Total farms into offshore Vietnamese block

Total SA has received approval from the Vietnamese government to acquire a 35% interest in the production-sharing contract for offshore exploration Block 15-1/05.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Aug. 21 -- Total SA has received approval from the Vietnamese government to acquire a 35% interest in the production-sharing contract for offshore exploration Block 15-1/05. The French company will work alongside PetroVietnam Exploration & Production, which serves as block operator with 40%, and South Korea's SK Corp., with 25%.

Block 15-1/05, which covers 3,840 sq km, is about 40 km off Vietnam in 40 m of water. It lies in Cuu Long basin near four recent discoveries—Su Tu Den, Su Tu Vang, Su Tu Trang, and Su Tu Nau. The partners have already shot 2D seismic surveys on the block.

Phase 1 exploration, which will be launched before yearend, will include 800 sq km of 3D seismic data acquisition and the drilling of two wells.

Total's agreement with Vietnam also calls for stepped-up international cooperation between the French firm and PetroVietnam, particularly in the area of exploration. In 2006 the Asia-Pacific region accounted for about 253,000 boe/d, or 11%, of Total's production.

Total is mainly active in Indonesia, where it has operated Mahakam block with partner Inpex since 1970 and is one of the country's leading producers of LNG. It also has gas production operations in Thailand and Myanmar as well as offshore operations in Brunei.

Total diversified its assets with the recent acquisition of interests in a number of exploration projects in Australia, Indonesia, and Bangladesh. It also acquired a 24% stake in Australia's Ichthys LNG project, in partnership with Inpex (OGJ Online, Feb. 2, 2007). It also has signed a contract with China National Petroleum Corp. to appraise, develop, and produce gas from China's South Sulige block (OGJ, Dec. 11, 2006, p. 18).

More in Exploration & Development