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

SOCO is an international oil and gas exploration and production company, headquartered in London. In addition to its interests in Vietnam, the Company has operations in Mongolia, Yemen, European Russia, Tunisia, Thailand and North Korea.

Signing of Second Vietnam Petroleum Contract

SOCO announces today that its 70% owned subsidiary, SOCO Vietnam Ltd. (“SOCO Vietnam”), has formally been awarded a Petroleum Contract for the exploration, development and production of oil and natural gas in Block 9-2 in the Cuu Long Basin offshore Vietnam. The interests under the Petroleum Contract will be held 50 per cent by Petrovietnam and 50 per cent by SOCO Vietnam.

Block 9-2 is situated in the central and eastern portions of the Cuu Long Basin off the coast of Vietnam in water depths ranging between 40 metres and 60 metres and covers an area of approximately 1,370 square kilometres. It is bordered on the west by the Bach Ho (White Tiger) field which is currently producing approximately 225,000 barrels of oil per day (BOPD) and to the north by the Rang Dong field, which is producing approximately 40,000 BOPD. Industry interest in the Basin has recently been heightened with the October 2000 announcement by a major oil company of the most prolific discovery well in the Basin to date, which tested in excess of 17,000 BOPD.

Elsewhere, SOCO continues its record making production pace with crude oil production in November topping 10,000 BOPD net to its working interest for the first time. For the eleven months through November, the Company’s average rate of production was approximately 8,800 BOPD.

In Tunisia, the El Fell exploration well has reached the objective depth. Although the well encountered porous reservoir within the objective interval, log and test data indicate the interval to be wet. The Didon well continues to produce at a rate of approximately 1,500 BOPD net to the Company.

In Russia, work on the export pipeline is nearing completion. Two drilling rigs have been moved to locations in the Ozernoye field where a long term development drilling programme is expected to commence in January.

Ed Story, President and Chief Executive of SOCO, commenting on the announcement, said:

“SOCO’s 50 per cent interest in Block 9-2 when coupled with its 30 per cent interest in Block 16-1 places the Company in one of the most attractive exploration positions in Southeast Asia. Our acreage is on either side of the Bach Ho field which produces approximately 225,000 BOPD and has estimated recoverable reserves of 900 million barrels of oil and approximately 1 trillion cubic feet of gas . ”
19 December 2000

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
Archie Berens

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