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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Oil JV in Vietnam Set To Meet Output Target

HANOI -- Vietnam's only firm producing oil in commercial quantities, a project operated by Vietnam and Russia, is well placed to meet its annual production target of 6.9 million tons based on a successful first quarter, an official report said Wednesday. VietSovPetro achieved an output 1 percent higher than planned during the first three months of the year, the state-run Vietnam News reported. It did not specify the amount of oil produced. VietSovPetro's annual target represents a 10 percent increase over last year's level. The joint venture expects to produce 50 million tons of crude oil by the end of the century. It has invested in new drilling ships and tankers and refurbished its oil derricks to meet the goal, the News reported. The company, established in 1986, operates in the Bach Ho, or White Tiger field, about 150 kilometers east of the southern port city of Vung Tau. Mobil Corp. of the United States first discovered oil there in 1974 but withdrew after the U.S. ally South Vietnam fell to northern Communist forces the following year. Mobil signed a production sharing contract last month to become the first American oil firm to return to Vietnam since the war. VietSovPetro has already pumped 14 million tons of oil from Bach Ho, but it suffers from a shortage of capital compared to many other foreign firms now exploring in Vietnamese waters. Vietnam's state-owned oil company PetroVietnam plans at an unspecified future date to offer foreigners a chance to bid for at least two blocks adjacent to the Bach Ho field, the company's chairman Ho Si Thoang said in a recent interview with The Associated Press.