The US Government has said that Vietnam may produce an average of about 400,000 barrels of oil a day until at least 2030.

The US has suggested Vietnam should cease a four-year decrease in production.

Vietnamese oil production has decreased each year since peaking in 2004 at about 427,000 barrels a day.

In the first five months of 2009 Vietnam produced about 6.95 million tons, or about 345,000 barrels a day, according to the General Statistics Office in Hanoi.

A report on Vietnam in April 2009 by the International Monetary Fund cited an expected reduction in oil production in the long run, while the World Bank in 2008 identified production capacity constraints as hindering the nation’s industry.

Vietnam is opening new regions for exploration as it attempts to reverse the production decrease.

“There are some doubts about Vietnam’s ability to maintain its peak production level,” said Victor Shum, a Singapore-based senior principal at oil industry consultants Purvin & Gertz, in a telephone interview on 28 May. “The EIA [Energy Information Administration] projection is an optimistic outlook.”

Other scenarios

In a high oil price scenario, Vietnamese production would be projected to decrease to about 300,000 barrels per day by 2025, said the EIA.

Vietnam’s major oil field, operated by a Russian-Vietnamese venture, has been decreasing in production after more than two decades of production.