OIL PRODUCTION OF RUSSIAN-VIETNAMESE VENTURE REDUCES

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HANOI, April 16 (RIA Novosti) - Since the beginning of the year, the volume of oil produced by Vietsovpetro, a Russian-Vietnamese joint venture, at the White Tiger and Dragon oil fields in Vietnam had considerably reduced.

The board of the company said that now 33,000 metric tons are extracted from the fields a day, which is 3,000 metric tons less than last year.

Local oil workers believe that the main reason the production level has decreased is that the deposits are gradually becoming exhausted.

In 2003, the joint venture extracted 13.1 metric tons of oil, or $2.9 billion in general profits, from the bottom of the sea. (The joint venture makes 75% of its income extracting oil in Vietnam.) This year however, the venture will only be able to extract 12 million metric tons.

Now oil and natural gas extractions occurs in eight Vietnamese fields. Aside from Russia, the UK, the U.S., India and Malaysia are also involved in oil production in Vietnam. In the first quarter of 2004, Vietnam exported 3.3 million metric tons of oil, a 14.6% increase from the same period last year.

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