A newly discovered oilfield off Vietnam’s coast will begin commercial production next year with initial output of around 70,000 barrels per day (bpd), an official at state-run PetroVietnam said on Tuesday May 23.
The oilfield, named Ca Ngu Vang or Golden Tuna, is jointly operated by PetroVietnam, which has a 50% stake, British oil explorer Soco International Plc with a 25% stake and Thailand’s PTTEP with 25%.
“The field is estimated to hold around 600 million barrels of crude oil in potential reserve,” said the official, who asked not to be identified.
He also declined to specify the timeline for commercial production but said the field would produce its first barrels of crude oil in 2007 and the crude should have similar specifications as Su Tu Den (Black Lion) crude.
The Su Tu Den field, the second-largest producing field in Vietnam with output averaging 50,000 bpd, produces a medium-heavy, low sulphur “sweet” crude with a sulphur content of 0.04 and an API gravity of 36 degrees.
Vietnamese energy experts predict the country’s crude output will rise significantly from next year as a string of new oilfields begin production. They include Su Tu Vang (Golden Lion), which has a planned output of 100,000 bpd.
Vietnam is Southeast Asia’s third largest crude producer but is forced to export most of its crude oil output of around 360,000 bpd because it lacks major refineries.
PetroVietnam awarded a contract to build the country’s first refinery in June last year, with the 130,000-bpd plant slated to start operation by early 2009.