Thu, 05/06/2014, 04:49 GMT+7
Dr.Sc. Phung Dinh Thuc: Scientific Researcher inside Manager
To learn more about the oil and gas industry, about the people who are always living and working offshore with the rigors, I have been trying to find and finally met him.

He is regarded as a commander of the oil and gas industry. During the past 35 years, from a "rookie", over the time on fields and rigs from the north to the south, onshore - offshore, then doctor of science in the oil and gas production industry, from PetroVietnam President and CEO to Chairman of the Board of Directors, it is a long career journey of Dr. Phung Dinh Thuc with gladness and sadness. 


During the talk, he mentioned much the first work, i.e. Tien Hai gas processing station in Thai Binh province. Perhaps the days cycling around the workshops and warehouses in Nam Dinh, Thai Binh, Hung Yen ... to find a valve, a pipe section or self-fabricating has engraved in memories of the engineer. Until now, when PetroVietnam has become a major economic group with modern and massive drilling rigs, memories on such hard time still prevail in his mind. In a mixed sense, he recognizes the projects with the highest award of science and technology of Vietnam seems not beyond the national border or influent in the region or in the world. However, until PetroVietnam won Ho Chi Minh award for the project to “Search, discover and effectively exploit the oil bodies in granitic rocks in pre-tertiary Cuu Long basin of Vietnam continental shelf" where he was among the authors, bringing changes in geological viewpoints, being effectively applied in petroleum production and appreciated by the world, his joy and emotion was overwhelming…


Could you please let us know about the scientific and social significances of the project to “Search, discover and effectively exploit the oil bodies in granitic rocks in pre-tertiary Cuu Long basin of Vietnam continental shelf"?


Dr.Sc. Phung Dinh Thuc: This is the work of utmost significance not only for scientific and technological achievements of the oil and gas industry of Vietnam, but also for general scientific and technological achievements of the country. The project researches first discovered the oil body in fractured granitic rocks in pre-tertiaryin Bach Ho field and then a series of oil bodies in other basements of Cuu Long basin that created historical landmark for the oil and gas industry of Vietnam. The project changed the conventional views on the object to search, explore and exploit in Vietnam, played an important contribution to the development of science and technology for the industry of the world. The researchers also elucidated the geological structure in the rock layer and some non-conventional characteristics of the structure, storage, porosity in the layer other than sediments.

Dr.Sc. Phung Dinh Thuc has been awarded Ho Chi Minh Prize in Science and Technology


This is a great scientific project that is made by effort and dedication of a 49-participant group. The project has brought an excellent significance, not only created a turning point in the development of the Group, absolutely made changes in views on petroleum exploration but also promoted the international cooperation between the Group and foreign companies for oil and gas exploration in the rocks in other countries.


The project has helped Vietnam to the 3rd rank list of oil production and export countries in Southeast Asia with oil production of 16 - 20 million tons per year. It has also brought a new and huge petroleum resource and created motivations for search, exploration and production, paved the way for a complete development of the oil and gas industry of Vietnam from the first stage to the last, contributed to ensuring energy and food security.


To get a proud day of "fruit picking", PetroVietnam must have extremely hard “planting” time, is it right?


Dr.Sc. Phung Dinh Thuc: First of all, I would like to emphasize that the scientific research in PetroVietnam is uninterrupted and always pioneered as the fact that technology and science are root for development. Almost every decision is based on the scientific basis.


From the beginning to date, PetroVietnam according to requirements of development has always focused on the field of scientific research and the focus is also multiplied by the actual demand. In the period of 2006 - 2011, the Group has invested nearly 5 trillion VND in science and technology activities.


During the Group development, Petrovietnam considers science and technology is one of the three breaking solutions for its stable development. It has many contents in these solutions but the priority is given to the cognitive changes. Science and technology must be awarded as the responsibility and obligation of the leaders as well as all members of the Group. Science and technology must be aware of the responsibility and obligation of the leaders as well as all members of the Group. Secondly, it targets to build a team working in science and technology with passion to research and invention. The Group purposes to take scientific application as a focus and do basic research. In addition, it encourages its subsidiaries to reserve fund for science and technology activities and apply technological innovation patents to practice. It must be said that, if there is no pioneer of scientific research, there will not be Petrovietnam today.


Maybe from such consistent policy that science and technology has become the decisive factor for the rapid and sustainable development of PetroVietnam in recent years?


Dr.Sc. Phung Dinh Thuc: I affirm that, the investment in science and technology in the past years has greatly contributed in the development of PetroVietnam in particular and the economy in general. From the results of scientific research, we are currently using modern technology, including the latest applications in the field of informatics, automation, processing and interpretation of geological seismic documents in the oil and gas industry; we also apply software on field simulations, on design of exploitation processes, automatic control technology in drilling and petroleum production; Then the application of biotechnology and chemical  technology to enhance oil extraction coefficient, receipt and transfer of modern technology application in the oil refineries, fertilizer plant, oil rigs, power plants... The design and fabrication of a 90m jack-up rig has brought Vietnam into one of the few countries in the world making their own mobile rig on the sea... The project to “Search, discover and effectively exploit granitic rocks in pre-tertiary Cuu Long basin of Vietnam continental shelf" has brought enormous economic value. Up to 2010, approximately 200 million oil tons from the oil bodies in granitic rocks occupying 80% of the country's oil production, making the total revenue over US$ 60 billion. As for the oil bodies in fractured granitic rocks in Bach Ho field, thanks to the application of science and technology solutions, it have brought more than billion revenue up to the present time.


As a manager and also a person who has a great contribution to science and technology projects in the oil and gas industry, maybe inside a person bearing many political and economic responsibilities… you are simply a passionate scientist?


Dr.Sc. Phung Dinh Thuc: I am not a professional research scientist; however, the work in production subsidiaries always required and led me to scientific research. My success in both areas that you just mentioned is very modest, not as "big" as it is said, but of course I have to pass the hard paths to get achievement. My thinking is quite simple: Requirement on the industry makes us sticking with science and technology, research, which is also a target that every of us have to try harder every day and every step.


Executive management and scientific research are two different fields, what are your advantages applying scientific and technological views to management?


Dr.Sc. Phung Dinh Thuc: These two fields support me a lot in my job. My viewpoint is that everything must be done on scientific basis and I have done so. I find that it makes all decisions of the managers much more exactly.


Your life associates with the oil and gas industry, could you please share your wrap-up in the scientific research of the oil and gas industry in particular and of the science and technology in general?


Dr. Sc. Phung Dinh Thuc: Being involved in science and technology research and management for a long time, I think, first of all, to develop science and technology, man, equipment and policies are indispensable factors. Without man, nothing can be done, man without equipment shall get a limited result and not good products; and then policies are to support man’s activities. Scientific research must be embedded with practices to get effective achievements.


Another important issue is to concentrate forces and gather experts of various fields to support the scientific research. Never think that the technology is perfected. If we think the scientific researches and exploitation technology have been perfected, certainly there is no oil production in Bach Ho or Cuu Long fields.


In just over 20 years of innovation, scientists have devoted to the research with significant contribution to the oil and gas industry. From the beginning, thanks to the support of the Soviet experts, the oil and gas industry has today undertaken all stages itself, even outreached with the fabrication of 90m jack-up rig and been in the joint ventures with foreign companies. 


The engineers are really happy when their work is recognized and applied in practice. Because, scientific research is not simple, it is really difficult to explore and process. Therefore, besides the intellectual labor, it needs a big spirit and energy to go to the ends of the science!


Thank you very much!