SOCO International plc
('SOCO' or 'the Company')

SOCO is an international oil and gas exploration and production company, headquartered in London, traded on the London Stock Exchange and a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. The Company has interests in Vietnam, Thailand, the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), the Democratic Republic of Congo (Kinshasa) and Angola.

The Group today announces its Half Year Results for the six months ended 30 June 2008.

Key Highlights


Significant Operational Progress


  • First crude oil and wet gas production achieved at the CNV field, Vietnam

  • Two appraisal wells completed in the TGT field, Vietnam

    • Field commerciality declared

    • TGT-6X flowed at a combined maximum rate of 14,490 BOPD

    • TGT-7X well flowed at a maximum combined rate of 8,100 BOPD and proved
      up a previously untested fault block


  • Completion of initial exploration drilling on the ‘E’ prospect
    in the TGD field, Vietnam

    • Declared as a discovery with working hydrocarbon system identified


  • Exploration programme underway in West Africa portfolio

    • Marine XI, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), advanced to pre-drill stage

    • Commenced seismic acquisition on Nganzi block in the Democratic Republic
      of Congo (Kinshasa)



Balance Sheet Strengthened


  • Exceptional profit before tax for period of $392.5 million (H1 2007: $28.8
    million), following sale of Yemen interest for approximately $465 million

  • Cash and cash equivalents at period end of $410.2 million (H1 2007: $140.6
    million), meaning increased financial flexibility

  • Capital expenditure of $120.7 million (H1 2007: $78.9 million), reflecting
    continuing drilling activity in Vietnam and development activities at CNV
    and in Thailand

 

Outlook

 


  • Commencement of production from the Bualuang field, Thailand announced today

  • Production base set to grow through ramping up of CNV field in Vietnam and
    Bualuang in Thailand

  • Appraisal drilling of “E” discovery to commence in 2009, following
    well data analysis and seismic reprocessing

    Shared rig contract being finalised for multi-well drilling programme in Republic
    of Congo (Brazzaville), commencing in 1H09



Ed Story, President and Chief Executive of SOCO, commented:
“What differentiates SOCO from its peers is a focus on building value through the drill bit and then realising that value at the appropriate point in an asset’s lifecycle. The success of this strategy has been demonstrated in the first half of 2008.

The Group’s balance sheet has been transformed by the sale of our Yemen interests, the proceeds of which provide us with financial flexibility as we drive forward our operational programmes in both Vietnam and West Africa. The combination of near term production cashflow increases, medium term development projects and exciting reserves upside potential from the “E” discovery and the Group’s West Africa portfolio means SOCO is well positioned to create stakeholder value going forward.”


Click here to view the full announcement.

28 August 2008



ENQUIRIES:


SOCO International plc
Roger Cagle, Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer
Tel: 020 7747 2000

Pelham Public Relations
James Henderson Tel: 020 7743 6673
Alisdair Haythornthwaite Tel: 020 7743 6676

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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