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

SOCO is an international oil and gas exploration and production company, headquartered in London. The Company has interests in Vietnam, Mongolia, Yemen, Libya, Tunisia, and Thailand with production operations in Yemen, Tunisia and Mongolia.

SOCO Vietnam Limited ("SOCO Vietnam"), SOCO's 80% owned subsidiary which holds a 25% working interest in Block 9-2 and a 28.5% interest in Block 16-1 in the Cuu Long Basin offshore Vietnam, and partners have concluded the drilling of the Ca Ngu Vang-2XST ("CNV-2XST"), a horizontal sidetrack to the vertical appraisal well CNV-2X, on Block 9-2 offshore Vietnam in the Cuu Long Basin. Both wells were follow up wells to the CNV-1X discovery well announced in September 2002.

Kicked off from the CNV-2X appraisal well, the CNV-2XST well extended 2,200 metres northeast toward the Rang Dong producing field in the opposite direction from the original CNV-1X discovery well. Oil shows were encountered throughout the Basement section over a total measured depth interval in excess of 1,400 metres. This well extends the known area of oil in the CNV structure to approximately four kilometres from the original discovery well. However, like the appraisal well, this well did not naturally flow when put on barefoot test. There was no evidence of formation water in the CNV-2XST well.

The results of this well underscore the need to reprocess existing seismic in order to better delineate the major fracture zones necessary to achieving significant flow rates from the wells. Partners are now developing an appropriate work programme to prepare for the next drilling campaign. SOCO's current expectations are that plans to test both the COD structure and the CNV structure during the second quarter of 2004 will be developed based on interpretation of the reprocessed data. Accordingly, the rig which has been used to drill all of SOCO Vietnam’s wells in the Cuu Long Basin thus far has been released.

Elsewhere, in Yemen where SOCO holds a 16.785% interest in the East Shabwa Development Area on Block 10 ("ESDA") with partners Total (Operator), Occidental and Kufpec, the KHA 105 Basement well, a shut-in second quarter discovery, was put on production in September after installation of the proper facilities. To date production has increased from the clean-up period to greater than 7,000 barrels of oil per day ("BOPD").

The well was drilled five kilometres west of the previously announced Kharir 210 well that is currently flowing at 1,800 BOPD with no water. These two Basement discoveries could signal a significant new phase in the exploitation of the ESDA.

Ed Story, President and Chief Executive of SOCO, commented:

"We are confident that a significant successful outcome in Vietnam is not at question, but the timing of that outcome is. We knew that interpretation of the initial seismic processing was based on limited information and was not providing a desired level of accuracy from the results on the COD well, but thought that with the early success on CNV we could overcome this to potentially fast track commerciality prior to completing the multiple reprocessing iterations that are typical in this region. We do not intend to continue to look for fractures with the drill bit before we have gained confidence in the seismic.

While the Vietnam project reloads for further drilling next year, we are pleased with the successes achieved in other areas of the Company’s portfolio, including the significant basement discovery in Yemen as well as exploration successes in Tunisia and Mongolia reported in our interim release, and we expect to progress other important initiatives before this year is over."



29 September 2003


ENQUIRIES:

SOCO International plc
Ed Story, Chief Executive
Roger Cagle, Chief Financial Officer
Tel: 020 7399 3300

College Hill
James Henderson
Tel: 020 7457 2020
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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