Vietsovpetro, a Vietnam-Russia oil joint venture, has started crude oil production at the Ca Tam field offshore southern Vietnam, Vietnamese state oil firm PetroVietnam said on Jan. 28.

Initial production from Ca Tam, jointly developed by Vietsovpetro, PetroVietnam Exploration Production Corp. (PVEP) and Bitexco Group, is 1,630 tonnes per day, PetroVietnam said in a statement.

The field in Block 09-3/12, 160 km (100 miles) southeast of Vietnam, is hooked up to the facilities in the nearby Block 09-1, which houses the country’s largest oil field Bach Ho, PetroVietnam said.

Ca Tam is the first new field to be brought into production in Vietnam in years after a 2014 plunge in oil prices slashed exploration. The start-up is significant as declining production from the country’s key fields has left it struggling to maintain oil and gas output.

PetroVietnam, formally known as Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, said earlier this month that tension in the South China Sea will continue to weigh on its offshore operations this year, adding that Ca Tam is one of the two offshore fields it expected to start commercial production this year.

PetroVietnam owns 51% in Vietsovpetro, while Russia’s Zarubezhneft owns the rest.