The Vietnam News daily on Thursday quoted the oil group as saying it had been negotiating long-term supply contracts with the two oil firms but gave no further details.

Petrovietnam-owned Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Company Ltd, which runs Dung Quat, has previously said the refinery was designed to either process Vietnam's flagship light sweet Bach Ho crude or a mixture of 85 percent of Bach Ho and 15 percent Dubai crude.

Last year, Petrovietnam also clinched two separate agreements with oil traders Glencore and Trafigura to supply crude oil to its future refineries including Dung Quat.

Petrovietnam said this week it planned to test run the refinery, built at a cost of $2.5 billion, from December this year, at about 30,000-bpd capacity.

The plant will run at its full capacity of 140,000 bpd from the fourth quarter next year, meeting about 30-40 percent of the country's total consumption.

Although Vietnam is Southeast Asia's third largest crude oil producer with production averaging about 300,000 bpd the country still relies on oil product imports because it lacks big refineries.

By Nguyen Nhat Lam - Le courrier du Vietnam - October 8, 2008