SINGAPORE May 30 State-owned PetroVietnam plans
to double production of its Su Tu Den crude from current levels
to around 80,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the fourth quarter,
industry sources with knowledge of the matter said on Friday.
The plan to increase production comes as Vietnam, the third
largest holder of crude oil reserves in Asia, seeks to reverse a
steady fall in oil output over the past decade.
New wells have been drilled at Block 15-1, located in the
Cuu Long Basin off the coast of Vietnam, to bring production of
Su Tu Den to around 80,000 bpd in the fourth quarter, but the
exact timing and level of peak production remained unclear, said
The company was also uncertain how quickly output would
decline following the peak production of 80,000 bpd, the source
Calls to a PetroVietnam officials for comment were not
PetroVietnam has produced Su Tu Den crude at Block 15-1,
since 2003, according to the company. The medium-sweet grade is
often sold to Japanese utilities for direct-burning.
In an effort to prop up exports, PetroVietnam this week
offered the first cargo of its new Thang Long crude, also
located in the offshore Cuu Long Basin.
Vietnam, the third largest oil producer in Southeast Asia,
is a net exporter of crude oil, but imports oil products, as the
country's sole 140,000-bpd Dung Quat refinery can't meet rising
PetroVietnam is targeting producing 338,000 bpd of crude oil
this year, up marginally from 335,000 bpd last year, but down
from its peak of 403,000 bpd in 2004.
Vietnam's crude oil production fell 1.1 percent in the first
three months of the year to an estimated 3.83 million tonnes, or
The country exported around 2.41 million tonnes, or 147,000
bpd, of crude oil in the first four months of this year, a drop
of 11 percent from a year earlier, according to preliminary
The Su Tu Den development is operated by the Cuu Long Joint
Operating Co, with PetroVietnam as main shareholder and Peru's
Perenco, Korea National Oil Corp, SK Corp and
(Additional reporting by Ngyuen Phuong Linh in HANOI; Editing
by Muralikumar Anantharaman)