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, and partners have now completed their drilling commitments on Block 16-1 in the Cuu Long Basin offshore Vietnam with their second exploration well in this year's programme. The Voi Vang exploration well ("VV-1X"), drilled on Prospect "B", was drilled to a total depth of 3,755 metres but plugged and abandoned after a Basement test indicated that the structure would not flow. Promising oil shows were encountered during drilling in two different Oligocene intervals, from 2,886 to 3,363 metres and from 3,404 metres to 3,442 metres, but these intervals were not tested.

The VV-1X well was the fourth well drilled on Block 16-1 where there has been a 50% success rate to date, with one of the discoveries testing a sustained rate of approximately 3,500 barrels of oil per day. The Hoang Long Joint Operating Company will continue its evaluation of this Block.

The rig will immediately move to Block 9-2, where the remainder of the current exploration programme will be conducted, to drill an appraisal well on the Ca Ngu Vang prospect, prospect "D". The initial discovery well, the CNV-1X, tested approximately 4,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day through 3.5 inch tubing and a collapsed wellbore.

SOCO Vietnam holds a 28.5% interest in Block 16-1 and a 25% working interest in Block 9-2. Both Blocks are contiguous to the Bach Ho field, which is producing approximately 250,000 BOPD and 150 million cubic feet of gas per day, and the Rang Dong field, which is producing approximately 65,000 BOPD and 85 million cubic feet of gas per day.

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

"We will continue to try to unlock the exploration challenge on Block 16-1 where we have a clearly demonstrated hydrocarbon province, but we are excited to be moving into the appraisal programme on the CNV prospect. Further exploration on Block 9-2offers us much greater rewards for success. We are entering into a very important phase of our operations in Vietnam and are confident that the upcoming wells will re-establish the momentum that began last year."


8 May 2003


ENQUIRIES:

SOCO International plc
Tel: 020 7 399 3300
Ed Story, Chief Executive
Roger Cagle, Chief Financial Officer

College Hill
Tel: 020 7 457 2020
James Henderson
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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