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July 29, 2008

Vietnam: Golden Tuna field output seen at 20,000 bpd

Vietnam's Ca Ngu Vang (Golden Tuna) offshore oilfield, which came on stream on Friday, is expected to produce up to 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil, Reuters quoted the field's operator as saying Monday.

SOCO International and its partners, Petrovietnam and PTTEP Hoan-Vu, said the first flow of crude oil and wet gas from the offshore field, on block 9-2, occurred last Friday.

"The field is expected to be in production for the next 20 years," the operator Hoan Vu JOC said in a statement.

The crude will not be sold separately but will be fed into the Bach Ho stream as to minimise development costs and as Vietnam's flagship field is pumping far below its capacity, traders said.

Bach Ho output has shrunk to around 140,000 bpd from a peak of about 240,000 bpd as the field, on stream since 1987, has matured.

Golden Tuna will help sustain output at the field, whose Bach Ho output has been falling by an average 21,000 bpd per year between 2005 and 2014.

Petrovietnam officials have said the new production from Ca Ngu Vang would help lift the country's daily crude production, which stood at 294,000 bpd in June.

Some traders wondered how the two crudes would be mixed and marketed.

"Because of the blending, the price of Bach Ho may increase or decrease. One party may have to compensate the other party and that will be complicated," a trader with a refiner said.

But others said they did not expect Bach Ho's characteristics to be much changed.

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