Soco International Suspends CNV-4X

Soco International says the appraisal well on the Ca Ngu Vang structure on Block 9-2 offshore Vietnam, the CNV-4X, has encountered an oil and gas interval with unexpected high pressure in the Oligocene E Sequence, the sandstone sequence overlying the Basement objective, and has been temporarily suspended. The joint venture partners decided to suspend the well, which spudded on August 31st, following the loss of the 12-1/4" hole section above the granitic Basement reservoir. The pressures encountered were significantly higher than those seen previously on the other CNV wells.

The well encountered a gross 370 meter vertical section of oil shows with attendant gas through the Oligocene "E" sandstone section, based on mud logs, drilling cuttings analysis and LWD logs. The use of higher than anticipated mud weights to control the encountered pressures led to problems higher in the open hole section where the drill string became differentially stuck while pulling out of the hole to run casing into the top of Basement. Numerous attempts to fish the stuck drill string have been unsuccessful. Plans are underway to incorporate a different drilling fluid and casing design into the program to enable the overpressured section to be redrilled safely.

The Atwood Beacon will be moved immediately to drill a follow-up appraisal well to the 9,432 barrels of oil equivalent per day TGT-1X well drilled earlier this year on the Te Giac Trang ("TGT") structure. It will be the fourth well in the multi-well drilling program which began this year in Vietnam. The rig will return to Block 9-2 following completion of the appraisal program in Block 16-1.

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

"This bodes well for the high prospectivity of Block 9-2 as the CNV-4X well is only the second location in the Cuu Long Basin that has encountered such good oil and gas shows in the E Sequence sandstones. This adds significant remaining exploration potential to Block 9-2 as the Oligocene section has been identified and mapped over other prospects on the Block. Time spent drilling in Block 16-1 will afford us the opportunity to obtain the necessary materials to return to Block 9-2.

The recent TGT-1X discovery and our experience in the Oligocene section of the CNV-4X well underscores the significant potential of these two acreage positions on either side of the giant Bach Ho field."

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