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Building hydrocarbon expertise in Vietnam

 on globe * Oil and gas constitute an important sector in the Vietnamese society. About 20% of the annual national revenue is generated by oil and gas and this sector employs many Vietnamese. In 2001, GEUS started a joint project with the Vietnam Petroleum Institute (VPI) to strengthen Vietnam's ability to assess its oil and gas resources. The Geological Institute of the University of Copenhagen and Hanoi University of Mining and Geology participate to some degree in the project also.

The general objective of the project is to improve the capabilities of researchers and research institutions in Vietnam to analyse and model their geological basins in an effective, integrated and comprehensive way. This will establish a good geo-scientific background on which political and/or technical decisions concerning the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons can be based. While the present project deals specifically with Vietnam, it is expected to generate insights which will be of relevance in other countries in the region as well. Training of Vietnamese scientists will consist in solving a specific research project with the purpose of understanding the geological development and the potential for finding oil and gas in the Phu Khanh Basin.

The immediate objectives are:
  • To strengthen research capabilities in hydrocarbon related research in Vietnam with priority given to training in integrated geo-scientific studies comprising among others, seismic, sedimentological and source rock analysis.
  • To upgrade and/or update the technical facilities at VPI.
  • Encourage and support research significance for local social and economic development.
  • To strengthen links between researchers and the users of research results by involving users (i.e. PetroVietnam) in the set up of research priorities and in the follow-up on research results.
  • To promote the Vietnamese geological basins to Industry and Academia.
  • Expose the Vietnamese geo-scientists to the international research community.
  • To strengthen the Danish resource base in international geo-scientific research collaboration.

The project is financed by the Danish International Development Assistance (Danida), and specifically by its ENhancement of REsearch CApacity (ENRECA) programme.

In 2005, phase 2 kicked-off of a cooperation project between GEUS and the Vietnam Petroleum Institute (VPI), aiming at enhancing Vietnam's ability to assess its oil and gas resources. The project is being funded by the Danida ENRECA programme and it will focus on oil-geological research in the Malay - Tho Chu basin, with a view to understanding the geological structure of the basin and assessing the potentials for oil/gas. Phase 2 not only aims at capacity-building at VPI, but also at improving cooperation with universities in Vietnam and Denmark. With participation from teaching resources from the Geological Institute at the University of Copenhagen, joint MSc/PhD programmes will be completed for younger researchers and students from VPI, Hanoi University of Mining and Geology (HUMG) and Hanoi University of Science (HUS). The programmes also include introducing Vietnamese lecturers to modern teaching techniques such as those used at the Geological Institute in Copenhagen.

Since 1995, GEUS has been involved in several geological research projects in Vietnam focussing on analysis and modelling of geological basins. The local partner in these projects was Vietnam Petroleum Institute (VPI), which was formed in 1978 and is a subsidiary of the state-owned oil company PetroVietnam. In addition, CCOP (Coordinating Committee for Geoscience Programmes in East and Southeast Asia) has been involved in the co-ordination of the projects and dissemination of obtained results to its member countries.

The funding for these projects has been provided by the Danish Energy Agency, Danida, Danida Fellowship Centre in Copenhagen, Denmark, and the Royal Danish Embassy in Hanoi. Further support has been supplied by GEUS and PetroVietnam.

Read and/or download the article:
Petroleum potential of sedimentary basins in Vietnam: longterm geoscientific co-operation with Vietnam Petroleum Institute.
Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland Bulletin 4, 97-100 (2004)

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