Vietnam Raises Oil Exports

From Fox Business

Vietnam is set to increase its crude-oil exports before it implements plans to expand refining capacity, irrevocably putting it on track to become a net oil importer.

Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, or Petrovietnam, said Thursday that its 2012 crude-oil output will exceed its initial target thanks to production at several new oil fields starting ahead of schedule.

The state-owned integrated oil company has been on an oil and gas producing asset buying spree while actively developing domestic resources and planning to expand refining operations to increase its throughput capacity multifold. The expanded refining capacity will cut into export revenue from crude oil, which currently accounts for around 7% of Vietnam’s total export earnings.

Petrovietnam’s crude-oil output this year will likely reach 16.4 million-16.5 million metric tons, or around 330,000 barrels a day, exceeding an initial target of 15.81 million tons and up from last year’s output of 15.18 million tons, it said in a statement.

PVEP, Petrovietnam’s leading exploration and production unit, said earlier this month that it and its partners put five new oil fields into operation ahead of schedule this year, accounting for better-than-planned output.

Vietnam’s crude-oil exports in the first 11 months of this year rose 13.9% from a year earlier, to 8.75 million metric tons, or 191,500 barrels a day, data released Thursday by the Vietnam Customs Department showed.

The country imports some crude, mainly to blend with its own grade at its 130,000-barrel-a-day Dung Quat refinery. Customs said this totaled 644,000 tons in January-November, up 2.4% from a year earlier.

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