Vietnam is known as a rich of natural resources country. The energy industry of Vietnam has developed for a number of years but the lack of modern technology and capital, that makes Vietnam has still stalled in this potential field. By the strength of resources, cheap labor, transport, Vietnam is attracting many foreign investors to invest in energy industry. Our energy and resources lawyers in Vietnam always monitor the legal environment and keep our client posted to changes that could impact their business.
In particular, Vietnam has considerable supplies of oil, natural gas and refineries. Proven oil reserves in Vietnam amount to 3.3 billion barrels as the second-most in Southeast Asia, after Indonesia. Revenues from oil and gas contribute about 30% of Vietnam’s GDP. Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam), a state-owned company is eligible to conduct petroleum activities, sign cooperation contracts and govern petroleum industry in Vietnam.
For exploration and production, sea zones in Vietnam are divided into different geographic “blocks” based on the advice of Petro Vietnam. The size and scope of these blocks can vary from year to year, depending on the scale of the activities undertaken by the company currently assigned to it. According to Law on Petroleum 1993, amending in 2000 and 2008, to participate in this field, the investors have to join the bidding for researching and exploiting petroleum. In special case, the Vietnam Government may appoint the contractor to select investor wishing to engage in petroleum. Then the investor must enter into a dividing products or joint venture or other contract in which contents all terms as required by Article 15 (amended), managed by Vietnam Government. This contract’s term shall not exceed 25 years in which period of research and exploration not exceed 5 years. The duration may be extended 5 years for the contract and 2 year for period of research and exploration. In case projects encouraged to invest in petroleum and exploring natural gas, the term can be 30 years and 7 years for period of research and exploration.
Taxation for petroleum activities is based on type of natural resources exploited, economic, technical conditions of the mines, the amount produced. According to law on Petroleum and other provisions on taxation, natural resources tax rate is from 4% to 25% for crude oil, 0% to 10% for natural gas. To ensure the reserve aiming to domestic demand, Vietnam has regulated export rate for natural resources, especially tax rate at 20% for crude oil and coal. This regulation was implemented to encourage companies in Vietnam to refine crude oil in country as the new refineries come online.
Vietnam has more potential in petroleum and energy industry. ANT Lawyers research and advise clients in energy and resources regulations in Vietnam. Our relationship and collaboration with with international lawyers and law firms in different part of the world, especially major oil and energy production areas in the Middle East, former Soviet Union countries give us advantage in assisting international clients in the energy and resources legal matters. ANT Lawyers is the Vietnam exclusive member of Prae Legal, a global law firm network which allow us to take on international projects.
ANT Lawyers is a Vietnam law firm with international standards, recognized by IFLR1000 on Financial and Corporate practice. We are an exclusive Vietnam member of Prae Legal, the global law firm network covering more than 150 jurisdictions. The firm provides a range of legal services as following to multinational and domestic clients.
This publication is designed to provide updated information of legal matters, and does not constitute professional advice.