PetroVietnam To Build $113 Million Offshore Rig

State-owned PetroVietnam plans to build an offshore rig at a cost of $113 million and will award the construction contract to foreign firms soon, a PetroVietnam executive said Friday.

The rig will be capable of drilling up to 90 meters deep, the executive at PetroVietnam's Exploration and Production Department told Dow Jones Newswires.

Currently, Vietnam has two offshore rigs, which are being used by Vietsovpetro - a joint venture between PetroVietnam and a Russian firm.

Construction of the new rig is expected to take 2 years and PetroVietnam expects it to be operational by early 2006, the company executive noted.

The total cost of construction is estimated around $120 million, including interest on loans. PetroVietnam will borrow $80 million from Vietcombank in a 12-year loan deal, and will finance the balance with its own funds, he added.