COMMODITY / ENERGY BRIEFS

COMMODITY / ENERGY BRIEFS

MITSUBISHI FINDS OIL

OFF SOUTHERN VIETNAM

TOKYO - Mitsubishi Oil Co. struck oil in one of its concessions off the southern coast of Vietnam, the company said Wednesday.

The company, affiliated with Japan's giant Mitsubishi business conglomerate, said two rounds of test drilling produced daily output of about 1,100 barrels of crude oil condensate and about 8 million cubic feet of gas, equivalent to about 1,400 barrels in terms of crude oil.

The company said the newly discovered Phuong Dong field is located about 94 miles southeast of Vung Tau and about 12 miles northeast of the Rang Dong field, which was discovered last year.

Phuong Dong is the third well in Block 15-2, where Mitsubishi's joint venture Japan Vietnam Petroleum Co. has been exploring for oil resources in partnership with state-run Vietnam National Petroleum Corp. since August 1992, the company said.

It said the two partners will assess deposits at Phuong Dong and Rang Dong for possible commercial production.

YUKONG JOINS SANTA FE

IN INDONESIAN PROJECT

SEOUL, South Korea - South Korean oil refiner Yukong Ltd. will take part in an oil-exploration project led by U.S.-based Santa Fe at an onshore field in southwest Indonesia, a Yukong spokesman said Wednesday.

Santa Fe Resources Bangko will have a 75 percent stake in the project and Yukong will have a 25 percent interest.

The Yukong spokesman said the exploration program in the Bangko Block, Sumatra, will last six years and may be extended to 10 years. The total contract period is 30 years.

He said Yukong will have a 25 percent share of any oil produced from the block.

The size of the oil reserves and how much Yukong will invest in the project have not been revealed.

AIRGAS EARNINGS RISE

39 PERCENT FROM '94 LEVEL

RADNOR, Pa. - Airgas Inc. Wednesday reported that net earnings for the first fiscal quarter, ended June 30, rose to $9.4 million, or 29 cents a share, a 39 percent increase from the $6.7 million, or 21 cents a share, earned in the first quarter of last year.

The rise in net earnings was primarily due to an increase in gross profits

from higher industrial gas sales and stronger profit margins, the company said.

Net sales increased 22 percent to $194.2 million during the first quarter compared with $159.4 million for the similar period a year ago, reflecting the acquisition of 35 industrial gas distribution companies since April 1, 1994.