Soco delays Vietnam field production ramp up

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British oil firm Soco International has delayed a ramp up in production at its key oil field off the Vietnam coast but said it was confident of achieving target output during 2012.

Soco, which in August said it could reach its target of producing 55,000 bopd (barrels of oil per day) from the first phase of its Te Giac Trang oil field by the end of 2011, said it wanted to understand the field better before raising output to that level.

"We can get to 55,000 bopd. It's a very simple process but it really is a factor of the information gain," Chief Executive Ed Story said in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday.

Production from the field, which Soco co-owns with Vietnam's state oil group PetroVietnam and Thailand's state-run PTT Exploration and Production, is currently at 35,000 bopd, the company said.

"We are certainly capable of having a substantial increase by the second quarter," Story added, declining to give a specific date during 2012 when the 55,000 level would be reached.

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