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Vietnamese advance in Arctic waters

The drilling rig "Saturn" this year drilled an exploration well at the Dolginskoye field in the Pechora Sea.

The state-owned company PetroVietnam strikes a deal with Gazprom-Neft on the development of the Dolginskoye field in the Pechora Sea.

You think that a Vietnamese oil company has no place in the harsh waters of the Arctic? You might be wrong. The state-owned PetroVietnam this week signed a partnership deal with Gazprom-Neft in the Dolginskoye project, a field located in the far northern Pechora Sea.

The PetroVietnam has since its establishment in 1977 gained offshore experiences in the South China Sea, but has no experience whatsoever from Arctic waters.

The deal comes as the Gazprom and its subsidiary Gazprom-Neft are increasingy sqeezed by western sanctions.

According to the Russian company, the PetroVietnam will get a significant share of the oil field with resources estimated to 140 million tons. The Dolginskoye stretches like a 90 km long colon through central parts of the Pechora Sea. It is located not fra away from the Prirazlomnoye field, Russia’s first offshore Arctic field put in production.

The deal states that ”exclusive negotiations about a possible exploration and development cooperation in the Dolginskoye project” will be started and that a subsequent second deal is planned signed by late May 2015. That follow-up agreement will specify conditions and the project ownership stake, a press release informs.

”PetroVietnam will get access to all necessary information about the field, and Gazprom Neft will in the course of the next six months not enter into negotiations about possible joint project operations with third parties”, the Russian company says.

As previously reported by BarentsObserver, Gazprom Neft has this fall conducted an exploration drilling at the field. The operation ended dramatically when a storm hit the Romanian drilling rig ”Saturn”. The Russians have conducted a total of 11,000 length meters of 2D seismics and 1,600 square km of 3D seismics in the area.

PetroVietnam has long worked with Russian partners, among them Gazprom, Zarubezhneft and Rosneft. The Russian companies are active on the Vietnamese shelf and PetroVietnam has a stake in Russian tundra projects in the Timan-Pechora province.