VietinBank lends $200 mln for Dai Hung oil field expansion

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VietinBank, Vietnam's largest listed bank, will lend $200 million for the expansion of the Dai Hung oil field, part of a broader effort to increase national output by 2015, state-owned field operator PetroVietnam said on Wednesday.

The seven-year loan facility was signed in Hanoi to finance the second phase of the expansion, PetroVietnam Exploration Production Corp (PVEP), the exploration arm of PetroVietnam that develops the field, said in a statement.

Petrovietnam has previously said it expected to produce between 15 million and 20 million tons (300,000 to 400,000 barrels per day) of crude oil a year nationally and 8.5 billion to 14 billion cubic meters of gas annually by 2015.

Vietnam's crude oil output has been falling due to ageing fields, including its largest field Bach Ho (White Tiger).

Last year national output dropped 8.8 percent from 2009 to an estimated 14.97 million tonnes, or 300,630 bpd, government statistics showed.

The expansion of Dai Hung (Big Bear) field in Block 05-1a in Nam Con Son basin off the country's southern coast would help PVEP and PetroVietnam meet production targets in coming years, the statement said.

It gave no further details of the Hanoi-based VietinBank's loan or on the expansion project.

Petrovietnam has been the sole operator of Dai Hung field since 2003 after the withdrawal of Russian state oil firm Zarubezhneft.

Dai Hung oil is significantly heavier than other Vietnamese grades, with an API gravity of 30.70, but a low sulphur content of 0.095 percent.

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