HANOI: Vietnam is expected to raise its crude oil output by 6.7 percent next year to 16 million tonnes, drawing more from fields both offshore and overseas, countering a fall in bigger domestic fields, a state-run newspaper reported on Monday.
"A crude oil output decline in major oilfields is in fact taking place, but to offset the fall there are smaller fields," Phung Dinh Thuc, Chairman of state oil and gas group Petrovietnam, was quoted by the official Dau Tu newspaper as saying.
He said the increase would also come from overseas production, including Russia, so that Vietnam's 2012 output would get an extra 1 million tonnes of crude oil, from 15 million tonnes expected this year.
The output this year, equivalent to 301,000 barrels per day (bpd), will be on par with Vietnam's annual target, while natural gas production could rise beyond the annual projection of 8 billion cubic metres, Thuc told the Planning and Investment Ministry-run newspaper in an interview.
Production in Russia, in which Petrovietnam has a 49 percent stake, is expected to rise to 2.2 million tonnes next year from 1.5 million tonnes in 2011, he said.
Small oilfields coming onstream at home included Te Giac Trang, an expanded Dai Hung and Chim Sao, Thuc said.
Vietnam has offered Chim Sao crude, the first grade to be priced on the dated Brent marker at the start of production, for loading in October, as it reverses a slide in exports with new and expanded production that could make it Southeast Asia's second-largest exporter by 2012.
Vietnam produced an estimated 1.26 million tonnes, or 307,900 bpd, of crude in September, up 1.3 percent from the same month in 2010, the government said on Saturday.
Asked about Vietnam's refinery development, Thuc said talks were expected to be concluded in October for the construction of the $7.5 billion, 200,000 bpd Nghi Son refinery, Vietnam's second facility.
In January an official with French oil services firm Technip said the firm would build the plant, echoing reports in state media that Vietnam had selected Technip, JGC Corp and Spain's oil engineer Tecnicas Reunidas as the builders.
"The third refinery in Long Son has received interest from foreign firms such as Saudi Aramco and Total , and detailed work will come after the signing of Nghi Son's engineering, procurement and construction contract," Thuc said.