Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has instructed the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) to monitor global oil prices closely and have flexible solutions to respond to changes.

At a January 16 meeting held by PetroVietnam to review the oil industry in 2014, the Deputy PM said the world situation has become more unpredictable with many unstable factors that will influence the whole economy in general and the petroleum industry in particular.

He also urged the group to enhance the competitive capacity of its member companies so that they are able to survive amidst fierce competition brought on by the coming into effect of several free trade agreements between Vietnam and other countries.

Last year, PetroVietnam reported total revenues of 745.5 trillion VND (34.8 billion USD). The group also contributed 178.1 trillion VND (8.3 billion USD) to the State Budget.

In the context of many international organisations and experts predicting the oil prices will continue their downtrend this year, many member companies of PetroVietnam have proposed setting the 2015 targets equal to or even lower than the levels of 2014.

The group plans to pump around 16.68 million tonnes of crude and 9.8 billion cu.m of gas in 2015.-VNA