Three international oil companies - two from the United States, one from Canada - on Tuesday (21 August) signed agreements with the South Vietnamese Government for off-shore exploration concessions.
Three international oil companies - two from the United States, one from Canada - on Tuesday (21 August) signed agreements with the South Vietnamese Government for off-shore exploration concessions. The companies involved are Esso, Mobil and Sunningdale. Shell also had a winning tender and will sign within the next two weeks.
The concessions give the companies exploration rights for five years. If no oil is found, the agreement can be extended for another five years. The companies are expected to spend up to GBP41 million sterling (100 million US dollars) in the first stage of exploration.
A spokesman for one of the companies said prospects of finding commercial quantities of oil were good. He wasn't afraid the installations would be sabotaged even if mainland fighting continued.
SYNOPSIS: Feere of international fuel crisis are mounting and at the same time, major consumer nations have stopped up the search for rich new oil fields. One of their latest multi-million dollar gambles is off the coast of South Vietnam. There, despite the threat of damage from a war which is still being fought on the mainland, the oil companies hope to find a supply which will bolster their draining reserves.
And in Saigon an Tuesday, representatives of three international companies - two from the United States and one free Canada - set down with South Vietnamese officials to sign the exploration agreement. The Canadian company, Sunningdale, will spend about GBP 8,000 (approx, 20,000 US dollars) a day on the project, and in the first five years, the companies as a whole will contribute up to GBP 41 million. The Sunningdale chairman, Angus Mackonzie, is confident the commercial prospects are good.
The two American companies which have signed the agreement are Esse and Mobil. The South Vietnamese Government, in the deal, will permit the companies to search for off-share oil deposits for five years. If nothing is found the companies will have the right to a five year extension. The companies do not appear to be afraid of sabotage. Mr Charles Barney, representing Mobil, said he hoped the war really would be ever in two years. A fourth company, Shell, was also a successful tenderer for the off-shore rights. However, they weren't represented at the ceremony because details to register a local South Vietnam office had not been completed. Shell's representatives hope to add their signatures to the agreement within two weeks, when the registration formalities are dealt with. After Tuesday's signing ceremony, the oil company officials joined with South Vietnam's Economy Minister Pham Kim Ngoc to test the success of the ???nture.