SOCO Buys into Offshore Congo Permit

Africa and Vietnam-focused SOCO International reported Monday that it has agreed with PA Resources to farm into a 60-percent working interest in the Mer Profonde Sud permit offshore the Republic of Congo.

The permit comprises the exploration area of the license but excludes the Azurite field – which is operated by Murphy Oil Corporation.

The deal will see SOCO assume its 60-percent interest, and take over as operator, in return for carrying some of PA Resources Congo SA's costs. SOCO has also committed to drill an exploration well that will test a structure identified from recent seismic data reprocessing and subsurface re-evaluation. This will be in a different structural setting and play from other wells already drilled on the block, and will target similar reservoirs that produce from offsetting fields in the Congo and in Angola.

SOCO Chief Executive Ed Story commented in a company statement:

"As an established Operator in Congo (Brazzaville), this is a natural step for us. Using our knowledge of the basin, and the additional work from PA Resources, we were able to recognise an untested prospect in a different structural setting from that already tested. The adjacent production from the same reservoirs as we are targeting adds to our optimism about the potential of this licence."

Following the completion of the transaction PA Resources Congo SA will retain a 25-percent interest, while Congolese state oil company SNPC will retain its current 15-percent interest.


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