An oil rig off the coast of southern Vietnam. Vietnam has since 1987 exported 355 million tons of crude oil worth a total of US$145 billion
Crude oil output is projected to fall in the coming time as Bach Ho, the country’s biggest offshore oil field with reserves estimated at 300 million tons, has been pumping less oil.
In the past seven years Bach Ho field off the coast of Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province has been responsible for 100% of the crude needs of Dung Quat Oil Refinery in Quang Ngai Province. But it can now meet only 58%.
Bach Ho has been the key source of revenue for PVN although the State-owned firm has been tapping a couple of oil fields.
Vietnam has over the years relied heavily on exploitation of natural resources, especially crude oil, to fuel economic growth. Crude oil contributed 20% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the years before 2000 but the percentage dipped to 11% in the 2010s and is now a mere 5.6% given a steady fall in oil prices and extraction.
Dung Quat refinery is able to refine crude oil from different fields such as Azeri in Azerbaijan, Escravos and Bonny Light in Nigeria, and White Rhinoceros, Black Lion and Magpie in Vietnam, instead of only Bach Ho, to deal with future oil shortages.
The refinery can process seven million barrels of 57 different types of crude, up from 2.5 million barrels a day.
In the first half of the year, PVN sold 7.48 million tons of crude oil out of 13.28 million tons pumped from its operational fields. The crude oil export price may go down from US$54.6 a barrel in the first six months to US$40-50 in the second half.SGT