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July 30, 2008

Vietnam: Output at Su Tu Vang oilfield seen at 10,000 bpd

Vietnam's Su Tu Vang oilfield, described as the Southeast Asian nation's biggest source of crude oil over the next three years, could start pumping oil in September, company officials said.

Su Tu Vang, operated by Petrovietnam and ConocoPhilips, is expected to start production in September with initial output estimated at about 10,000 barrels per day, Petrovietnam officials said on Wednesday.

The output will be gradually raised to 20,000 bpd and 40,000 bpd, a Petrovietnam official said, but declined to provide a timeline for the increase in production.

"The date for first oil is scheduled for mid-September if everything goes as planned," he said.

Another Petrovietnam official said Su Tu Vang crude would be blended with crude from the adjacent Su Tu Den oil field, which is Vietnam's second largest, and now churns out about 55,000 bpd.

Su Tu Vang and two other fields, known as the Lion fields -- Su Tu Den (Black Lion) and Su Tu Trang (White Lion) field -- are located in block 15.1 offshore Vietnam, often described as the Golden Triangle by the country's oil sector.

Officials from the state oil group have said Su Tu Vang would be the biggest oilfield to come onstream in Vietnam over the next three years, helping offset declining output in Southeast Asia's third largest oil producer.

Last week another new oil field, Ca Ngu Vang (Golden Tuna), also began commercial production, with output estimated to reach 20,000 bpd.

Besides Su Tu Vang and Ca Ngu Vang, Petrovietnam has said it aims to start commercial production at three other offshore fields, Phuong Dong, Bunga Orkid and Song Doc this year.

This week, the government said crude output in July dropped more than 12 percent from June to 286,800 bpd, mainly due to a fall in production at the country's biggest oilfield, Bach Ho, which has dropped to about 150,000 bpd from 240,000 bpd a few years ago.

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