SK Earthon, an exploration and production (E&P) unit of South Korean energy company SK Innovation, has discovered crude oil at an exploration block offshore Vietnam.

The company discovered an oil layer through exploratory drilling in Block 16-2, located in the Cuu Long Basin, off the south-eastern coast of Vietnam.

SK Earthon has conducted a Drill Stem Test (DST) at the first reservoir section, a layer where crude oil or natural gas is accumulated underground.

The DST showed a maximum daily production of 4,700 barrels of crude oil and 7.4 million standard cubic feet (MMscf) per day of natural gas.

The company is currently conducting an assessment for the second reservoir to discover additional crude oil and gas.

SK Earthon official said: “Vietnam is a promising region for resource development in Southeast Asia as it holds production (Block 15-1), development (Block 15-1/05), and exploration (Block 16-2 and Block 15-2/17) blocks.

“With the successful discovery of crude oil in Block 16-2, we will strive to continuously create outcomes based on the competitiveness of our E&P business.”

The current crude oil discovery follows the successful crude oil production from Block 17/03 in China, in September last year.

Also, it represents the company’s first discovery in the last four years in Vietnam, after the discovery of hydrocarbon reserves in Block 15-1/05, in 2019.

SK Earthon intends to evaluate the commercial viability of Block 16-2 through additional exploratory and appraisal drilling.

Based on the confirmation of the field’s commercial viability, the company will proceed with the development stage and establish an oil field development plan.

SK Earthon signed an FOA with Vietnam’s national oil company Petro Vietnam Exploration Production (PVEP) to participate and operate in Block 16-2, in 2019.

In 2020, the company officially became its operator by acquiring a 70% stake in the block.

SK Earthon began its E&P business in Vietnam in 1998, by participating in Block 15-1, which has been producing oil since 2003 and continuing operations till date.