The national oil and gas group, PetroVietnam, earned a total revenue of 493 trillion VND (23.48 billion USD) in the first nine months of the year, an increase of 47 percent over the same period last year, reported PetroVietnam's Deputy General Director Le Minh Hong at a meeting on Oct. 11.

Hong said the group had completed three business goals for the year ahead of schedule. These targets are related to revenue, contributions to the State budget and increases in oil and gas reserves.

Gross revenue was now equivalent to 98 percent of PetroVietnam's yearly target and will likely reach its goal later this month.

"PetroVietnam estimates to gain a total revenue of 678 trillion VND (32.28 billion USD) for the whole year, surpassing its initial target set for this year by 178 trillion VND (8.5 billion USD)," he said.

The group's contribution to the State budget totalled 116 trillion VND (5.52 billion USD) so far this year, a surge of 14 percent over its target for the whole year and 32 percent over the same period last year.

The group also succeeded in increasing available oil and gas reserves in 2011, following the discovery of three new oil and gas fields and the signing of five new oil and gas agreements, including four domestic deals and one overseas contract.

In the past nine months, with oil prices ranging from 100-115 USD per barrel, PetroVietnam's oil sales reached 9.3 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 49 percent, beating the group's yearly plan by 9 percent.

Meanwhile, oil and gas services contributed 28.6 percent to the group's total revenue, worth 141 trillion VND (6.71 billion USD), up 16 percent against the same period last year.

PetroVietnam's profit during the January - September period reached 27 trillion VND (1.28 billion USD).

Hong also said the group had disbursed nearly 60 trillion USD (2.86 billion USD) and postponed and rescheduled 56 projects worth 7.25 trillion VND (345 million USD).

In the last quarter, PetroVietnam aimed to begin tapping of three new gas and oil fields, including two in Vietnam and one in Malaysia .

Do Van Hau, PetroVietnam's General Director, said that to help ensure national energy and food security, the group would maintain safe operation of the oil and gas pipeline system, the Dung Quat oil refinery, Ca Mau 1, 2 and Nhon Trach 1 power plants and the Phu My fertiliser plant.

The group has contributed 10.23 billion kWh to the national grid so far this year, up 3.5 percent year-on-year and equivalent to 83 percent of its yearly goal.

"PetroVietnam will aggressively carry out its power projects with the target of contributing up to 25 percent of the country's energy production by 2015," Hau said.

He also said the group had co-operated with foreign partners to explore and exploit oil and gas overseas, with projects deployed in 13 countries, including Russia , Nigeria , Malaysia and Venezuela .

With regard to the group's divestment from non-core business lines, Hau confirmed PetroVietnam will continue its on-going investments in major businesses including oil and gas exploration and exploitation, gas and power industry and oil and gas services, and re-consider other investments in minor industries. /.