France's oil giant Total SA is likely to buy a 35 percent stake in a Vietnamese offshore oil block
France's oil giant Total SA is likely to buy a 35 percent stake in a Vietnamese offshore oil block as Vietnam tries to halt a slump in crude production.
Total received approval from the Vietnamese government to develop Block 15-1/05 jointly with PetroVietnam Exploration & Production Co., which will have a 40 percent interest, the Paris-based company said in a statement yesterday. South Korea's SK Energy has the remaining 25 percent.
Initial exploration in the 3,840 square kilometer (1,483 square mile) block will start by the end of the year, Total said.
Southeast Asia's third-biggest oil producer Vietnam had output last year of about 355,000 barrels a day, according to Vietnam Oil & Gas Group, the country's state-owned producer.
The country's oil production has fallen in the past two years, and is running behind target this year, as output slumps from the nation's biggest field after more than two decades in operation.