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Crude-oil exporters face price slump   2008-11-27 - VNA

A sharp fall in world oil prices is likely to adversely affect the crude-oil export industry this year, according to officials.

The prices have dropped from more than 140 USD to around 50 USD per barrel, a record low, in the last two decades.

Vu Ngoc Hai, chairman of the management board of the Vietnam National Petroleum Import-Export Corporation (Petrolimex), said over the last nine months Vietnam exported 10.43 million tonnes of crude-oil, earning a turnover of 9.09 billion USD, an increase of 66 percent compared with the targeted plan.

Export growth came on the back of skyrocketing global oil prices in the past few months, with Vietnam’s crude oil exports selling for an average of 116 USD per barrel.

In late October, however, the global economic recession began to take its toll and a sharp drop in world oil prices followed as a result of a slump in energy consumption.

According to the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam), in early October, PetroVietnam was planning to sell crude oil for 70 USD per barrel, but the sudden drop in global prices prevented this.

This year, Vietnam expects to export 14.68 million tonnes of crude oil, accounting for 94 percent of the year’s target.

Oil industry officials said despite the drop in export volume, export turnover from crude oil this year is expected to reach 11.31 billion USD, an increase of 50 percent compared with the plan.

Petrol Vietnam this year has put five more new oil fields into operation in an attempt to create sufficient reserves for use in oil refineries.

In February, the Dung Quat Oil refinery in central Quang Ngai province will begin operating and using crude oil exploited in Vietnam .

At least 3 million tonnes of crude oil will be pumped from the Bach Ho (White Tiger) oil field for use in the oil processing industry in Vietnam .

A Petro Vietnam official said the group was also considering using the high quality crude oil from Bach Ho oil field to blend with other oils to make an economically efficient mixture.

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