All-Union foreign economic association Zarubezhneft was established in 1967 under the Ministry of Oil Industry of USSR to provide technical assistance to the USSR-friendly countries in establishing oil and other basic economic sectors.
In those years the Ministry of Oil Industry was given a task to develop and extend foreign economic relations and to arrange the entry of the Soviet oil industry into the international market.
“As an operative practical mechanism Zarubezhneft association carried out arrangement and coordination of development and performance of programs and projects for exploration and complex development of oil and gas fields abroad. Experience of work abroad influenced the increase of the domestic oil production technologies, competitiveness of engineering production and services”. (Eugene I. OSADCHUK, first head of Zarubezhneft association).
The Company has a vast history of realization of international oil and gas projects all over the world. Large oil and gas facilities have been built, national oil extracting enterprises have been commissioned, a large volume of geologic exploration works and engineering and geological surveys have been completed, programs for complex development of oil industry have been prepared etc. in such countries as Algeria, Angola, Bulgaria, Vietnam, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Syria.
With participation of Zarubezhneft a number of key oil and gas industry facilities have been built in Iraq, including the realization of North Rumaila development of phases I, II and III, construction of Lukheis and Nahr Ben Umr fields, water injection facilities installations at North Rumaila field, development of the first phase of West Kurna oil field and a number of wells in Southern Iraq have been drilled. Cooperation with Iraq lasted for 35 years but due to the commencement of warfare the work in this country has been suspended.
For more than 35 years Zarubezhneft also cooperated with Syrian oil companies. National oil and gas complex Rumeilan commissioned with the assistance of Zarubezhneft was an initial basis for the establishment and development of the Syrian oil industry. The experts of Zarubezhneft have constructed and commissioned Hasseke and Jebissi oil field and prepared documentation for the development of Suedia, Rumeilan, Karachok and Alian fields.
In India the experts of Zarubezhneft have prepared the programs for the complex development of the Indian oil industry, have drawn up a development project for the Ankleshvar and Kalol fields, and have carried out a large volume of seismic exploration works in Tripura and West Bengal states. In Yemen with Zarubezhneft being a general contractor in 80-s – early 90-s West Ayad field was constructed and commissioned. In Kuwait in 1991 the experts of Zarubezhneft arranged and performed works to extinguish fires on oil fields after the end of war with Iraq that occupied the country.
A large volume of works has also been carried out in Libya, Angola and Cuba. In the middle of 70-s Zarubezhneft association represented the Soviet party in the joint project with GDR and Poland for the development of Baltic shelf; in the 90-s participated in the development of oil fields within Russia – in Republic of Komi and Krasnodar region, including engagement of foreign investment.
Long term cooperation with Vietnam is worth separate mentioning. The establishment of Joint Venture Vietsovpetro between USSR and Vietnam on the basis of the intergovernmental treaty in 1981, that for more than three decades is the one of the most effective oil producing enterprises in the world, is rightfully deemed to be the most important event in the history of Zarubezhneft. Owing to the assistance of Soviet experts Vietnam that was devastated by the war managed to establish own highly capable oil industry and enter the top-3 of major oil producing countries of the South-East Asia region.
Due to the collapse of the Soviet Union and other objective factors of economic and political nature in the 1990-s the cooperation in a number of countries was terminated, and by the year 2000 in fast the only major active project remained to be JV Vietsovpetro. In was necessary to make significant efforts to restore the lost positions in the countries of traditional presence and extend the geography of activities by establishing cooperation in new regions, and the new management that came to power in 2000 achieved this task. The policy implemented by the new management in 2000 for renewal and strengthening of the company beard its fruits. The company succeeded in giving momentum to the current projects, and preparing ground for implementation of realization of new large-scale projects and maintaining the State status of the company. Zarubezhneft recommenced activities in Iraq, Syria, India. Cooperation with Vietnam reached significantly higher level.
Year 2004. On the 3-d of February the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin signed a Decree № 137 in accordance with which the State Enterprise Russian Foreign Economic Association Zarubezhneft was transformed into a joint stock company with 100% shares held in the federal ownership. In accordance with this Decree the Zarubezhneft is given the assets of RMNTK Nefteotdacha and industry institutes OJSC academician A.K. Krylov VNIIneft and OJSC Giprovostokneft. Owing to this Zarubezhneft receives its own design base and innovational assets.
In the same year in accordance with the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin dated 04.10.2004 Zarubezhneft was included in the list of enterprises of strategic importance of Russian Federation.
Year 2006. The State transfers the federal owned share of the Russian party in JV Vietsovpetro to the charter capital of the company. In the same year the presidents of Russia and Vietnam sign a Joint declaration on further cooperation in the area of geologic exploration and oil and gas production that determined the prospects of joint activities of two States in oil and gas industry after 2010. As a development of agreements indicated in the Statement the activity period of JV Vietsovpetro has been extended for 20 years – up to year 2030 (new Intergovernmental treaty dated 2010) and a second JV with a State corporation Petrovietnam similar to Vietsovpetro called RUSVIETPETRO (2008) has been established on the Russian territory.
Since the year 2007 the Company significantly extended the borders of activities by commencing the realization of oil production and refining projects in the Balkans region, Latin America and North of Russia, and also strengthened its positions in Vietnam.