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

The Company has been informed by the Hoang Long Joint Operating Company ("HLJOC"), operator of Block 16-1 in the Cuu Long Basin offshore Vietnam, that PetroVietnam, the national oil company of Vietnam, has approved the application for two appraisal areas within Block 16-1. HLJOC will now submit the documentation required for the formal approval of the Government of Vietnam.

The Te Giac Den ("TGD") appraisal area encompasses an area of 150 square kilometres including the HTHP discovery well Te Giac Den 1X-ST1 on prospect E, and the analogous E South Prospect. This area borders the southern boundary of the Te Giac Trang ("TGT") field where pre-development activity is underway.

The Voi Trang appraisal area, the award of which is conditional upon a successful reserve assessment report ("RAR") of the commerciality of the previous discoveries in the awarded area, encompasses the Voi Trang discovery and several adjacent leads, and covers an area of approximately 100 square kilometres.

Upon receiving final governmental approval of the appraisal areas, which is expected in January 2009, work will commence immediately to reprocess the 3D seismic over the TGD appraisal area in anticipation of drilling a well in 2010.  The RAR on the Voi Trang appraisal area is anticipated to be complete by the end of the second quarter of 2009.

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

"PetroVietnam's agreement for the approval of the Te Giac Den appraisal area in the HTHP play area is a very significant development for SOCO in that it affords us the opportunity to incorporate our previous drilling results with re-processed seismic and to plan an effective drilling programme to return to this highly prospective area. In fact, the HPHT area has the potential to overshadow the already considerable success we have had in Vietnam to date."

7th January 2009


SOCO International plc
Antony Maris, Vice President, Operations and Production
Tel: 020 7747 2000

Pelham Public Relations
James Henderson Tel: 020 7743 6673
Mark Antelme Tel: 020 7743 6676


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, Angola, the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (Kinshasa) with production operations in Vietnam and Thailand.
SOCO holds its interests in Vietnam, all in the Cuu Long Basin offshore, through its 80% owned subsidiary SOCO Vietnam Ltd. ("SOCO Vietnam") and through its 100% ownership of OPECO, Inc. SOCO Vietnam holds a 25% working interest in Block 9-2, which is operated by the Hoan Vu Joint Operating Company and holds a 28.5% working interest in Block 16-1, which is operated by the Hoang Long Joint Operating Company. OPECO, Inc. holds a 2% interest in Block 16-1.

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