Published: May 7, 2015 at 6:26 AM
Daniel J. Graeber
MOSCOW, May 7 (UPI) --MOSCOW, May 7 (UPI) -- Russian energy company Gazprom said it was planning to work alongside its Vietnamese peers in drilling the latter's first-ever deepwater exploration well.
Gazprom hosted a delegation from PetroVietnam in Moscow to discuss future activities and potential drilling sites off the Vietnamese coast.
"The drilling of a prospecting well in block No. 129 [on the Vietnamese continental shelf] is scheduled to start in the second half of 2015," the Russian company said in a Wednesday statement. "It would be the first deep-water well offshore Vietnam with the sea depth exceeding 5,200 feet at the drilling sites."
According to Gazprom, the Moc Tinh and Hai Thach fields off the Vietnamese coast hold around 1.2 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas. The Nagumanovskoye field holds around 7 million barrels of recoverable oil reserves.
Russian oil company Gazprom Neft in April laid out terms of bilateral cooperation with PetroVietnam, targeting a 49 percent share of the Dung Quat refinery in Vietnam, which refines about 48 million barrels of oil per year. Gas company Gazprom and PetroVietnam laid out framework conditions for joint cooperation last year.
The agreements come as Russian energy interests align more closely with those of Asian economies looking to take on more oil and natural gas. Last month, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev confirmed the government's interests in the region.
"In recent years, we have largely reoriented our policies towards active cooperation with the Asia-Pacific countries," he said.
© 2015 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.