Viet Nam's $1.3 billion Nam Con Son delivers first gas

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Jan. 20 -- BP Pipelines Vietnam BV has begun operations from the $1.3 billion Nam Con Son natural gas fields off Viet Nam. The project included development of Lan Tay and Lan Do gas fields in Block 06.1 with an offshore steel production platform, construction of a 399-km pipeline to shore, onshore processing facilities, and erection of the 716 Mw Phu My 3 power plant, currently under construction (OGJ Online, June 3, 2002).

The two fields contain reserves of 58 billion cu m and are expected to supply gas for 20 years, BP said. Other natural gas fields discovered in the basin will provide more resources to feed Viet Nam's rapid energy growth.

In Phase 1, as much as 3 billion cu m/year (100 bcf) of gas will flow ashore. BP and partners, Viet Nam Oil & Gas Corp. (Petrovietnam), India's Oil & Natural Gas Corp. unit NGC Videsh Ltd., and ConocoPhillips Vietnam, estimate the gas could be used to generate about 40% of Viet Nam's existing electricity supply.

Viet Nam has embarked on a massive program to increase its electric power generation capabilities, and the new gas source provides a needed fuel supply for those plants. The Phu My 3 power plant, with its combined cycle power generation technology, will enable Viet Nam to generate electricity more quickly and cheaply, and much cleaner than previously. Plant operations are slated to begin in late 2003.

Gas from the Nam Con Son gas project will be sold directly to Petrovietnam, which will serve as marketer and will deliver the gas to end users in the Phu My industrial zone.

"The (Nam Con Son gas) project is considered by the government of Viet Nam to be a key driver for commercial and industrial development in Viet Nam's southern provinces," said Petrovietnam General Director Nguyen Xuan Nham.

ONGC Videsh Regional Senior Vice-Pres. Anupam Mathur agreed, saying, "The successful completion of the project has set a standard for other big investment projects and sends a strong message to the international community that a multi-billion dollar project can be successful in Viet Nam," he said.

Agreeing, ConocoPhillips Viet Nam Pres. Georg Storaker said, "We see Viet Nam as a key growth area in Southeast Asia and look forward to growing our business interests here."

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