Production from Su Tu Den Field Reaches 70,000 bpd

Production from Vietnam's newest oilfield, Su Tu Den or Black Lion, has reached an average 70,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2004 from 60,000 bpd last year when it first came onstream, the field operator said on Thursday.

Su Tu Den is Vietnam's biggest offshore oil success since Bach Ho, which produces 70 percent of Vietnam's 378,323 bpd total output.

Vu Ngoc An, general manager of Su Tu Den operator Cuu Long Joint Operation Co, said production from the field would increase to 95,000 bpd by June this year when more wells were added. That increase would raise Vietnam's overall output to around 387,000 bpd in June, compared with the government's estimate of 378,323 bpd produced in January.

Vietsovpetro, a Vietnam-Russia joint venture that operates the Bach Ho field, has estimated the field's production this year would fall more than 10 percent to 11.65 million tons, or 233,958 bpd compared with 2003.

Officials at Su Tu Den, which is 50 percent owned by state oil monopoly Petrovietnam, estimate reserves of the Su Tu Den field at more than 400 million barrels.

ConocoPhillipshas a 23.25 percent stake in the field, Korea National Oil Corp 14.25 percent, South Korea's biggest oil refiner SK Corp holds nine percent and Geopetrol holds the remaining 3.5 percent.