Vietnam’s Dai Hung oilfield output nearly tripled to 11,600 barrels per day (bpd) from Thursday as a new wellhead platform started pumping, versus 4,000 bpd earlier, Vietnam News Agency said, leading to a rise in exports of the medium-sweet crude.
The new production from Dai Hung, or Big Bear, is equivalent to around 5 percent of the total crude in the first seven months of 2011 lifted by the Southeast Asian country, which has been facing declining output in recent years due to ageing fields.
It is expected to increase Dai Hung exports to a cargo each month from October, up from the previous one parcel per quarter, a trade source said.
The size of each cargo could also increase to 500,000-600,000 barrels, up from 400,000 barrels previously, the source added.
Dai Hung has an API of 30.70 degrees and contains 0.095 percent sulphur. A rise in the output of this medium-sweet grade is not expected to have a large impact on the Asia-Pacific crude oil market as exports of Su Tu Den and Bach Ho, with larger production volume, have been on the wane.
Bach Ho is processed at the local Dung Quat refinery while Su Tu Den spot exports have been falling in the second half of this year.
The new flow of 7,600 bpd came as Dai Hung’s operator, a unit of PetroVietnam Exploration Production Corp (PVEP), brings five wells into production under a plan to raise output to 18,000 bpd, the state news agency said in a report late on Thursday.
The platform installation in June by PVEP production operating company, the domestic production arm of PVEP, would ensure 250,000 tonnes of crude oil was lifted in 2011 from the field, PVEP POC Chief Executive Hoang Ba Cuong has said.
In May PVEP also signed a credit agreement to borrow $200 million from VietinBank for seven years to finance Dai Hung’s expansion, part of a broader effort to increase national output by 2015.
Vietnam pumped an estimated 8.42 million tonnes, or 219,000 bdp, of crude between January and July, a fall of 5.6 percent from the same period last year, government statistics show.
Dai Hung field lies in the Nam Con Son basin, 265 km (165 miles) southeast of Vietnam’s southern city of Vung Tau. PVEP is the exploration arm of state oil and gas group PetroVietnam.
Early this month the group launched the 2011 licensing round for nine oil and gas blocks offshore Vietnam, some of them in the Nam Con Son basin which PetroVietnam and industry experts said would be attractive due to its potential rich oil reserves.