Thai PTTEP says Vietnam 16-1 project starts operations

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Thailand's largest oil and gas explorer, PTT Exploration and Production Pcl, (PTTEP) , said on Tuesday its Vietnam 16-1 project started production on Aug. 22 with an initial flow of about 15,000 barrels per day.

The production at Te Giac Trang (TGT) field is expected to reach 40,000 bpd of crude oil and about 30 million cubic feet per day of natural gas by the end of 2011, PTTEP said in a statement.

Block 16-1 is the second oil field for PTTEP off Vietnam. Its 25 percent owned Block 9-2 has produced crude oil and natural gas since 2008.

The TGT field is located off south Vietnam. Crude oil from the field is transported to the FPSO Armanda TGT 1, a floating production, storage and offloading facility with a processing capacity of 55,000 bpd.

The crude oil is sold to regional refineries at a market price, while the associated gas will be transported through a pipeline to the nearby Bach Ho project and sold to Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, a Vietnamese state enterprise.

PTTEP Hoang Long Co Ltd, a PTTEP subsidiary, has a 28.5 percent stake in the project. Petrovietnam Exploration and Production Corp Ltd owns 41 percent, while SOCO Vietnam Ltd has 28.5 percent and OPECO Vietnam Ltd 2 percent.

PTTEP, which recently cut its 2011 petroleum sales target to reflect weaker sales in second half, aimed for 269,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

PTTEP, a flagship in the upstream business of top energy firm PTT Pcl , aimed to boost its production volume threefold by 2020 and the start-up of Vietnam 16-1 field was part of its plan to reach the target and boost reserves, it said.

At the midsession break, PTTEP shares were up 1.2 percent, outperforming a 0.3 percent fall in the broad market.

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