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 announce a discovery on the 16-1-Voi Trang-1X vertical exploration well, the second exploration test well drilled on Block 16-1 by the Hoang Long Joint Operating Company. The well tested a maximum sustained rate of approximately 3,500 barrels of crude oil per day ("BOPD") from a section that included both Oligocene and Basement intervals. The high quality 42 degrees API crude was recovered from a bottomhole test conducted on an interval from 2,086 metres to 2,490 metres. From information gathered from a production logging tool, the oil appears to be sourced primarily from the Oligocene section.

The rig is scheduled to be moved off this well later this week enroute to spud the second well on Block 9-2 and the first well on the "C" prospect. The "C" prospect, the largest prospect on Block 9-2, will be the final well in the planned four well exploration drilling programme.

With this well, SOCO Vietnam has its third consecutive discovery and second consecutive significant test flow rate. The first exploration well on Block 9-2, drilled just prior to this well, tested at a maximum sustained daily rate of approximately 4,625 barrels of crude oil equivalent from two intervals as was announced in October. As was announced in July, the first exploration discovery well in the Vietnam drilling programme was drilled on Block 16-1 and tested approximately 250 BOPD from a Basement interval.

SOCO Vietnam has previously announced an increase in its interest in Block 16-1 from 15% to 28.5% subject to Vietnam governmental approval. It also holds a 25% working interest in Block 9-2. SOCO Vietnam's interest in Block 9-2 and its initial interest in Block 16-1 is carried up to a maximum amount of US$50 million through the initial exploration drilling programme under the terms of a farm-out agreement announced earlier this year. 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, where it was recently announced that production had increased to approximately 65,000 BOPD.

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

"We are very excited about this discovery on Block 16-1. With the discovery on Block 9-2 already establishing the Cuu Long Basin as a core commercial area for the Company, this well gives a new dimension to the play types, which further solidifies Vietnam as a premier cornerstone of SOCO’s portfolio."

5 November 2002


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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