PetroVietnam, partners eye ConocoPhillips’ $ 1.5 billion oil assets

HANOI, July 8 (Reuters) – State oil group Petrovietnam and its partners may buy $ 1.5 billion in Vietnamese oil assets in the contentious South China Sea from ConocoPhillips , according to Petrovietnam’s chief executive.

Petrovietnam’s plan demonstrates a commitment to help protect Vietnam’s sovereignty in the East Sea, as it calls the disputed area, the company’s chief executive, Phung Dinh Thuc, was quoted as saying.

China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei claim parts or all of the South China Sea, a territory believed to be sitting on rich deposits of oil, gas and minerals, as well as being a major shipping lane.

ConocoPhillips owns a 23.3 percent stake in a complex of five oilfields in block 15-1 in the area. It owns 36 percent of the Rang Dong oilfield in block 15-2 in the Cuu Long basin and 16.3 percent in the Nam Con Son gas pipeline project, the statement said.

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