The Company announces that the Deed of Assignment, under which its subsidiary, SOCO Exploration and Production Congo S.A. ("SOCO EPC"), acquired a 29.4% Working Interest in the Marine XIV Block, offshore the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), from PA Resources Congo S.A. ("PA Congo"), has received regulatory approval from the Government of the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville).

As previously announced, SOCO EPC has become the operator of the Block, with PA Congo retaining a 12.5% interest and the national oil company, Société Nationale des Pétroles du Congo, holding a 15% carried interest. The remaining interests are held by fellow farm-in participants and joint venture partners on the Marine XI Block, Raffia Oil SARL (21.55%) and a subsidiary of Lundin Petroleum (21.55%).

The Marine XIV Block, located in the Lower Congo Basin, is in shallow water adjacent to the Company’s Marine XI Block and will complement SOCO’s activity both operationally and technically. The Block comprises three discontinuous sections located in water depths ranging up to 115 metres and covers approximately 265 square kilometres. Previous exploration activity on the Block has resulted in oil discoveries.

SOCO EPC is currently acquiring 3D seismic on the Marine XIV Block which is expected to be completed during the first quarter of this year. It also expects to begin exploratory drilling on the adjacent Marine XI Block during the third quarter of 2009.

5 March 2009


SOCO International plc
Roger Cagle
Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer
Tel: 020 7747 2000

Pelham Public Relations
James Henderson
Mark Antelme
Tel: 020 7337 1500


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, the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), the Democratic Republic of Congo (Kinshasa) and Angola.

Pharos Energy plc is aware of attempts to impersonate the company under its previous name, SOCO International plc, on social media. Pharos does not have a Facebook page.