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Vietnam's Key Energy Statistics world rank
Total Primary Energy Consumption
quadrillion Btu
Total Primary Energy Production
quadrillion Btu
Primary Coal Production
thousand short tons
Total Renewable Electricity Net Generation
billion kilowatthours
Crude Oil Proved Reserves
billion barrels
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Map of Vietnam
Map of Vietnam

Analysis - Energy Sector Highlights Last updated: February 2017

  • Over the past few decades Vietnam has emerged as an important oil and natural gas producer in Southeast Asia. Vietnam has boosted exploration activities and allowed for greater foreign company investment and cooperation in the oil and gas sectors, and introduced limited market reforms to support the energy industry. On the demand side, the country’s rapid economic growth, industrialization, and export market expansion have spurred domestic energy consumption over the past decade.
  • Biofuels and waste comprised about 23% of Vietnam’s primary energy consumption in 2014, according to the International Energy Agency. As the country has industrialized and raised its electricity consumption over the past two decades, fossil fuels and renewables have replaced traditional energy sources in all sectors.
  • Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, China, Taiwan, and Brunei each claim sovereignty over all or parts of the Spratly Islands, and Vietnam, Taiwan, and China claim the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea (SCS). Vietnam has reached agreements with several of its neighbors to conduct joint exploration for oil and natural gas resources in the region. However, disputes with China are yet to be resolved. In May 2014, tensions between China and Vietnam flared following a skirmish over a Chinese oil rig that Vietnam claims was planning to illegally drill into Vietnam’s continental shelf. Following this dispute, tensions have escalated in the region through 2016 as Vietnam accuses China of violating territorial rights through its recent efforts to build reefs and other activities in disputed areas of the SCS.
  • Successful offshore exploration contributed to a substantial increase in proved crude oil reserves, which grew to 4.4 billion barrels in 2012 from 0.6 billion barrels in 2011, according to the Oil and Gas Journal (OGJ). Reserves have remained at 4.4 billion barrels through 2016. Ongoing exploration activities could increase this figure in the future, as Vietnam's waters remain largely underexplored. Vietnam is currently the third-largest holder of crude oil reserves in Asia, behind China and India.
  • Vietnam produced an estimated 320,000 barrels per day (b/d) of petroleum and other liquids in 2016, about 9% lower than production in 2015 (350,000 b/d). Although production has risen some years, overall production has dropped from a peak of 403,000 b/d in 2004 as output in the country’s large, mature fields decline. The offshore Cuu Long and Nam Con Son basins in the south have been the primary areas for oil production, but reserves in these basins are depleted and production requires enhanced oil recovery. Vietnam’s production faces decline in the next several years unless it can explore the more challenging deepwater areas. However, lower oil prices since late 2014 have hindered investments in these more technically challenging fields.

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