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, Thailand and North Korea with production operations in Yemen, Tunisia and Mongolia.

SOCO Vietnam Limited ("SOCO Vietnam"), SOCO's 80% owned affiliate, has entered into an agreement with Amerada Hess (Vietnam) Limited ("Hess") whereby it will acquire one-half, 13.5%, of the Hess total working interest in Block 16-1 in the Cuu Long Basin offshore Vietnam. The remaining one-half interest will be acquired by PTTEP Hoang Long Company Limited ("PTTEP-HL"), an affiliate of the Thailand national oil company, which farmed into 50% of SOCO Vietnam's initial interest in February of this year. With this transaction, SOCO Vietnam's participating interest in Block 16-1 rises to 28.5%. Completion of the transaction is dependent upon receiving Vietnamese Governmental approval.

Terms of the two transactions, which have a 1 May 2002 effective date, result in Hess meeting all of its partner funding obligations through July 2002. SOCO Vietnam and PTTEP-HL will assume the remainder of the financial obligations and all of the rights associated with the Hess interest. Following the transaction, Hess will have completed its exit from Vietnam exploration activities in accordance with its previously published intent.

The Company is currently drilling the second well, the first on Block 9-2 (SOCO Vietnam's interest 25%), in its planned minimum four well programme in Vietnam this year. The well is at final casing point prior to drilling into Basement, the objective interval. Results of the well will be released when they become available. Results of the initial exploratory well on Block 16-1 were announced last month. A decision regarding a horizontal or deviated well to further appraise this first prospect is pending further analysis of the results. At least one additional prospect on each Block will be drilled this year.

The additional interest in Block 16-1 is not covered by the previously announced farm-out with PTT Exploration and Production Company Limited of Thailand. PTTEP-HL and SOCO Vietnam will each fund their respective incremental participating interests in the second well to be drilled on the contract area.

4 September 2002

Enquiries:

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

College Hill
Tel: 020 7457 2020
James Henderson
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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