President Truong Tan Sang on Jan. 16 visited the headquarters of the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) to deliver seasonal greetings to its leader and staff members.

Sang wished the group more successes in the new year by making the most of new opportunities and hoped it will become the country's leading economic group and reach out to the world.

The group chairman Phung Dinh Thuc said it will continue cutting investment in non-core businesses this year.

The group will not inject capital into the 79-floor PVN Tower , he affirmed. The tower is one of the highest buildings in Vietnam with an estimated investment capital of 600 million USD. The project is being implemented by PetroVietnam Construction Corporation (PVC), an affiliate of PetroVietnam.

"Last year, PetroVietnam reviewed its non-core projects and it cancelled 12 and delayed 44. As a result, we saved 7.2 trillion VND (151.2 million USD). Thus, the group's total investment capital last year was about 90 trillion VND (4.3 billion USD), 27 percent lower than earlier expectations," said Le Minh Hong, the group's deputy director general.

The group will spearhead five core business sectors, including oil and gas exploration and exploitation; petro-chemical refinery; gas; power; and high-quality oil and gas services.

The group plans to churn out 15.8 million tonnes of crude oil and 9 billion cubic metres of gas this year earning 660 trillion VND (31.4 billion USD), 135 trillion VND (6.4 billion USD) of which will go into the State budget. It plans to pump more than 108 trillion VND (5.1 billion USD) of that revenue into investment, slightly less than last year.

The group reached a total revenue of 675.3 trillion VND (32.1 billion USD) last year, of which 160.8 trillion VND (7.6 billion USD) went into the State budget.

Thuc attributed the good performance last year to higher production, higher oil and gas prices, and better revenues from oil and gas services.

The group's lower business expectations this year stem from the ongoing global economic crisis.

Sang also visited the Party Central Committee's Commission of Inspection Commission of Organisation and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. /.