has already submitted bids for one onshore block in Syria in consortium with Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC). The award for the same is expected shortly. Bids are also submitted for two onshore and one shallow-water offshore block in Iran. Meanwhile, the fate of Essar’s scheduled commencement of a two-well $10m exploratory drilling program in the onshore block (L) in Myanmar beginning November will depend on the future course of civil unrest in the country. Essar is also awarded the contiguous shallow water block (A2) in the Rakhine coast in Myanmar. The company is currently scouting for a suitable rig to commence exploratory drilling in the block before May 2008. [Source: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com]

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