Fossil energy – Vietnam
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.
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.
“The proposed project consists of an offshore platform, a pipeline to transport the gas to shore, an onshore gas treatment plant and pipelines that feed gas to third-party power plants to generate electricity locally,” ExxonMobil said at the beginning of 2019.
By mid-2019 there was talk ExxonMobil was trying to sell the project due to issues over gas agreements with the Vietnamese government. At the same time, China was a persistent threat in the background.
“ExxonMobil continues to progress preparatory work for Ca Voi Xanh. We completed front-end engineering and design for the project in May 2020, and are working on the final development plan,” an ExxonMobil spokesperson told S&P Global Platts.