Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Viktor Borisovich Khrischenko has confirmed the outstanding maturity of Vietsovpetro in oil and gas exploration and exploitation after seeing offshore projects during his inspection tour.

Visiting Russian Minister Khrischenko made the statement at his working session with the Vietnam-Russia oil and gas joint venture in southern coastal province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau on Oct. 22.

This provides a firm foundation for Vietsovpetro to maintain their business relations after the joint venture contract ends in 2010, he added.

The Russian Minister also took the opportunity to confirm that Vietnam is not only a valuable trade partner for Russia, but also a gateway nation for Russia to convey its keen interest in other Southeast Asian countries. He said he hoped that both countries would expand cooperative relations in aircraft manufacturing, ship building, energy-saving technology, medical facilities and in other fields.

Vietsovpetro now has 6,500 employees including more than 500 Russians. Over the past 28 years, the joint venture has produced 182 million tonnes of crude oil and brought 20.8 billion cubic metres of gas ashore. It has also built 18 fixed platforms and 445 km of submersible pipeline. Vietsovpetro boasts two jack-up rigs, three offshore floating storage units and a 17-ship fleet./.