Mobil Corp. is discussing the possibility of a three-way oil exploration and production venture with the Soviet Union in Vietnam, company officials said Wednesday.
The project would be Mobil’s first exploration and production venture with Moscow, Mobil said.
But due to a 15-year trade embargo that the United States has against Vietnam, the discussions remain at a preliminary stage, a Mobil spokesman said.
“We must obey the laws of the land, and until they change, our discussions will not move far from preliminary levels,” the spokesman said.
The venture depends on whether the embargo remains in effect, said another Mobil spokesman, Ray Vaughan.
“We’re not going to do anything against the spirit or letter of the law,” he said. “If the embargo is in effect, we won’t be in the picture, I guess.”
While some companies have been lobbying in Washington for an end to the embargo, Mobil has not been one of them, Vaughan said, noting that Vietnamese officials first proposed the possibility of a joint project.
One area that Mobil was interested in now is being produced by a Vietnamese-Soviet venture, Vietsovpetro.
Mobil struck oil in the area, an offshore region off southern Vietnam in 1975, prior to the Communist victory.