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Oil and Gas

Vietnam and its territorial waters are rich in oil and gas reserves. There is huge potential in the Vietnam oil and gas industry which remains to a significant extent unrealised. Although in their formative stages, the Vietnam oil and gas industry has made excellent progress during the last decade, and the outlook for the decade ahead is exciting.

Vietnam’s oil and gas industry is dominated by State owned monopoly enterprises, and opportunities for foreign investment must be assessed in this context. Numerous successful joint venture projects have been established and implemented between foreign investors and relevant State owned enterprises, although such foreign investment initiatives have not always been highly successful.

The success of any foreign investment project in the oil and gas sector in Vietnam depends to a large extent on taking the time and effort to navigate the very onerous State and regulatory approvals process, and ensuring not only that all requisite approvals are obtained, but that they are obtained properly, duly, in compliance with the law, and on the right terms. For an overview of the oil and gas regulatory framework, we draw your attention to a PowerPoint presentation recently presented by our Mr Pham Ba Linh to the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam.  Please click here if you would like to view the presentation.

Whether approaching an upstream, midstream or a downstream oil and gas project (or an integrated oil and gas project), it is of  paramount importance to ensure that every step of the process is guided by experienced professional advisors, who not only have the expertise, but also a proven track record of success in assisting foreign investors to navigate successfully the maze of legal, regulatory, and bureaucratic requirements which must be overcome in order to succeed.

Recent Work

  • Advising a leading international oil company on production sharing agreements (PSC) and joint operating agreements (JOA) issues relating to the development of its Vietnam upstream assets.

  • Advising a leading Australian oil company on the documentation of an EPCI Contract in relation to the engineering, procurement, construction and installation of upstream facilities in an offshore block in Vietnam.

  • Advising an international oil company on farm-in agreement documentation and PSC/JOA issues.

  • Acting for a US diversified oil and gas, multi-national manufacturing corporation in relation to a strategic market study in Vietnam, as well as advising on its production sharing contract negotiations in various different oil and gas blocks in Vietnam; also advising on its upstream projects and project documentation in Vietnam; on PSC and JOA issues relating to the development of its Vietnam upstream assets; and on supply chain management (SCM)/procurement issues and applicable bidding rules under Vietnamese law.

  • Advising a leading international oil company on the proposed acquisition of ConocoPhillips’ Vietnam upstream assets (valued at US$1.5 billion).

  • Advising a leading UK oil company on the enforcement of its proposed farm-out arrangements relating to one of its upstream exploration assets in Vietnam, and the triggering of PetroVietnam’s statutory pre-emptive right.