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    Exxon Signs Vietnam HOAs for Blue Whale Gas


Exxon has signed two agreements relating to the Blue Whale gas project offshore Vietnam, targeting first gas in the 2020s.

by: Mark Smedley

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Exxon Signs Vietnam HOAs for Blue Whale Gas

ExxonMobil signed two agreements January 13 relating to the Blue Whale gas project offshore Vietnam. The project could fuel at least four power plants shortly after scheduled first gas in 2023.

The US supermajor said that it, state PetroVietnam (PVN) and subsidiary PetroVietnam Exploration Production Corporation (PVEP) signed a project framework heads of agreement and a gas sales heads of agreement for the Ca Voi Xanh (Blue Whale) integrated gas development. “The Ca Voi Xanh field is located about 80 km offshore central Vietnam and is an important natural gas discovery in Vietnam that has the potential to fuel the country's economic growth,” Exxon said in a statement to NGW.

The two heads of agreement were signed during Secretary of State John Kerry’s last official visit to Asia, which included a stage in Vietnam.

Outgoing US Secretary of State John Kerry in Ho Chi Minh City on January 13 2017 (Photo credit: Twitter / US State Dept)

“We are conducting our Ca Voi Xanh development activities under a petroleum production sharing contract executed with PetroVietnam in June 2009,” said Exxon.

Statements by PVN and PVEP indicated that the project framework HOA provides a basis for optimising deployment of preliminary design and front end engineering and design work, with a view to achieving first gas from the project in late 2023.

PVEP said the project could supply enough gas for four power plants with total capacity of 3 GW and also allow expansion for the petrochemical or power sectors. It said total investment in the project chain could be $10bn, contributing $20bn to state coffers. 

Greg Wood, head of ExxonMobil Vietnam (Photo credit: Petrovietnam)

Vietnam's deputy prime minister Vuong Dinh Hue, a member of the ruling politburo, attended the signing ceremony with Exxon in Hanoi January 13.

US rival major Chevron pulled out of Vietnam’s upstream in mid-2015, selling its 42.38% operating interest in Blocks B and 48/95, and 43.4% operating interest in Block 52/97, offshore southwestern Vietnam for an undisclosed amount. Reports suggested it was worried about Chinese territorial claims. Chevron is a gas producer onshore China, at the Chuandongbei project.


Mark Smedley