As a key economic sector of Vietnam, the oil and gas industry has made great contributions to the country's GDP, energy security, food security and national sovereignty protection in the past years. Report by Vietnam Business Forum.

The Vietnam Energy Sector Development Strategy until 2020 and towards 2050 accentuates its focus on synchronised development of Vietnamese oil and gas industry, including prospecting, exploring, extracting, transporting, processing, storing, distributing, servicing, importing and exporting activities.

Regarding oil and gas research and exploration, the country will raise reserves to 35-45 million metric tonnes of oil equivalent a year in the 2011-2015 period and strive to increase reserves in the 2016-2025 phase. In oil and gas production, the country will focus on studying solutions to improve oil recovery coefficient, maintain optimised oil and gas production, ensure safety, reduce well flooding risks, and expand overseas investment. The oil and gas sector targets to exploit 25-38 million metric tonnes of oil equivalent a year.

In the 2011-2015 period, the country is striving to maintain operations of 20 oil and gas fields, aiming to extract 18-19 million metric tonnes of crude oil and 9-14 billion cubic metres of gas. In the 2016 - 2025 phase, the oil equivalent production output is expected at 40-45 million metric tonnes of oil a year, of which crude oil output is about 12-16 million metric tonnes. Overseas oil production output is forecast to reach 7-14 million metric tonnes a year and gas production is projected at 15-19 billion cubic metres.

In the gas industry, the country will actively diversify consumption markets. Gas will be supplied to such sectors as electricity, fertiliser, chemical, industry, transportation and civil, with demand estimated at 19 billion cubic metres in 2025. The country will study to connect Southeast - Southwest pipeline system and transnational pipeline to lay the groundwork for getting connected to the Southeast Asia gas pipeline system.

The country will safely and effectively operate gas pipeline systems and Dinh Co gas processing plant, and continue collecting gas from big and small fields to run existing pipelines like Cuu Long, Nam Con Son and PM3 - CAA - Ca Mau at full capacity. The country will cooperate with domestic and foreign partners to invest in researching and applying appropriate technological solutions to recover gas currently burned off at oilrigs, separate high-value products such as ethane, propane - butane (LPG) and condensate in order to raise the value of oil and gas resources. The volume of gas collected ashore is expected at 9-14 billion cubic metres a year in the period from 2011 to 2015.

The country will complete the construction of Phu My - Ho Chi Minh City gas pipeline and Phu My - My Xuan - Go Dau low-pressure gas pipeline in the second phase and build gas gathering and transporting systems connected with Ca Ngu Vang - Emerald, Su Tu Den/Su Tu Vang - Rang Dong fields in Cuu Long basin. It will maximise the operating capacity of second-phase Nam Con Son pipeline and low-pressure pipelines to serve development demands of industrial zones located along pipelines. It will safely and efficiently operate the PM3 - Ca Mau gas pipeline, accelerate the construction progress of Block Billion - O Mon pipeline and connect it with the PM3 - CAA pipeline. It will also study the possibility of connecting Southeast and Southwest pipelines to lay the foundation for connecting with Trans-ASEAN gas pipeline (TAGP).

The country will prepare plans to import natural gas, LNG, CNG, DME and other gas products via depots and ports capable of serving ships of 50,000-100,000DWT. The storage depots will have individual storage capacity of 150,000 cubic metres in the period from 2011 - 2013 to serve the growing demand of power plants, industries and people.

Regarding oil and gas processing industry, by 2015, Vietnam will complete the construction of 3-5 oil refining petrochemical complexes with a combined annual capacity of 26-32 million metric tonnes and put into use 1-2 oil refining petrochemical complexes to make basic petrochemical products.

By 2025, the country will complete expansion and construction of 6-7 oil refining petrochemical complexes with a total annual capacity of 45-60 million metric tonnes, meeting some 50 percent of domestic demand for basic petrochemicals.

The country will build and operate Nghi Son, Long Son and Nam Van Phong oil refining petrochemical complexes, Vung Ro and Can Tho oil refineries; expand Nghi Son and Long Son oil refining petrochemical complexes; and plan to build new facilities or upgrade existing facilities to configure downstream processing.

By 2015, the country will safely operate Phu My fertiliser plant at optimised capacity and complete the construction of Ca Mau fertiliser plant. It will also build Dung Quat refining and petrochemical complex (Quang Ngai province), Long Son refining and petrochemical complex (Ba Ria - Vung Tau province), Hoa Tam refining and petrochemical complex (Phu Yen province), and PET fibre plant (Hai Phong city).

In the 2016 - 2025 phase, the country will complete the building of Nghi Son refining and petrochemical complex (Thanh Hoa province) and expanding Dung Quat, Long Son and Hoa Tam refining and petrochemical complexes, and construct some new refining and petrochemical complexes in suitable locations.

Oil and gas services are expected to expand 15 - 20 percent a year in the period to 2015. The revenue of oil and gas technical services is expected to increase 20-25 percent a year in the 2016 - 2025 phase. The country is striving to realise the target of petroleum reserves equal to 60 days in 2020 and 90 days in 2025.-VNA