Monday, 12 July 2010
Mounting interest in BP's Nam Con Son assets
According to official reports several international oil producers, including China's CNOOC and Sinopec, Thailand's PTTEP and India's ONGC - already a partner of BP's in Vietnam, are taking an interest in BP's stake in the $1.3 billion Nam Con Son gas project offshore of Ho Chi Minh City.
BP has a significant presence in Vietnam and is the biggest foreign producer of natural gas. It also has a gas-fired power station and a pipeline. Collectively, BP's assets, known as Nam Con Son, constitute the largest gas project within the country.
It is thought that if Nam Con Son was to be auctioned off, it would generate a lot of interest particularly from Thailand and India. "We haven't looked at it yet as BP hasn't opened the bid officially. But (we) heard people say it wants to sell non-core assets,” said CEO of PTTEP, Anon Sirisaengtaksin.
BP has multiple partners in the Nam Con Son project, one of whom is state-run PetroVietnam. According to the British giant the Nam Con Son is worth $1.3 billion. The sale of these assets has been prompted by the ongoing clean-up operation in the Gulf of Mexico, which has now been estimated at $20 billion.
The Nam Con Son is a considered to be a lucrative venture and should generate interest among several of Asia's energy producers, particularly those eager to expand their operations in the Southeast Asia.
For more news and expert analysis about Vietnam, please see Vietnam Focus.