PetroVietnam: 45 years of performing oil exploration mission hinh anh 1Flare workshop maintenance at Dung Quat oil refinery. (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA) -The efforts of the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) over the past 45 years have affirmed that "real gold does not fear the test of fire" and its employees will endeavor to make more contributions to the national development.

Throughout its 45-year history of operation, PetroVietnam has faced numerous difficulties and challenges, but with the trust and support of the Party and State, the group has weathered all storms to fulfill its assigned tasks and contribute greatly to national socio-economic development.

An important step forward

According to Nguyen Hiep, former Deputy General Director of the Vietnam Oil and Gas General Department (now PetroVietnam), less than three months after the liberation of the south and re-unification of the country in 1975, on July 20, 1975, the Politburo issued Resolution 244-NQ/TW on oil exploration in the country during a meeting in Sai Gon. Just one month later, the National Assembly’s Standing Committee approved Decision 33-QN/QH/K5 on the establishment of a Vietnam Oil and Gas General Department.

On September 3, 1975, the Government Council issued Decree 170/CP on setting up the Vietnam Oil and Gas General Department, which turned a new page in the history of Vietnam’s oil and gas industry, ending the separate operation of several organisations in the Geology General Department and Chemicals General Department.

Later, the Party, National Assembly and Government have issued numerous resolutions to orientate and create a corridor for the development of the oil and gas sector.

The group has grown up from almost zero, and made the impossible possible. Behind each of its major projects such as the Dung Quat refinery, the Ca Mau Gas-Power-Fertiliser Complex or the Nghi Son refinery and petrochemical complex, there were untold stories about uncountable difficulties and snares that the contingent of engineers and workers in the industry have surmounted.

Hiep further said that after 1975, before the urgent need for oil and gas exploration, the Party assigned military generals with combat experience, high will and discipline to lead the army’s economic units in developing the oil and gas industry.

Now, generations of the first PetroVietnam engineers and workers could not forget the last days of 1975, when Uncle Ho’s soldiers left the guns to build an industry with the most rigorous technical requirements.

At that time, the soldiers, with almost zero knowledge about oil and gas, built service bases for the industry and went out to the sea to search for oil and gas. They took advantage of every day and hour to learn from foreign experts.

It was the great endeavour of oil and gas workers to make the country on par with oil and gas powers in the world as well as to learn how to convert oil and gas resources into energy serving national economic development.

PetroVietnam: 45 years of performing oil exploration mission hinh anh 2Handing over the shift on Chim Sao rig. (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Real gold does not fear the test of fire

During the most difficult times of the group, such as when oil flows from oil wells of the Vietsovpetro joint venture fell to an unimaginable level in 1988, leaders of the Party, State and Government still kept their trust in the oil and gas sector and encouraged it to seek solutions. The finding of oil in sedimentary rock not only saved the Vietsovpetro joint venture but also opened up a new chapter for oil exploration and exploitation in waters under Vietnam’s sovereignty and jurisdiction.

Many other projects, like the Phu My fertilizer plant, the Dinh Co gas processing plant, the Ca Mau Gas-Power-Fertiliser Complex and the Hua Na and Dak-dring hydro-power plants, also faced protest and doubt. But with the trust and support of the Party and State, they have been completed and put into operation, contributing greatly to national economic development.

PetroVietnam has become the core of the national oil and gas sector. It has developed the full chain of the industry from upstream to midstream and downstream. The industry’s operation also serves as a driver of development in many localities. Major products of PetroVietnam, such as electricity, fertilizer, petrol, oil and gas, play an important role in ensuring power and food security for the country, laying a solid foundation for other economic sectors to develop.

Since the beginning of 2020, the group has struggled with the twin crises – impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and declining oil prices. However, it has managed to maintain the pace of production and ensure the supply of strategic commodities such as gas, electricity, fertiliser, and petrol for the national economy. The group also posted a profit of more than 10 trillion VND (430 million USD) and paid more than 38 trillion VND (1.63 billion USD) to the State budget.

The oil and gas sector also had good news recently, which was the discovery of a large oil and gas reserve at Ken Bau well in Block 114, in Song Hong Basin, offshore Vietnam’s northern continental shelf, about 65km from Quang Tri province, and 86km from Da Nang city in the central region. The finding is expected to open up more opportunities to attract investment in exploitation and processing, the gas power industry, and oil and gas services in the time to come./.