Vietnam Oil Executives Could Face Death Penalty In Corruption Case

9 Jan 2018   Vietnam

The trial is part of a crackdown on corruption and mismanagement in the energy and banking industries, which began after the security authorities of the country were given more influence in the communist state’s ruling party last year. The Vietnam police say they are investigating state rule violations at the company that led to a loss of about US$35 million for local lender Ocean Bank, as well as financial losses at PetroVietnam itself. The most senior of the executives that stand accused of corruption and other crimes is PetroVietnam’s chairman and former member of Vietnam’s politburo, Dinh La Thang, who was ousted from the supreme decision-making body and from his position as head of the Communist party in Ho Chi Minh City along with his removal from the PetroVietnam board. Another high-profile executive who will stand trial alongside Thang is Trinh Xuan Thanh. Thanh, according to German […]

Vietnam fails to export 2 mil mt of coal to China due to technical barriers

12 Dec 2017   Coal, Vietnam

Vietnam was unable to export 2 million mt of coal to China this year as the latter set strict specification for mercury, arsenic, phosphoric, chlorine and fluorine content in imported coal, according to a Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade’s letter obtained by S&P Global Platts Tuesday. Vietnam National Coal-Mineral Industries Holding Corp. Ltd., or Vinacomin, had planned to export around 2 million mt of coal to China from its Uong Bi-Vang Danh coal mines in the northern province of Quang Ninh, which has a calorific value ranging from 5,050 Kcal/kg to 5,700 Kcal/kg and maximum 35% ash content under Vietnam’s 2015 specifications. On December 2, 2016, the Vietnamese government had given permission to Vinacomin and the Northeast Corp. to export 4.05 million mt of coal in 2017, the ministry said. Under the approval, Vinacomin was to export 4 million mt of coal: 2 million mt of Uong Bi-Vang Danh […]

Drilling ship leaves Vietnam oil block after China row

14 Aug 2017   China, Vietnam

The drilling ship at the center of a row between Vietnam and China over oil prospecting in disputed waters in the South China Sea has arrived in waters off the Malaysian port of Labuan, shipping data in Thomson Reuters Eikon showed on Monday. Drilling by the Deepsea Metro I ship was suspended in Vietnam’s Block 136/3 last month after pressure from China, which says the concession operated by Spain’s Repsol overlaps the vast majority of the waterway that it claims as its own. The ship, used by Norway’s Odfjell Drilling Ltd., was reported to be in Labuan at 9.17 a.m. (0117 GMT), according to shipping data in Thomson Reuters Eikon. It was last recorded at the drilling site on July 30. Odfjell Drilling did not respond immediately to a request for comment. The row over the drilling inflamed tensions between Vietnam and China, whose claims in […]

Russian oil producer highlights Asian reach

3 Aug 2017   Russia, Vietnam

Russian oil producer Rosneft highlighted its focus on operations offshore Asia by boasting of its future exploration and production plans for Vietnam. The Vietnamese subsidiary said it was marking 15 years of operations offshore Vietnam. Though a dominant player on the global energy stage, and one of the top exporters to the European economy, Russian energy companies have maintained a strong footing in the Asia-Pacific region. “Implementation of Vietnam projects is one of the priorities of Rosneft’s international strategy,” the company stated . The Rosneft division in Vietnam draws mostly natural gas from offshore fields, and steers about a fifth of its production toward power generating facilities in the country. Gazprom, Russia’s main natural gas company, estimates the Moc Tinh and […]

PetroVietnam’s crude output may fall 60% over 5-7 years on exploration funding difficulties

28 Jul 2017   Vietnam

Vietnam’s national oil and gas company PetroVietnam has said that its crude oil output is likely to go down sharply in the future due to the difficulties it is facing in funding its exploration activities. The company’s crude oil output may fall 60% to 7 million mt/year in the next five-seven years if the situation does not improve, down from 17.23 million mt in 2016, PetroVietnam’s general director Nguyen Vu Truong Son told a working group of the central government on July 19, according to a recording obtained by S&P Global Platts. “If we fail to improve [exploration work], we cannot stop the falling trend [in output],” Son said, adding that PetroVietnam could only finish 30% of the exploration work planned for 2017 as of mid-July due to financing issues. PetroVietnam is also facing oil exploration difficulties in sensitive areas in the South China Sea, due to a territorial […]

PetroVietnam says Venezuela oil project still stalled, hopes to reactivate

4 May 2017   Venezuela, Vietnam

PetroVietnam’s joint venture with Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA remains stalled but the Vietnamese company hopes ongoing talks will lead to reactivation of operations, a top executive for the company told Reuters on Wednesday. Vietnam’s state-run oil company and PDVSA operate the PetroMacareo extra-heavy crude project in Venezuela’s vast Orinoco Belt. After PetroVietnam halted oil production in 2014 due to tough economic conditions, the firm considered selling its 40-percent stake, but did not. Now, PetroVietnam is trying to get operations going again. “At the moment, we have stopped… We might restart later,” said Ngo Huu Hai, CEO of PetroVietnam Exploration and Production on the sidelines of the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston. Both companies are in talks on new conditions for the joint venture, he added, without elaborating. He did not give a timeframe for the […]

Vietnam’s Only Crude Exporter Attracts Oil Majors for Stake Sale – Bloomberg

8 Mar 2017   Vietnam

PetroVietnam Oil Corp., Vietnam’s sole crude exporter, said it’s in talks to sell as much as 40 percent to strategic investors and expects to narrow down to a list of about five potential bidders for the government this month.  PV Oil, as it’s commonly known, expects to raise at least $270 million from one or two investors from the stake sale, President and Chief Executive Officer Cao Hoai Duong said at the company’s Ho Chi Minh City headquarters. About 10 potential strategic investors, including “major oil companies” from Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and the Middle East, have applied to buy the shares, he said.  PV Oil will also offer as much as 15 percent of its shares in an initial public offering in the first half this year, the CEO said, adding that the stake sale to strategic investors will occur simultaneously with or after the IPO. The company will list shares at an undetermined time on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange after the IPO, he said. “We are looking for good strategic partners so we can make another M&A success,” Duong said in an interview on Tuesday, referring to past acquisitions to expand its retail network.


Vietnam Seeks $1.2 Billion in Overseas Loans to Expand Refinery

2 Dec 2016   Vietnam

Vietnam is seeking about $1.2 billion in overseas loans for its only oil refinery before a share sale in 2017, to increase output and meet demand in one of Southeast Asia’s fastest growing economies. “The expansion will help our refinery operate more efficiently since it will boost the overall output by 30 percent and help cut production costs,” Nguyen Hoai Giang, chairman of Binh Son Refining & PetroChemical Co., the refinery’s operator, said in a telephone interview Thursday. The company is in the process of selecting an adviser for the loans, he said. When completed in 2021, the expanded Dung Quat Refinery will be able to meet half of Vietnam’s fuel needs, rising from about one-third now with its current capacity of 148,000 barrels a day, Giang said. Vietnam’s demand for petroleum products is increasing and imports of such goods rose 18.7 percent in 2015, according to the General […]

Vietnam’s July coal imports surge 141% on year to 1.31 million mt

17 Aug 2016   Vietnam

Vietnam’s coal imports surged 141% year on year to 1.31 million mt in July, customs data released Monday showed. Traditionally a coal exporter, Vietnam turned into an importer amid rising domestic demand, particularly from the power sector. Australia was the largest supplier in July at 463,131 mt, compared with 112,092 mt a year earlier; followed by Russia with 410,449 mt, up 168%; and Indonesia with 172,099 mt, up 37.1% year on year. In the first seven months, Vietnam imported 8.38 million mt of coal, compared with just 2.72 million mt a year ago, the data showed. Article Continues below… Platts Coal Trader International is the only daily publication where you can access Platts proprietary price assessments for coal trading in the Atlantic and Pacific markets, including FOB Newcastle 5,500 NAR; CFR South China 5,500 NAR; and FOB Kalimantan 5,900 GAR. Every Friday, CTI includes a weekly biomass supplement containing […]

Vietnam Tells China to Remove Oil Rig From Disputed Waters

8 Apr 2016   China, Vietnam

Vietnam’s government on Thursday said it had told China to pull an oil rig from waters between the two countries that haven’t been demarcated and urged Beijing not to drill for oil or gas in the area. China National Offshore Oil Corp. towed the same rig, known as HYSY 981, into a disputed area of the South China Sea in May 2014, triggering an uproar in Vietnam. Anti-Chinese riots broke out in several parts of the country while Chinese and Vietnamese coast-guard and fishing vessels stood off against each other at sea. In a statement on Vietnam’s government website, foreign ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh said China last pulled the rig to its present location in the mouth of the Gulf of Tonkin on Sunday. It was towed to a nearby location in January. “Vietnam strongly protests this and demands that China drop its drilling plans and move it […]

Hijackers Release Vietnam Tanker After Diesel Fuel Theft

9 Oct 2014   Vietnam

Pirates released a Vietnamese oil tanker and its 18 crew members yesterday after siphoning part of its diesel cargo, according to the coast guard. The Sunrise 689, which left Singapore on Oct. 3 before vanishing from radar for five days, was about 70 nautical miles from Hon Khoai off Vietnam’s southern province of Kien Giang, said Dao Van Quang, chairman and chief executive officer of Hai Phong Sea Product Shipbuilding Co., the registered owner. It’s expected to reach Phu Quoc island today, said Rear Admiral Ngo Ngoc Thu, Vietnam Coast Guard’s vice commander. “The waters have never been secure for ships,” Thu said by phone. “In particular, the waters bordering Vietnam and Malaysia are not safe. Although all countries in the region have tried to keep them safe, hijackings still happen.” Ship hijackings are rising in , with at least six cases of coastal seizing of cargoes since April, […]

Vietnam, India to Expand Oil Exploration in Contested South China Sea

16 Sep 2014   India, Vietnam

Vietnam and India have struck a deal to expand oil and gas exploration and production in the South China Sea, despite previous Chinese claims that it violates China’s sovereignty. European Pressphoto Agency HANOI—Vietnam and India agreed Monday to expand cooperation in oil and gas exploration and production in contested waters of the South China Sea, despite previous objections from China. The agreement between ONGC Videsh Ltd. and Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, or PetroVietnam, was among several signed between the two countries in Hanoi Monday as part of a four-day visit to Vietnam by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee. “ONGC has been conducting oil and gas exploration and production in Vietnam for many years, and today’s agreement will pave the way for us to extend our cooperation in other blocks offshore Vietnam,” Do Van Hau, PetroVietnam’s chief executive, told The Wall Street Journal. ONGC already has a stake in a […]

Vietnam asks China to move oil rig

24 Jun 2014   China, Vietnam

Vietnam’s official media reports a request was sent to the Chinese side asking they remove the oil rig positioned in disputed maritime territory. China in early May dispatched an oil rig to waters claimed by both the Chinese and Vietnamese governments. A second rig was reportedly sent to the region last week. Both sides have met in Hanoi to discuss the situation, though each side blames the other for the lingering tensions. The official Vietnam News reported Sunday surveillance vessels were still operating within 10-12 nautical miles of the first rig. “[They] conducted communication actions requesting the Chinese side to withdraw the rig and ships from Vietnamese waters,” the Sunday report said. The report said Chinese vessels positioned around the rig fired water cannons and rammed Vietnamese boats in the region, causing “many” injuries. Pro-government China Daily published a Sunday editorial suggesting Vietnam was painting itself as the victim […]

China says moving 2nd oil rig closer to Vietnam

19 Jun 2014   China, Vietnam

BEIJING (AP) — China said Thursday it is moving a second oil rig closer to Vietnam’s coast, showing its determination to press its territorial claims and continue searching for resources in disputed waters despite a tense confrontation with Vietnam over another oil rig to the south. The 600-meter (1,970-foot) -long rig is being towed southeast of its current position south of Hainan Island and will be in its new location closer to Vietnam by Friday, the Maritime Safety Administration said on its website. It asked vessels in the area to give it a wide berth. Vietnam isn’t expected to react strongly to the placement of the second rig because it lies far to the north of the politically sensitive waters surrounding the Paracel Islands, where ships from the two countries have been ramming each other for more than 40 days near the first oil rig. A Vietnamese Foreign Ministry […]

China and Vietnam to Hold Talks Amid Standoff Over Disputed Oil Rig

18 Jun 2014   China, Vietnam

This video grab image taken on June 1, 2014, from a Vietnam Coast Guard ship shows the Chinese Coast Guard ship chasing a Vietnamese vessel near the site of the Chinese oil rig in the disputed waters in the South China Sea. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images China and Vietnam will hold high-level talks on Wednesday as relations remain strained over the deployment in early May of a Chinese drilling platform to waters claimed by Hanoi and Beijing. The meeting between Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh in Hanoi will be the first official contact between the Asian neighbors after more than six weeks of angry confrontations. While neither side is likely to back down in their dispute over the Paracel Islands and the surrounding waters of the South China Sea, the diplomatic opening is the first sign that Beijing and Hanoi are seeking to […]

Vietnam: China moved oil rig

11 Jun 2014   China, Vietnam

A Vietnamese surveillance agency said Wednesday an oil rig stationed by China in disputed waters has moved under guard by six warships. The official Vietnam News reports the rig has moved east-southeast. It’s accompanied by six warships, 13 cargo vessels and 19 tugboats. The Vietnam Fisheries Surveillance Department said Chinese fishing boats in the area, accompanied by two Coast Guard vessels, have been circling Vietnamese fishing boats in what the official news agency said were traditional fishing grounds near the rig. Tran Van Hang, chairman of the External Relations Committee at the Vietnamese National Assembly, sent a letter Tuesday to lawmakers saying China’s actions were provocative. “Peace, stability, security, maritime and aviation safety and freedom in the East Sea are being seriously threatened,” his letter read. China this week sent a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki -moon saying the rig was deployed in its territorial waters, a claim […]

China Looks to U.N. in Vietnam Spat Over Oil Rig

11 Jun 2014   China, Vietnam

A Chinese vessel near the oil rig in disputed waters in the South China Sea. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images China told the United Nations that Vietnam is the aggressor in the countries’ monthlong standoff over a Chinese oil rig in disputed waters, defending Beijing’s conduct and postitioning itself as the victim in the conflict. Despite Beijing’s shunning of international forums when it comes to dispute resolution, Chinese officials on Monday sent U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon what it called a position paper detailing Vietnam’s “illegal disruption” of the “routine” activities of an offshore drilling platform that China deployed near the Paracel Islands in May. China maintained its resistance to seeking a multilateral resolution in the dispute, but the approach suggested that Beijing is growing uneasy about the damage its reputation has suffered from the spat with Vietnam and from a similar dispute with the Philippines, both of which have characterized China […]

China: Vietnam rammed us more than 1,000 times

10 Jun 2014   China, Vietnam

Vietnam has rammed Chinese vessels near an oil rig in disputed waters more than 1,000 times since early May, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. China started drilling operations near the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea in early May. The Vietnamese government said the program is a violation of its sovereignty. In a statement Sunday, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Vietnamese have harassed its vessels in the area repeatedly since drilling operations began. “There were as many as 63 Vietnamese vessels in the area at the peak, attempting to break through China’s cordon and ramming the Chinese government ships for a total of 1,416 times,” the statement said. The ministry said Chinese oil companies have been working in the region for the past 10 years. Drilling operations near the islands, it said, are part of a “routine” exploration process. Vietnamese […]

Vietnam Lashes Out at China, Tries to Coax Firms to Stay

22 May 2014   Vietnam

Vietnam’s prime minister charged that China “seriously threatened peace” by parking its oil rig in disputed waters, as Hanoi tried to coax foreign businesses to stay in the country after a destructive spate of anti-Chinese riots. Taiwan rejected a compensation plan sketched out by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung for factories burned and looted in the unrest last week, and a Taiwanese steel company threatened not to resume building what would be Southeast Asia’s largest steel mill, underscoring the challenge for Vietnam in restoring its allure as a manufacturing center. “The Vietnamese government must give us a firm and clear assurance that our staff, including our contractors, and our assets will be fully protected in the future,” said Lin Hsin-I, chairman of Formosa Ha Tinh Steel, whose site was one of the worst hit. “Otherwise we won’t continue to build the plant.” Formosa Ha Tinh Steel is a […]

Chinese rig a serious issue, Vietnam says

21 May 2014   Vietnam

The situation surrounding China’s decision to send an oil rig into waters disputed with Vietnam is growing unpredictable, a Vietnamese legislator said Tuesday. Members of the Vietnamese National Assembly met Tuesday in Hanoi to discuss National Offshore Oil Corp. to deploy rig HD-981 about 120 miles off the coast of Vietnam. National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung said the situation in the South China Sea was getting complicated. “China’s recent deployment of a giant oil rig and its protective armada in Vietnam’s [exclusive economic zone] seriously violates Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty,” he said . A government report submitted Tuesday to the assembly says Vietnam reserves the right to maintain a posture of self-defense in the event the situation escalates. China says it’s operating within its territorial waters. The U.S. government has weighed in , saying it has no stance on claims to the South China […]

Toasts Turn to Water Cannons in China, Vietnam Sea Spat

19 May 2014   Vietnam

The crews from the Vietnamese and Chinese coast guards shook hands and took photos as they met last month, sharing platters of fruit and raising their glasses for a toast. Now, they are in a tense standoff in the South Sea. “The two sides were very happy and united,” Lt. Colonel Phan Duy Cuong, the operations assistant of Vietnam’s Coast Guard Command, said of the April 15 ceremony. “We toasted each other with wine. They went on our boat and we went on theirs.” Ships No. 8003 and 2007 sailed alongside two Chinese coast guard vessels for three days in the Gulf of Tonkin. A month later, at least one of those Chinese boats has been spotted helping guard an oil rig that Vietnam is demanding be removed from contested waters about 140 miles (225 kilometers) off its coast, according to Cuong. The dispute over the rig near the […]

Vietnam Moves to Quell New Anti-China Protests

19 May 2014   Vietnam

Vietnam deployed security forces and quelled renewed protests against China on Sunday amid escalating tensions between the two nations after a territorial dispute sparked anti-Chinese rioting across the southeast Asian country. The Chinese government chartered planes and vessels as it evacuated more than 3,000 of its nationals in Vietnam, China’s Xinhua news agency reported Sunday, following riots in recent days that and more than 100 injured. Among those evacuated were 16 critically injured Chinese as well as staff from the China 19th Metallurgical Corp. who were building an iron and steel complex in Vietnam’s Ha Tinh Province, Xinhua said. Mobs looted and burned their way last week through several of the industrial parks where Chinese and other foreign manufacturers have set up over the past dozen years to take advantage of Vietnam’s low-cost, skilled workforce. The rioting was initially a response to China’s deployment of an oil rig in […]

Beijing Presses Vietnam After Anti-Chinese Riots

19 May 2014   Vietnam

China’s police chief, Guo Shengkun, urged his Vietnamese counterpart to do a better job of protecting Chinese nationals and companies from anti-Chinese protests , Xinhua, the Chinese state news agency reported. In the Saturday phone call, Mr. Guo told Tran Dai Quang, Vietnam’s minister of public security, that the Vietnamese side bears what Xinhua called an “unshirkable responsibility” for the situation. Mobs looted and in industrial estates in Vietnam this past week, set off initially by anger at China’s claimed by Vietnam. China said Friday that two of its citizens died in the rioting. “China’s Ministry of Public Security is very much shocked and indignant at the violence,” Xinhua quoted Mr. Guo as telling Mr. Tran. Mr. Guo added that China was dissatisfied with Vietnam’s response to the violence, Xinhua said. According to Xinhua, Mr. Tran said Vietnam had dispatched large police forces to the areas affected and had […]

White House Says China’s Oil-Rig Deployment ‘Provocative,’ Dangerous

17 May 2014   China, Vietnam

WASHINGTON—The White House on Friday stepped up criticism of China’s deployment of an , saying the move had complicated relations in the region and made peaceful resolution of territorial disputes more difficult. “This is a provocative act, and it raises tensions in the region,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said. China and Vietnam are locked in a dispute over contested waters that both claim as part of their territory. The standoff, which escalated after a state-run Chinese oil company positioned an oil rig in the area, has sparked and raised fears of a military conflict. The U.S. hasn’t taken a position on the nations’ competing sovereignty claims in the region, Mr. Carney said, but said no country should resort to intimidation and threats. “We’re very concerned about dangerous conduct and intimidation by government-controlled assets operating in this area, and we call on all parties to conduct themselves in a […]

Anti-Chinese Violence Turns Deadly and Spreads in Vietnam

15 May 2014   Vietnam

Violence against foreign-owned factories spread elsewhere in Vietnam and took a deadly turn, with officials saying Thursday that one Chinese worker had been killed and scores more injured when hundreds of protesting Vietnamese went on a rampage in a factory in the central part of the country. The explosion of violence — initially centered outside the southern metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City — reflected growing animosity in the region as China works to solidify its claims over vast parts of two seas that other nations have long considered their own. In Ha Tinh Province, in the northern part of central Vietnam, hundreds of protesting Vietnamese workers entered the Formosa Plastics Group steel plant on Wednesday afternoon, attacking Chinese nationals contracted to work there, the Taiwan-based company said Thursday. One Chinese worker was killed and 90 were injured in the violence, according to the […]

More than 20 dead, doctor says, as anti-China riots spread in Vietnam

15 May 2014   Vietnam

 More than 20 people were killed in Vietnam and a huge foreign steel project set ablaze as anti-China riots spread to the centre of the country a day after arson and looting in the south, a doctor and company officials said on Thursday. A doctor at a hospital in central Ha Tinh province said five Vietnamese workers and 16 other people described as Chinese were killed on Wednesday night in rioting, one of the worst breakdowns in Sino-Vietnamese relations since the neighbors fought a brief border war in 1979. “There were about a hundred people sent to the hospital last night. Many were Chinese. More are being sent to the hospital this morning,” the doctor at Ha Tinh General Hospital told Reuters by phone. Local media has, however, said only person was killed. Formosa Plastics Group, Taiwan’s biggest investor in Vietnam, said its upcoming steel plant […]

Factories torched in anti-China protest in Vietnam

14 May 2014   China, Vietnam

Mobs of rioters in Vietnam torched at least 15 foreign-owned factories and trashed or looted many more following a large protest by workers against China’s recent placement of an oil rig in disputed Southeast Asian waters, officials said Wednesday. The unrest at industrial parks close to Ho Chi Minh City built to attract foreign investors is the most serious outbreak of public disorder in the tightly controlled country in years. It points to the dangers for the government as it manages public anger at China while also protesting itself against the Chinese actions in an area of the South China Sea claimed by Vietnam. The unrest late Tuesday at a Singapore-run industrial park and others nearby in Binh Duong province followed protests by up to 20,000 workers. Smaller groups attacked factories they believed were Chinese-run, but many were Taiwanese or South Korean, the provincial government […]

Rig Off Vietnam Crowns Push to Develop Energy Reserves Without Foreign Partners

13 May 2014   China, Vietnam

China spent years working with or buying companies that had mastered deep-water technology, honing skills it is now deploying on its own in disputed waters near Vietnam. China also spent heavily on developing its own sophisticated offshore equipment, of which the rig at the heart of the China-Vietnam standoff is a crown jewel, illustrating how the country can now largely go it alone—developing oil or gas reserves far underwater without relying heavily on foreign partners. The fact that it no longer needs foreign assistance raises the specter of future maritime conflict with not just Vietnam, but also Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines, all of which claim sovereignty over parts of the waters that China also claims. Chinese ships clashed with Vietnam’s coast guard over the rig Wednesday, the same day a crew of Chinese fishermen were detained by the Philippines near the disputed Spratly Islands. Philippine authorities on […]

China defends oil rig position in disputed waters

10 May 2014   China, Vietnam

BEIJING, May 9 (UPI) –Chinese drilling operations near the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea are normal and within Beijing’s territorial waters, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said. Yi Xianliang, deputy director-general of ocean affairs at the Chinese Foreign Ministry, challenged claims from Vietnam that a drilling rig was operating in Vietnamese waters. PetroVietnam, the country’s state-owned energy company, said last weekend drilling rig HD-981, deployed by the China National Offshore Oil Corp. about 120 miles off the coast of Vietnam, was encroaching on its sovereignty . The Vietnamese government said it would take “all the proper and necessary measures” to protect its interests. Yi said Thursday said the Chinese government, however, was “deeply surprised” by Vietnam’s reaction. The rig, he said, was operating completely within Chinese territorial waters. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said during her regular press briefing Thursday the Chinese side was taking “provocative” actions […]

Vietnam Demands China Withdraw Oil Rig From Disputed Waters

7 May 2014   Vietnam

Vietnam said it would take all measures necessary to protect its legitimate interests in the South China Sea after a Chinese state-run oil company . Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh, in a telephone call to Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi Tuesday, said the deployment of the oil rig by China National Offshore Oil Corp. and the presence of several Chinese vessels in the area violated international laws and Vietnam’s sovereignty, according to a government statement late Tuesday. On Saturday, China’s Maritime Safety Administration disclosed the location of the oil rig. Vietnam says the rig is 138 miles (220 kilometers) from its shore and “totally within its exclusive economic zone.” At a press briefing on Monday, China Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the rig was in Chinese waters. “As we understand it, the Chinese Maritime Safety Administration issued a shipping notice on May 3 regarding […]

Chinese and Vietnamese Ships Collide Amid Oil Rig Dispute

7 May 2014   China, Vietnam

Tensions in the South China Sea intensified Wednesday as Vietnamese naval vessels collided with Chinese ships amid a heated standoff over an oil rig that China had placed off Vietnam’s coast. Officials said that no shots were fired during the incident, and further details about the collision, which was confirmed by a Vietnamese official to The Associated Press, were not available. But the collision highlighted the hair-trigger tensions in the region as East Asian nations try to contain China’s more aggressive posture in pursuing maritime claims in the South China Sea. The collision occurred just days after the Chinese state oil company Cnooc stationed the rig 120 nautical miles off the coast of Vietnam, in waters claimed by China and Vietnam. The placement of the rig led to protests and demands by Vietnam that it be withdrawn, and the deployment of a Vietnamese naval flotilla to […]

Cnooc Oil Rig Fuels Vietnam-China Tensions

6 May 2014   China, Vietnam

Vietnam accused a Chinese energy company of operating in its waters illegally, potentially ratcheting up tensions further between the two countries. On Saturday, China’s Maritime Safety Administration disclosed the location of China National Offshore Oil Corp.’s HD-981 oil rig. The area is in part of the South China Sea that Vietnam claims as its “exclusive economic zone,” said Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh. “All activities by a foreign entity in Vietnamese waters without Vietnam’s consent are illegal and invalid, and Vietnam strongly protests [such activities],” Mr. Binh said in a statement posted on the government’s website late Sunday. The area the Cnooc rig is operating in is “only 120 nautical miles from Vietnam’s shore,” the statement added. At a daily press briefing on Monday, China Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the rig was in Chinese waters. “As we understand it, the Chinese Maritime Safety Administration issued […]

Petrovietnam Suspends Venezuela Oil Production

14 Jan 2014   Panama, Vietnam

Vietnam Oil & Gas Group, or Petrovietnam, has suspended production of crude oil at a block in Venezuela, citing a tough economic conditions. “Basically, we are just slowing things down, and we haven’t decided to withdraw from the project yet,” said Pham Ngoc Khue, head of the investment and development division of PVEP, the Petrovietnam unit that jointly operates the Junin-2 block in Venezuela’s Orinoco belt with Petróleos de Venezuela SA. “The investment environment there is not suitable for us right now—and even for several other foreign investors,” Mr. Khue said Tuesday. PVEP previously said the project started producing oil in October 2012, with an initial target of 200,000 barrels of crude a day by 2016. The block is Petrovietnam’s only operation in Venezuela. A Petrovietnam official said on condition of anonymity that skyrocketing inflation in Venezuela makes the cost of doing business there too high. Consumer prices in […]

Slowly, Asia’s Factories Begin to Turn Green

8 Jan 2014   Vietnam

When Intel went about setting up its chip factory in Vietnam, it found an oddity: Local laws did not govern every aspect of the building. The government had no comprehensive standards, for instance, on refrigerant chemicals, which in the United States are typically regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. In fact, officials asked Intel whether the company had any ideas on the subject that might be useful to other manufacturers operating in the country. Yet today, Intel’s $1 billion plant, about 10 miles from downtown Ho Chi Minh City, embraces environmental and sustainability measures far beyond those required by Vietnam’s laws. Opened in 2010, the complex has the country’s largest operating solar array. Company officers say a new water-reclamation system could soon help it reduce water consumption as much as 68 percent. It is also vying for certification by the U.S. Green Building […]