Oil & Gas sector in Vietnam

Oil & Gas sector in Vietnam

Vietnam’s growing oil & gas sector offers major opportunities for UK companies with relevant expertise.

Market overview

Vietnam is a promising energy market from both the supply and demand side. Rich natural mineral resources (Vietnam’s oil reserves are the fourth largest in the Asia Pacific region and its gas reserves ranked seventh in 2010), strong oil and gas demand and fast-growing refining capacity have helped Vietnam stand out as an attractive upstream and downstream market for exporters, importers and manufacturers in the Asia Pacific region.

Upstream and Midstream

Vietnam ranks third in Southeast Asia after Malaysia and Indonesia and thirty-first in the world for crude oil and gas production. Production has grown rapidly in recent years, from only 175,000 barrels per day (b/d) (25,000 tons) in 1996 to 302,800 b/d, equivalent to 2.12 million tons in January 2012, of which the crude oil output was 1.41 million tons, up 11.6% over the same period; LPG production was 65.2 thousand tons, up 26.3% as compared with the same period; fuel was 567.2 thousand tons, up 11.2% over the same period, production of gas was 0.71 billion m3, down 10.2% compared with the same period. By 2014 the country will account for 1.52% of the oil demand for the Asia Pacific Region while providing 4.19% of regional supply.

Between 2009-2014, consumption is forecast to increase by around 5-7% per annum to 2014, implying demand of 460,000 b/d by the end of the forecast period.

There are large confirmed amounts of natural and associated gas in the Vietnam. According to PetroVietnam, potential natural gas reserves in Vietnam may reach 23 trillion cubic feet (TCF). As the demand for energy in Vietnam continues to grow, these gas reserves will become increasingly important.

To date, Petrovietnam has signed more than 80 Production Sharing Contracts (PSC), Business Co-operation Contract (BCC) and Joint Operating Contracts (JOC) with more than 50 international oil and gas companies. The total contract values are over US$14 billion. Currently, 58 contracts remain effective, involving international companies such as SOCO, Premier Oil, Salamander Energy, BP, RVO Zarubezhneft, ConocoPhilips, Nippon Oil, Petronas, OMV, Idemitsu, KNOC, Talisman, Amerada Hess, Samedan, Pertamina, PTT E&P, ONGC, Maurel&Prom, ATI and Vamex…

There are 5 operational oil and gas basins in Vietnam, they are:

  • Song Hong Basin

  • Phu Khanh Basin

  • Cuu Long Basin

  • Nam Con Son Basin

  • Malay Basin (Malay-Tho Chu basin)

There are two more basins in the East Sea, they are Truong Sa basin group and Hoang Sa basin. However, these basins have not been explored yet. Most oil exploration and production activities occur offshore in the Cuu Long (80%) and Nam Con Son Basins.


PetroVietnam is planning to develop 3 refinery-petrochemical centres in the North, South and Central Vietnam. So far, the country’s oil refining capacity consists of only one refinery, Dung Quat Refinery (3.1$bn), which came on-stream in 2010 with a capacity of 148 KBPD (thousand barrels per day), meeting around 30% of local demand. The other two planned ones, Nghi Son Refinery ($5.8bn, 200 KBPD) in the Centre, and Long Son Refinery ($7-8bn, 200 KBPD) in the South are under preparation. It is expected that Dung Quat Refinery, along with Nghi Son Refinery will be able to supply 60% of domestic demand by 2016.

Apart from these oil refinery projects which have been invested by PetroVietnam, there are several others invested by private companies which are ongoing or under preparation such as Can Tho Refinery (2 million metric tonne per annum-mmtpa), Vung Ro Refinery (4 mmtpa), Nam Van Phong Refinery (10 mmtpa), Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTT PLC) refinery project in Binh Dinh province ($28.7bn)…

Key opportunities

Key opportunities include: Supply of equipment and services; Investment.

1. Supply of equipment and services

Supply of equipment and Consultancy in:

+Seismic surveying for oil & gas exploration

+Engineering, construction and production facilities

+Drilling and production technologies, including drilling rigs (70-200m)

+Oil spill management


  • Training and education in all aspects of the industry

  • Health safety and environment waste management

2. Investment

By investing and joining in partnership with PetroVietnam and other investors in Vietnam. Opportunities are available in all upstream, midstream and downstream sectors.

  • Upstream: There are opportunities in exploring a number of undiscovered blocks in Song Hong Basin, Phu Khanh Basin, Onshore Mekong Delta, Nam Con Son Basin, Phu Quoc Basin, Malay-Tho Chu-Phu Quoc Basin.

  • Midstream: PetroVietnam is calling for investment in Nam Con Son No. 2 Gas Pipeline ($1.3 bn), Ca Mau Gas Processing Plant ($700 million)…

  • Downstream: PetroVietnam is calling for investment in Refinery and Petrochemical projects such as Dung Quat Refinery (Expansion) Plant ($400 million), Long Son Refinery ($7-8 bn), Ca Mau Fertiliser Plant ($900.2 million)…

Latest export opportunities – Oil & Gas

Latest export opportunities – Vietnam

Getting into the market

For the supply of equipment and services, UK companies are advised to enter the market through selecting local distributors or agents. These distributors and agents have extensive local knowledge and networks so they would be able to support UK companies to enter oil & gas projects through direct selling or bidding.

For investment, the recommendation is to partner with PetroVietnam and/or other local or foreign oil and gas companies which have been operating in Vietnam. If UK companies want to invest in exploring oil & gas blocks, they must go through a bidding process managed by PetroVietnam.

More about doing business in Vietnam


Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).

To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country – or contact your local international trade team.

  • Ms Le Nguyen Lan Anh, British Embassy Hanoi, Vietnam, Tel: +84 (0) 4 3936 0521 or Email: [email protected]

  • Ms Vuong Thi Khanh An, British Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam, Tel: +84 (0) 8 3825 1380 ext. 2231 or Email: [email protected]

Contact your local international trade team

UKTI Events

UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.

Latest events – Oil & Gas

Major Events

10th ASCOPE (ASEAN Council on Petroleum) Conference and Exhibition

Date: 28-30 November 2013

Website: www.petrovietnam.com.vn

Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

Useful links

More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters

Sectors: Oil & Gas
Countries: Vietnam
Export Action Plan