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

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 continuing interests in Vietnam, Yemen, Mongolia, Libya and Thailand with ongoing production operations in Yemen and Mongolia. SOCO’s transaction to dispose of its Mongolian operations is pending completion after gaining approval from its shareholders at an EGM on 10 May 2005.

The appraisal well on the Ca Ngu Vang ("CNV") structure on Block 9-2 offshore Vietnam, the CNV-3X, has tested water-free at a maximum combined rate of approximately 13,040 barrels of crude oil equivalent per day comprised of approximately 9,010 barrels of crude per day and approximately 22.6 million cubic feet of gas per day.

The final un-stimulated open hole test was conducted over a 12 hour period from a Basement interval of approximately 2,000 metres. Spudded on 30 January 2005, the well was drilled to a total vertical depth of 4,426 metres at an average angle of 82 degrees from vertical through the Granitic Basement. The CNV-3X was drilled to a measured depth ("MD") of 6,123 metres making it the longest MD well to be drilled in Vietnam.

The well will be suspended as a potential producer and the rig will be moved immediately after the conclusion of testing and suspension to drill the "Te Giac Trang" prospect on Block 16-1. This initial exploration well, the TGT-1X, will test the Oligocene interval in a previously un-drilled part of Block 16-1. It is the second well in the four to six well drilling programme scheduled for Vietnam this year.

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

"The results of the CNV-3X well were outstanding. This demonstrates the technical competence of our team and proves that the complexities of Basement exploration and development can be solved by rigorous adherence to enhanced seismic reprocessing and through careful planning and execution in drilling. We expect that these successful results will lead to an early declaration of commerciality.

The drilling rig will now move to the TGT-1X exploration well on Block 16-1 where we are equally excited about the potential. Vietnam is clearly a core area for SOCO and we expect to join the ranks of significant producers there."

23 May 2005


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

Pelham Public Relations
James Henderson Tel: 020 7743 6673
Charles Vivian Tel: 020 7743 6672

Notes to editors:

SOCO holds its interests in Vietnam, all in the Cuu Long Basin offshore, through its 80% owned subsidiary SOCO Vietnam Limited ("SOCO Vietnam"). SOCO Vietnam holds a 25% working interest in Block 9-2, which is operated by the Hoan Vu Joint Operating Company and a 28.5% working interest in Block 16-1, which is operated by the Hoang Long Joint Operating Company.

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.