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How many billions USD in Vietnam’s sea?   2011-06-20 -

The East Sea is great potential in oil and gas, many rare metals and one of the five areas with high reserves of methane hydrate, said Prof. Dr. Tran Nghi from the Hanoi University of Natural Sciences’ Geology Faculty.

The US Department of Energy said that the verified oil reserves in the East Sea are 7 billion barrels, with possibly daily output of 2.5 million barrels.



Meanwhile, China believes that the oil reserves in the East Sea are estimated at 213 billion barrels, including 105 billion barrels at the Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago.



According to the report entitled “Vietnam’s Strategy to Develop Sea Economy by 2020”, compiled by the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Development Strategy Institute in November 2004, there are many sedimentary basins with great oil potential, especially the Cuu Long and Nam Con Son sedimentary basins.



The total oil reserves in Vietnam’s continental shelf is estimated at 10 billion tons, exploitation reserve of 2 billion tons and around 1,000 billion cubic meters of gas, the report says.



However, Prof. Dr. Tran Nghi said that at this moment (2011), Vietnam doesn’t fully evaluate the oil and gas potential in the East Sea. “The oil and gas potential in the Cuu Long sedimentary basin, which is under exploration and exploitation is not yet fully evaluated, not mentioning other sedimentary basins like Truong Sa, Tu Chinh – Vung May and Ma Lay – Tho Chu. The Hoang Sa sedimentary basin may contain as much oil as the Truong Sa sedimentary basin,” he said.



The Da Nang Newspaper dated June 6, 2011, cited Russian experts as saying that the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa areas have methane hydrate, the clean fuel which may be more valuable than oil in the future.



According to a research work of the deep sea area (over 200m deep) in southern Vietnam in 2006, the most potential areas for natural resources include Tri Ton – the western area of Hoang Sa Archipelago, the northern and eastern areas of Nam Con Son sedimentary basin and the northwestern part of Tu Chinh.



The eastern area of Phu Khanh sedimentary basin, the eastern area of Hoang Sa Archipelago, Truong Sa, the southwestern and southern areas of Tu Chinh – Vung May sedimentary basin are said to be potential.



The Vietnamese government in June 2010, approved the program to research and survey the methane hydrate potential in Vietnam’s waters and continental shelf.



Prof. Dr. Tran Nghi said that the East Sea also contains other valuable minerals like bronze, zinc, lead, mangan, gold, etc. in the sea bed or under the sea bed. Vietnam does not plan to explore these natural resources yet.



Prof. Dr. Le Duc To, Chairman of the Marine Sci-tech Program Serving Sustainable Development, confirmed that Vietnam collected samples of gold and mangan from the East Sea but at this moment, it does not plan to explore these metals.



Both professors said that Vietnam cannot fully evaluate the mineral potentials in the East Sea because it does not invest properly in this task.



“But our goal is to quite accurately survey and evaluate natural resources in the East Sea,” confirmed Prof. Dr. Tran Nghi.



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