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

SOCO is an international oil and gas exploration and production company, headquartered in London. The Company has exploration activities in Vietnam, Mongolia, Yemen, Thailand and North Korea with production operations in Yemen, European Russia, Tunisia and Mongolia.

The 3D seismic acquisition programme on Block 9-2 offshore Vietnam was completed early this week. Interpretation of the 3D seismic data acquired last year over Block 16-1 continues with the expectation of conducting a four well drilling programme, two in each Block, during the early part of 2002. SOCO’s blocks are contiguous to the Bach Ho (approximately 285,000 BOPD) and the Rang Dong (approximately 50,000 BOPD) producing fields. Drilling results from the Cuu Long Basin continue to be spectacular since the renewal of significant drilling in October last year at which time a 17,800 BOPD discovery well was announced on Block 15-1 to the north of SOCO's Blocks. In March of 2001 a step-out well on Block 15-2, adjacent to SOCO's Blocks, tested at a rate of 8,500 BOPD and in May, another Block 15-1 discovery was announced, testing at over 4,800 BOPD.

In Yemen, 2D and 3D seismic programmes were acquired in the first quarter over potential exploration targets in the East Shabwa Development Area and processing is expected to be completed this month. Gross production (SOCO: 16.785% working interest) averaged approximately 32,400 BOPD during the first four months of this year.

Work on the ancillary pipeline facilities associated with the northern pipeline in the Permtex contract area in European Russia continues with commissioning of the line expected this summer. The fourth development well in the multi-year Ozernoye Field development is currently drilling.

In Mongolia, the quarantine which has precluded Chinese crews from crossing the border to begin reconstruction of production and storage facilities on Block 19 in the Tamtsag Basin is expected to be lifted next week. The first well of this year’s four well drilling programme in Mongolia should spud within a few weeks thereafter. It is anticipated that crude oil sales to China will recommence approximately 45 days after the quarantine is lifted.

During the first four months of 2001, SOCO’s crude oil production averaged 9,450 BOPD net to its working interest compared with 8,810 BOPD for the year 2000.

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

"SOCO continues to build on the record success of last year. The next twelve months will be an exciting time for the Company as we build our production base, commence an eight to ten well exploration programme and progress negotiations on new ventures."
23 May 2001

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
Peter Brookes

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