Basic Facts:

Government: Communist state

GDP: $258.1 billion (2009 est.)

GDP Composition: 21,3 % Agriculture, 40 % Industry, 38,7 % Services (2009 est.)

GDP Growth rate: 5,3 %

Budget Revenues: $ 21,15 billion

Budget Expenditures : $ 29,18 billion (2009 est.)

Natural resources: Oil and natural gas along 3400 km coastal line; mining (coal, iron, titanium, bauxite, rare earth metals, bronze)

Industry Product: food processing, garments, shoes, machine-building; mining, coal, steel; cement, chemical fertilizer, glass, tires, oil, paper[1]

Extractive industries: brief overview

Vietnam is one of ASEAN Member States that still prevent its dictatorial rule in governing the country. It leads to a state-centric control over all the extractive industries within the country. In general, Vietnam has minor reserves of oil, coal and minerals, especially copper and gold, in the region. But its close ties with China give the country a significant position in ASEAN energy framework. China investment in oil, gas and coal-based resources are considered major in the country. Along with the Philippines National Oil Company (PNOC) and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), the Vietnam Petroleum Corporation (PetroVietnam) established a tripartite agreement to jointly exploit oil and gas resources in the South China Sea.

Vietnam shares a border with Cambodia and Laos to the west and China to the north. The Gulf of Tonkin lies to the east, the Gulf of Thailand to the south. Vietnam has an area of 331.212 square kilometers and a marine exclusive economic zone stretching 200 nautical miles from its 3260-kilometer coastline.[2]

Energy contributes greatly to Vietnam economic development, supporting industrial growth and generating foreign revenue from exports. Vietnam is endowed with diverse fossil energy resources, such as oil, gas and coal, as well as renewable energy such as hydro, biomass, solar and geothermal. Vietnam proven energy reserves in 2007 consisted of 615 million tonnes (Mt) of oil, 600 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas, 5883 Mt of coal and hydropower potential of 20.000 megawatts (MW). Natural gas and crude oil are found mainly offshore in the southern region, while coal reserves (mainly anthracite) are in the northern region.[3] Vietnam has 14 producing oil fields: Bach Ho, Rong, Dai Hung, Rang Dong, Ruby, Emerald, Su Tu Den, Bunga Raya, Bunga Tulip, Ca Ngu Vang, Phuong Dong, Song Doc, Cendor and Bunga Kekwa Field. Most oil exploration and production occurs offshore in the Cuu Long and Nam Con Son basins. Vietnam since February 2009 has operated the Dung Quat refinery in Quang Nam province (capacity 150.000 barrels per day) providing aroun 6.5 Mt of petroleum products annually for domestic consumption. Oil is the most important energy source in Vietnam, accounting for 31% of the economy in 2007.[4]

Vietnam gas reserves are more promising than its oil reserves. It was estimated at 600 bcm and that figure is likely to increase as more oil and gas are discovered. Gas resources are found in many parts of Vietnam, such as in the Cuu Long and Nam Con Son basins offshore from the South East region. There are also the Malay Tho Chu basin offshore in the South West region and the Song Hong Basin in the North region.[5]

Vietnam has two large coal fields. In Quang Ninh Province in northern Vietnam, where anthracite coal is found, there are about 5.83 billion tonnes of reserves at a depth of 300 meters, and over 10 billion tonnes at a depth of 1000 meters. In the Red River delta there is a brown (sub-bituminous) coal basin with reserves of hundreds of billions of tonnes. Nearly 55.8% of coal production in 2007 (39.8 Mt) was exported to China, Japan, Korea, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, France and other economies.

Vietnam also has made several agreements with its neighboring countries in extractive industry sector. In the oil and gas sector, the governments of Vietnam and Malaysia have authorized PetroVietnam and PETRONAS to sign the Commercial Arrangement Agreement for Joint Development of Petroleum in resource areas overlapping the two economies. In the power sector, the governments of Vietnam and Laos People Democratic Republic as well as Cambodia have signed an agreement on energy cooperation. Under this accord, Vietnam will import about 2000 MW of electricity from Laos. Vietnam also joined the Inter-Governmental Agreement on Regional Power Trade in the Greater Meking Sub-Region which was signed in November 2002. And in the coal sector, Vietnam and Japan have been cooperating to explore deep underground coal deposits in southern Quang Ninh Provice and to investigate reserves in the Red River delta.[6]

Government body : The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), inside MOIT, the Energy Department administers the Vietnam Electric Power Group (EVN), the Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group (VINACOMIN) and the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PVN); the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MONRE) plays an important role in research and development in energy; The Ministry of Planning and Investment sets the Socio-economic Development Strategy and Plan, coordinates the distribution of economy-wide capital investment among projects submitted by ministries and agencies.

National company : PetroVietnam (oil exploration), Vietnam National Cement Corp (VNCC), Vietnam Steel Corp. (VSC) and Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), and Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PVN).The Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PVN) was approved by the Prime Minister in August 2006. PVN has multiple owners, but the government holds the dominant share. The restructured PVN will comprise four business, which will hold 100% of the assets: the Petroleum Exploration and Production Corporation, the Gas Corporation, the Electricity Production and Trading Corporation, and the Oil Refining and Petrochemical Corporation. PVN also includes joint stock companies, joint venture enterprises, scientific and technological enterprises and training organizations.

External company: Canada Tiberon (mineral exploration) and Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) (investment fund in oil).

Current condition (Per December 2009):

No. Category Production


Country Revenue
1. Oil 415,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) 276,400 bbl/day (2009 est.) 18% of GDP
2. Gas 7,9 billion cubic m (2008 est.) 8,1 billion cubic m (2008 est.) 18% of GDP
3. Coal 50 million short tons (2007) 17 million short tons (2007) 10% of GDP
4. Minerals 10% of GDP

* Note: production of crude oil (including lease condensate), natural gas plant liquid and other liquids, and refinery processing gain (loss)

[1] CIA Worldfact

[2] Asia Pacific Energy Research Centre (APREC) and The Institute of Energy Economics Japan, APEC Energy Overview 2009, March 2010, p. 211

[3] Ibid.,

[4] Ibid., p. 212

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid., p.220.