Indo-Vietnam trade ties warm up
By Shilpa Puri
While trade between India and Vietnam cannot be said to be very high, it has been growing steadily over the past few years. The two-way turnover in trade has jumped from $114 million in 1996-97 to $153 million in 1999-00. Indian exports to Vietnam rose from $112 million to $142 million over the same period while Vietnamese exports to India were up from $1.7 million to $11.5 million.
Indian firms have invested around $125 million in Vietnam, primarily in sugar, transmission towers, office furniture, plastics and pharmaceuticals. They are also exploring possibilities of investment in tea processing. Leading PSUs in mining, steel shipyard and railway sectors have shown interest in collaborating with their counterparts in Vietnam.
Indian investment in Vietnam, in particular, is booming in oil and gas, with ONGC's investment of $1.1 billion, and in the IT sector. India has helped Vietnam build a $5 million IT center for skill training and developing infotech.
Trade ties between the two countries were strengthened following the visit of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to the South-East Asian country earlier this year.
The first and so far the largest offshore gas field discovered in Vietnam is the Lan Tay gas field which, along with the Lan Do gas field, with combined reserves of two-three trillion cubic feet, was discovered by ONGC. The oil PSU first signed a petroleum production sharing contract with PetroVietnam in late 1980, for blocks 6, 12-E and 19 in Nam Con Son basin, some 370 km offshore.
The Lan Tay-Lan Do gas fields are capable of producing three billion cubic meters of gas per annum and commercial production could go on for a minimum period of 20 years.
As the gas lies far offshore, it will be transported to the Phu My industrial complex by a 400-km pipeline, being constructed by BP-Amoco, Statoil and PV. A number of power stations, planned south-east of Ho Chi Minh City, will utilise the gas produced from the Nam Con Son basin. The development of Block 06.1 gas will generate some 12 billion kWh of electricity every year, equivalent to over 60 per cent of the current national demand.
ONGC has a 45-per cent stake in the project with British Petroleum (30 per cent), Staloil (15 per cent) and PetroVietnam all having minority stakes.
Sagar Sandhani from Bombay High offshore in India is conducting the seismic survey of the Nam Con Son basin. Greenwhich Natwest of UK is carrying out the feasibility study for the project.
The development plan is being implemented in two stages. Stage one comprises the undertaking of all commercial activities (the 'Essential Commercial activities'), which include the negotiation, and execution of supplementary agreement (SA), gas sales and purchase agreement (GSPA), condensate sales agreement (CSA), transportation agreement (TA) and government guarantees and undertaking agreement (GGU) etc. Stage two will comprise three phases of activities as described below, to implement the development concept for Lan Tay and Lan Do gas fields.
· Phase 1: Initial phase of Lan Tay field development
· Phase 2: Compression module for Lan Tay platform
· Phase 3: Development of Lan Do and fifth well on Lan Tay
The implementation of stage two will commence soon after the satisfactory completion of all the commercial activities.
The joint venture project is expected to bring gas ashore from October 2002 onwards.
For details contact:
Project Coordinator (Vietnam Project),
ONGC Videsh Ltd
Tel: 91-011-3713632 (O)