Saturday, October 13, 2007

PetroVietnam banks big earnings

15:41' 12/10/2007 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet Bridge – Viet Nam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) yesterday reported strong earnings growth for the nine month period ending September 30 and planned to list eight subsidiaries on the stock market in the fourth quarter.

The State-owned company reported VND143tril (US$8.8bil) in revenue for the first nine months, up 4% over the same period in 2006.

The company generated $6bil from exporting 11.6mil tonnes of crude oil over the period.

As a result," PetroVietnam contributed about VND56.9tril to the State budget during the period," said Tran Ngoc Canh, the company's director general.

So far this year, Vietnam's leading oil producer inked six contracts with overseas partners to explore for off-shore oil and natural gas in the Gulf of Tonkin, and six other deals in Peru, Cuba, Indonesia and Tunisia.

PetroVietnam has also discovered new oil and gas reserves in the Dong Do and Bao Vang fields.

"However, the volume of crude oil output during the period was lower than earlier expectations, resulting in lower exports," said Canh.

Production was slowed when equipment broke in the Su Tu Den and Rang Dong oil fields, while efforts to acquire drilling rights in Kazakhstan failed. Bad weather also made off-shore drilling difficult over the last few months.

PetroVietnam forecasts 2007 revenue, to be VND190tril ($11.6bil), nearly 13% higher than executives' initial expectations. The company predicts it will contribute VND77.8tril to the State budget.

The company also aimed to equitise a slew of subsidiaries this quarter, including: PV Gas North, PV Gas South, DMC, PVE, PVC, PVTrans, PVFCCo and PV Nghe An Construction JSC.

Petro Vietnam will also auction shares in Petroleum Phuong Dong Tourism Co (PTC) and PVFC, not to be confused with its sister firm PVFCCo.

Finally, executives yesterday said the company would establish PetroVietnam Commercial Joint Stock Bank by the end of the year to diversify holdings in the financial and property markets.

"The bank's chartered capital is estimated at VND5tril [about US$307mil]. We will raise the charter capital to $1bil by 2015," said Dinh La Thang, PetroVietnam chairman.

The company plans to initially hold at least 41% of the bank and then sell a 21% stake to domestic and foreign strategic partners.