The Vietnamese Government has always paid attention to developing the oil and gas sector, considering it a driving force of the country’s economy, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has said.

Opening the tenth conference and exhibition of the ASEAN Council on Petroleum (ASCOPE) in Ho Chi Minh City on November 28, Deputy PM Hai highlighted the sector’s role in ensuring national energy security and its contributions to sustainable regional development in general.

Vietnam is one of the countries facing energy shortfalls although national energy consumption is one tenth of other developing nations, the leader said.

He voiced his hope that the event will help enhance cooperation and the exchange of the most advanced technologies and comprehensive coordination between national oil and gas groups within the ASCOPE as well as international ones, especially in the exploration, exploitation, processing and transport of oil and gas.

Founded on October 15, 1975, the ASCOPE gathers representatives of national petroleum companies and management agencies in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) joined the council in 1996.

Held every four years by ASCOPE members in turn, this year’s event, themed “Renovation and Development - Looking towards the future”, focuses on the latest developments in the global and regional petroleum industry, as well as opportunities, challenges and solutions.

The event, to last until November 30, will introduce cutting-edge equipment and technologies in the exploration, exploitation, processing and transport of oil and gas.-VNA