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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        24  March 2011

Soco targets Vietnam for exploration

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Soco International, the oil and gas explorer focused on Africa and southeast Asia, will press ahead with plans to secure new exploration assets in the Republic of Congo and Vietnam and expects to start production at its main field in Vietnam later this year.

The company failed to add new reserves during 2010, said Ed Story, president and chief executive, "despite the fact that we had historically enjoyed an exploration success ratio upwards of 50 percent and despite the fact that we had a drilling programme focused on what appeared to be a very low risk appraisal well in the Te Giac Den (TGD) area in Vietnam and exploration targets in a highly coveted new basin onshore in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Kinshasa)".

Reporting results for the year, Mr. Story said the company nevertheless boosted the "underlying value" of its portfolio.

"Soco is on track for first oil from the Te Giac Trang field in Vietnam," said Mr Story. The project is due to come on stream in the third quarter with peak output of 55,000 barrels of oil a day in the first phase of the development.

"In a matter of a few months, the dramatic impact of our previous investments in Vietnam will be clearly visible," he added.

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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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