HOUSTON, Oct 25, 2011. Exxon Mobil Corp. said it found oil and gas off Vietnam’s central coast, raising hopes that the South Asian nation will be able to reverse a decline in fossil-fuel production and exports.
Exxon said it drilled its second exploratory well off the coast of Danang City in August and found hydrocarbons. A company spokesman said Tuesday that data from the well, located in an area known as Block 119, are being analyzed.
Exxon’s discovery is important for Vietnam, which is trying to boost its oil and gas production as the country’s aging fields fail to meet growing domestic demand. Vietnam, a net oil exporter and the third-largest oil producer in South Asia, started awarding exploration rights in 2004 to companies from the U.S., Canada and India.
For Exxon, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company by market value, the find is good news as limited access to new resources makes it difficult for major oil companies to increase production and replace reserves.
The discovery lies in the South China sea, where Vietnam has rich oil reserves. State-run PetroVietnam and international oil companies already produce at several major fields in the area.