PetroVietnam affirmed its leading role in the economy: PM

The Viet Nam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) has continued to affirm its role as one of leading economic groups in the country.

 

This, according to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, is due to its achievements in production and business, restructuring, privatisation and resolving outstanding issues.

Speaking at a conference held in Ha Noi on Friday, Phuc said the group has not only made an important contribution to the nation’s livelihood for many years, contributing a large amount to the State budget but also played a role in foreign affairs and national defense. In particular, PVN has contributed significantly to Viet Nam’s economic growth in 2018.

PetroVietnam’s general director Nguyen Vu Truong Son said the group had launched new tasks amid difficult and fluctuating crude oil prices while its key operational oilfields have been exploited for a long time, causing a decrease in annual output of between 15 and 30 per cent.

The company also struggled to arrange capital for its exploration as the fund for oil and gas exploration has not been approved.

“Currently, the rate of PVN’s investment in exploration has been very small compared to foreign oil and gas contractors. However, with the right solutions, PVN meet Government targets for 2018,” Son said.

PetroVietnam reported oil and gas production output of 23.98 million tonnes in 2018, surpassing its target by 5 per cent.

Of which, crude oil output reached 13.97 tonnes last year, posting 5.6 per cent year-on-year rise. Its gas output was 10.01 billion cu.m, surpassing 4.3 per cent of the whole year’s set target.

The PetroVietnam’s gas pipeline system, electricity, fertiliser and petrochemical plants had been safely operated and regular maintenance in accordance with the requirements of technology design and completion exceed the planned progress.

It has surpassed the financial targets thanks to oil price in 2018, which had improved significantly compared to three years ago. Its total revenue reached VND626.8 triillion, an increase of 26 per cent compared to 2017 and contributing VND121.3 trillion to the State udget, up 24 per cent from last year.

Son said PetroVietnam aimed to complete the plan to increase oil and gas reserves of 10-15 million tonnes of oil; exploiting 22.06 million tonnes of oil. It would produce 1.58 million tonnes of nitrogen; 21.6 billion kWh of electricity and producing 10.35 million tonnes of gasoline.

With the 2019 oil price plan approved by the National Assembly of US$65 a barrel, the group’s revenue was expected to reach VND612.2 trillion, consolidated after-tax profit of VND31.3 trillion and contributing VND87.5 trillion to the State budget.

Recognising PetroVietnam’s difficulties, PM Phuc said the group should accelerate investment at Block B and Blue Whale gas projects to compensate for crude oil production decreases when its main mines have seen reduced production and the remaining ones are far from the shore.

In particular, PetroVietnam needs to strengthen its oil and gas exploration, closely control the development progress of mines which would be put into operation in 2019.

It was urged to be a pioneer in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, promoting the application of new science and technology to search and explore oil and gas to improve operational efficiency.

In the context of fluctuating oil market, PetroVietnam should have solutions to ensure balance of capital, cash flow for development and investment, especially for key projects such as Thai Binh 2 Thermal Power Plant, Nam Con Son (phase 2), Block B project chain and Blue Whale, he said.

At the same time, it should focus on resolving difficulties and obstacles in five weak projects including Dinh Vu polyester fiber plant, three bio-fuel projects and Dung Quat Shipyard Plant in accordance with the plans approved by the PM. In addition, it should continue to divest investment at its subsidiaries in 2017-20 period as well as restructuring process.

The PM also required PetroVietnam to co-operate with ministries and agencies to calculate production and business targets to have more contribution to the GDP growth and State budget in 2019.

He committed to work with PetroVietnam in resolving difficulties while asking ministries to have time supports to the group in implementing exploration and key projects as well as ineffective projects.

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