Russia's Lukoil pulls out of Vietnam exploration project

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Russia’s largest private oil firm Lukoil has withdrawn from a joint venture exploration project in Vietnam following unsatisfactory results, an executive at the Vietnamese partner company told Saigon Times Daily Wednesday.

 

Lukoil’s subsidiary, Lukoil Overseas Vietnam B.V, bought a 50 percent stake in a project to develop the Hanoi Trough-02 (НТ-02) oil field on the East Sea shelf in April 2011.

 

Do Van Hau, general director of PetroVietnam, the local partner, said it is normal for companies to withdraw in such circumstances.

 

The same day Lukoil president Vagit Alekperov confirmed the pullout to Russian news agency RIA Novosti but provided no further explanation.

 

In May 2012 the company told investors in Hong Kong that Lukoil failed to find commercial reserves after drilling two wells off Vietnam.

 

Grigory Volchek, a spokesman for the company’s overseas unit, told Bloomberg that Lukoil was reconsidering its Vietnam project.

 

Vietsovpetro, a join venture between PetroVietnam and Russia’s Zarubezhneft, is currently the largest oil explorer in Vietnam.

 

Other Russian companies including Gazprom and Rosneft are expanding exploration in the Vietnamese continental shelf, the Saigon Times Daily reported. 

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