x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Abu Dhabi firms may join Vietnam refinery project

Venezuela's withdrawal from a refinery joint venture in Vietnam has opened the door for Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Company.

Venezuela's withdrawal from a refinery joint venture in Vietnam has opened the door for Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) to expand its portfolio of Asian petroleum assets. The national Venezuelan oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) has withdrawn from the US$7 billion (Dh25.71bn) Long Son project to build Vietnam's third oil refinery, according to the Lao Dong, a Vietnamese state-run newspaper that quoted the PetroVietnam managing director Phung Dinh Thuc.

Mr Thuc gave no reason for the decision. He said PetroVietnam, the Vietnamese state oil company, was "proactively negotiating" with a consortium of IPIC, Petronas of Malaysia and the Switzerland-based oil trader Trafigura about investing in the 200,000 barrel per day refinery development in southern Vietnam, about 100km east of Ho Chi Minh City. IPIC, an Abu Dhabi Government-owned investment firm, may be shifting its attention east after amassing a substantial portfolio of energy-focused assets in Europe and North America.

On Tuesday, Dow Jones reported the company had revived plans to build a $5bn oil refinery in Pakistan after overcoming differences with its joint venture partner, the Pak-Arab Refinery Company. Earlier in the week, the official Oman News Agency said IPIC and the government-owned Oman Oil Company had agreed to study the feasibility of building a large oil refining and petrochemicals complex at the Omani port of Duqm.

In August, Oil Search, an Australian oil and gas firm in which IPIC is a major shareholder, said it was close to a deal to sell a 3.5 per cent direct stake in its flagship Papua New Guinea liquefied natural gas project to the Abu Dhabi company. @Email:tcarlisle@thenational.ae