Premier Oil sells Vietnam division for up to $100m

Oil and gas firm Premier Oil has sold a subsidiary in Vietnam for up to $100 million (£66.2m) as it seeks to focus its efforts on higher-value resources.

The group, also active in the North Sea, Indonesia and Pakistan, will receive an immediate cash payment of $45m for Premier Oil Vietnam South, with further payments of up to $55m if production targets are met.

It expects to get up to $20m following well appraisals, and $35m if targets are met at the Ca Duc exploration prospect.

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The move follows Premier’s announcement last week that it was lowering its guidance for 2013 production to 63,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, down from previous forecast of 65,000 to 70,000.

Chief executive Simon Lockett said: “We are pleased to be delivering against our commitment given earlier in the year to rationalise our investment portfolio.

“We will continue to focus our resources on projects where Premier is best positioned to add value.”

• BP has signed a deal with Chinese national oil company CNOOC to drill a third well in the South China Sea. The oil major, which has 17 businesses and joint ventures in China, said the production sharing agreement for the Pearl River Mouth Basin deepwater well built a “strong base for future exploration success” in the region.