(Adds quotes, details)
* Rosneft to allow Vietnam firm access to Pechora Sea
* Joint plans to develop Vietnam's only refinery
* Russia agrees to supply more arms to Vietnam military
By Alexei Anishchuk and Ho Binh Minh
HANOI, Nov 12 Russian firms Rosneft
and Gazprom signed a raft of deals with state energy
firm Petrovietnam on Tuesday covering fuel supplies, joint
exploration and shared investments in Vietnam's $3 billion Dung
Under the agreements, signed during a visit to Vietnam by
Russian President Vladimir Putin, Rosneft will allow
Petrovietnam to explore for hydrocarbons in the Pechora Sea in
the Arctic off northwest Russia, a rare opportunity for a
Rosneft and Petrovietnam also signed a pact on the possible
purchase of a stake in block 15-1/05 off Vietnam's continental
shelf, without giving details.
PVEP, Petrovietnam's exploration arm, signed a production
sharing contract in April 2007 with France's Total and
SK Energy from South Korea for the block. PVEP
controls 40 percent of the block, followed by Total with 35
percent and SK Energy, the remaining 25 percent, according to
It was unclear how Rosneft would acquire a stake in the
block but in May Rosneft signed a deal for block 05-3/11.
Communist Vietnam is one of Russia's closest allies in Asia,
with ties dating back to 1950 when Moscow was part of the Soviet
Union. Many of Vietnam's technocrats were educated there and
Russia currently has 90 firms operating in Vietnam.
Two-way trade grew about 20 pct in 2012 to $3.6 billion,
which Putin has said he hopes will double within the next two
years. At the signing ceremony, he described Vietnam as a
"long-standing and reliable partner for Russia."
Rosneft, Russia's top crude oil producer, has stakes in an
offshore gas block and an underwater pipeline in Vietnam among a
number of foreign projects it inherited in its $55-billion
takeover of BP joint-venture TNK-BP earlier this year.
State gas monopoly Gazprom, the world's top gas producer,
will supply fuel to the Vietnam market, the company's Chief
Executive Officer Alexey Miller said.
Gazprom Neft, Gazprom's oil arm, also agreed to
jointly invest with Petrovietnam in Vietnamese firm Binh Son
Refining and Petrochemical, which manages the Dung Quat refinery
in the central region.
The 130,500-barrel-per-day refinery, the only facility of
its kind in Vietnam, has plans to expand output by more than 50
percent to 10 million tonnes per year by 2015. Petrovietnam
wants to sell a 49-percent stake in the refinery to foreign
investors to raise funds and boost capacity.
The plan had attracted interest from Japan's biggest oil
refiner JX Holdings, Petroleos de Venezuela
and another firm from South Korea. But early this month JX said
it had decided not to participate.
Russia is also planning to supply liquefied petroleum gas to
Vietnam, according to one of the deals signed on Tuesday.
The agreements would give Russian firms the chance to tap
Southeast Asia's growing energy market, including nuclear power.
"We have discussed a large-scale project to build Vietnam's
first nuclear station," Putin said. "With Russian aid, Vietnam
is setting up a hi-tech sector - nuclear energy production."
State nuclear firm Rosatom has said it will help Vietnam
build its first nuclear power plant in the south-central
province of Ninh Thuan and operation is slated to start in 2023.
Putin also said Russia would supply Vietnam with more
weapons, but gave no details. Vietnam has bought six
Russian-built submarines under a $2 billion package, the first
handed over on Nov.7.
(Additional reporting by Nguyen Phuong Linh in Hanoi and Denis
Pinchuk in Moscow; editing by Martin Petty and Keiron Henderson)