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

SOCO presents its Interim Management Statement for the period from 1 January 2009 to 12 May 2009.

OVERVIEW

  • Vietnamese governmental approval of two new appraisal areas on Block 16-1

  • Congo (Brazzaville) Ministry approval of the Marine XIV farm-in

  • Successful drilling campaign in Thailand

  • Production net to the Company’s interest averaged 5,960 BOPD over the first four months of the year

  • Balance sheet remains strong with over $300 million cash as at 30 April 2009


OPERATIONS

VIETNAM

Block 16-1

Te Giac Trang (TGT)

The Company expects to submit the TGT Field Development Plan for Governmental approval later this month. Preparation of the plan for submission has been an interactive process in conjunction with the appropriate regulatory and review committees and approval is anticipated shortly after submission.

First oil is targeted for mid-2011 and tenders for a number of long lead items have been issued. Bids from the potential floating, production, storage and offloading vessel providers are currently under review. To date, seven exploration/appraisal wells have been drilled in the TGT field, with an average oil and gas flow of approximately 11,300 barrels of oil equivalent per day from each well.

Appraisal Areas
In April, the Company was informed by the Hoang Long Joint Operating Company, operator of Block 16-1 in the Cuu Long Basin offshore Vietnam, that the Vietnamese Government had approved, with agreed work programmes, the application for the Te Giac Den (TGD) and Voi Trang (VT) Appraisal Areas within Block 16-1.

The TGD Appraisal Area encompasses an area of 150 square kilometres including the high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) discovery well TGD-1X-ST1 on Prospect E, and the analogous E South Prospect. This area borders the southern boundary of the TGT field. Seismic reprocessing over the TGD appraisal area and the TGT field is currently underway with final results expected in September 2009. Initial preparation work has started for drilling a TGD appraisal well in the second quarter of 2010.

The VT Appraisal Area, the award of which is conditional upon a successful Reserves Assessment Report of the commerciality of the previous discoveries in the awarded area, covers an area of 100 square kilometres. A technical re-evaluation of the VT discovery well and the adjacent leads is ongoing, with preliminary results expected in June 2009.

Block 9-2

Ca Ngu Vang (CNV)

With the drilling and suspension of the CNV-6P development well, the initial phase of the development drilling programme has been concluded. Wells drilled in the eastern lobe of the field have not performed as well as expected based on previous reservoir modelling. The Hoan Vu Joint Operating Company, operator of the CNV field, will analyse results of the total project drilling and performance to date, before considering injection and further drilling options later in the year.

Production net to the Group’s working interest has averaged 3,297 BOPD for the first four months of the year.

THAILAND

Bualuang field

In the second quarter of this year, the operator drilled two horizontal attic wells in the field. The purpose was to maximise oil production from the strong water driven reservoir, whilst minimising production of water. Although the second well is still in the process of cleaning up, the goal appears to have been achieved as oil production has more than doubled from the field without an increase in water production. Production net to the Group’s working interest averaged 6,764 BOPD for the first week in May as compared to 2,663 BOPD for the first four months of the year.

The operator recently reported a reserves upgrade in the field, rising from 20 million gross proven and probable barrels of oil to 26.3 million gross proven and probable barrels of oil recoverable.

REPUBLIC OF CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE)

Marine XI

SOCO Exploration and Production Congo S.A. (SOCO EPC) has finalised the terms of a rig contract for a two well drilling programme in the Marine XI Block that is expected to commence in late July or early August of this year. The first well is targeting a prospect above the salt layer, whilst the follow-up well will appraise the existing sub-salt Viodo oil field.

Marine XIV

In March, SOCO EPC received Governmental approval for its farm-in to the Marine XIV Block. Since that time, SOCO EPC, as operator, has completed a 100 square kilometre multi-azimuthal 3D seismic programme. The seismic is currently being processed and a well is planned for 2010.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (KINSHASA) (DRC)

SOCO Exploration & Production DRC Sprl, the Company’s 85% owned subsidiary, completed a 360 kilometre 2D seismic survey late last year over the onshore coastal Nganzi Block. Initial interpretation of the processed seismic has been very encouraging as several large structures have been identified. Interpretation will continue with drilling likely to commence in the second quarter of 2010.

The Group’s applications for licences elsewhere in the country are pending a Presidential Decree on Block 5 in the Albertine Graben and the finalisation of a production sharing agreement on a large interior block.

ANGOLA

Cabinda North

The Group expects to recommence the acquisition of 2D seismic over the Cabinda Onshore North Block during the third quarter of this year.

CORPORATE


As previously reported, John Snyder will resign from the Board at the upcoming Annual General Meeting. The Company expects to propose one or more independent Non-executive Directors to the Board during the year.

SOCO's Half Year Report for the period to 30 June 2009 will be published in August 2009.

13 May 2009


ENQUIRIES:


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

Pelham Public Relations
James Henderson Tel: 020 7337 1500
Mark Antelme Tel: 020 7337 1505  

NOTES TO EDITORS:


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.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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