ExxonMobil stares down China for Vietnam gas

Vietnam’s long-delayed Blue Whale offshore gas development project may be closer to pumping after operator and majority owner ExxonMobil said last week it was working on a final development plan for the field, which sits 80 kilometers off the central coast. 

The Ca Voi Xanh field, located 80 kilometers off the central coast and known in Vietnamese as Blue Whale, was quietly but never officially shelved in 2019. It was initially planned to have supplied about 10% of the country’s surging electricity demand by transmitting gas to four separate power stations in two of Vietnam’s poorer central provinces.

It is forecast to generate as much as US$20 billion in revenue for the Vietnamese government. ExxonMobil discovered the field a decade ago and holds 63.75% of the field in a joint venture with national entity PetroVietnam. In January 2019, it awarded Italian multinational oilfield services company Saipem engineering design contracts. 

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