Web, 05/05/2010, 12:49 GMT+7

At the beginning of the 20th Century, the French geologists discovered some oil shows at Dong Ho (Hoang Bo – Quang Ninh northern Ninh province), Lich mountain (Yen Bai northern province), Nam Un and Sai Luong (Son La northern mountainous province); Thi Vai pond (Quy Nhon-Binh Dinh central province)… However, they did not give any comments about oil and gas potentials in Vietnam.

In 1959, at the request of The Government of Vietnam, the USSR sent petroleum geology specialist Kitovani S.K. to Vietnam to carry out petroleum geological surveys in the North of Vietnam together with Vietnamese colleagues. Within two years (1959-1961), he had finished a comprehensive report called “Geology and Oil and Gas Potentials in Democratic Republic of Vietnam”.


Based on that report, on 27th November 1961, the General Department of Geology issued Decision No. 271-ĐC establishing Oil Exploration Expedition No.36 (or “Expedition 36” as it was commonly known. It was the first ever organization in Vietnam assigned with oil and gas research, prospecting and exploration in Vietnam. With the assistance of the USSR, the size and the scope of Expedition 36’s operation was expanded. On the 9th October 1969, the Government Council issued Decision No.203/CP ordering the Geological Division No.36 to build and implement a project for oil and gas exploration and production in Vietnam, especially in the Red River Delta. In march 1975, they discovered the first natural gas and condensate at the well No.61 at Tien Hai- Thai Binh province, more than 100 kilometres south of Hanoi. In 1981, the first cubic meter gas was explored from that well.


Right after the liberation day of Vietnam, on August 9th 1975, The Vietnam Party Central Committee issued Resolution No.224/NQTW to implement the petroleum exploration throughout the country. On September 3rd 1975, the Government promulgated Decree No.170/CP established the Vietnam Oil and Gas General Department on the basis a merger between Expedition 36 and a part of Chemical General Department. This marked a new developing stage for the Vietnamese petroleum industry. There were many petroleum discoveries in both continent and continental shelf of Vietnam.


As Vietnam’s economy and society have been developed and changed, so have the organization of Vietnam’s petroleum industry.


On September 9th 1977, the Government Council issued Decision No.251/CP founding the Vietnam Oil and Gas Company (Petrovietnam) under the Vietnam Oil and Gas General Department.


In 1990, in line with the merger of the Oil and Gas General Department into the Ministry of Heavy Industry, the Government released Decision No.250-HĐBT on July 6th 1990 establishing the Vietnam Oil and Gas Corporation under the Ministry of Heavy Industry.


On April 14th 1992, with Decision No.125-HĐBT the Vietnam Oil and Gas Corporation came under the Council of Ministers.


On May 29th 1995, the Government promulgated Decree No.37-CP on the organization of the Vietnam Oil and Gas Corporation and Decision No.330/TTg on the establishment the Vietnam Oil and Gas Corporation with the international transaction name “Vietnam Oil and Gas Corporation” (Petrovietnam). The organizational structure included a Board of Directions, Board of Supervisors, Board of Management, functional departments and subsidiaries.


On August 29th 2006, the Prime Minister issued Decision No.199/2006/QĐ-TTg established the Holding Company-Vietnam Oil and Gas Group with the international transaction name of Petrovietnam Oil and Gas Group (Petrovietnam) (PVN for short). With Decision No.198/2006/QĐ-TTg, the Government approved the project for formation of the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group.


On July 3rd 1980, the Government of the Vietnam proceeded to sign a Cooperation Agreement with the USSR on oil and gas exploration and production in the Southern continental shelf of Vietnam. On June 19th 1981 they also signed the Agreement establishing Vietsovpetro Joint-Venture (Vietsovpetro for short) in Vung Tau.


On May 24th 1984, the Mikhain Mirchin drilling ship drilled well BH-5 and confirmed commercial crude oil in Bach Ho field. On March 31st 1984, the installation of the jacket of the MSP-1, fixed platform was commenced. This jacket was launched in the Bach Ho (White Tiger) field on November 6th 1984. On June 26th 1986, the first barrel of commercial crude oil was produced from MSP-1 in Bach Ho field, marking Vietnam for the list of oil producing countries in the world.


On May 11th 1987, Vietsovpetro discovered the oil flow from the fractured granite basement in Bach Ho, opening a new potential, which had not only significantly increased hydrocarbon production but also dramatically changed the traditional oil and gas exploration objective in Vietnam’s continental shelf.


In 1986 the 6th Congress of Vietnam Communist Party decided the economic renovation (The Doi Moi). The foreign investment law was issued (1987). On July 7th 1988 the Central Committee of the Vietnam Communist Party issued Resolution 15-NQ/TW on the development direction of the Vietnam petroleum industry by 2000. Oil and gas activities had been implemented actively from upstream to downstream activities.


On January 19th 2006 the Central Committee of the Vietnam Communist Party stipulated Resolution No.41-KL/TW: the conclusion of the Politburo on the “Development Strategy of Vietnam Petroleum industry by 2015 with direction to 2025”.


On March 9th 2006 the Prime Minister approved the “Development Strategy of Vietnam Petroleum industry by 2015 with direction to 2025”.


The Petroleum industry comes to a new stage. The Petrovienam Oil and Gas Group concentrates in actively and synchronously implementing hydrocarbon activities in all economic sectors as well as multi-business to be a strong economic group in Vietnam and a leading Petroleum Group in the region.