SOCO Issues Operations Update

London-based SOCO International plc, an oil and gas exploration and production company that has interests in Vietnam, Yemen, Thailand, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), Democratic Republic of Congo (Kinshasa), and production operations in Yemen, on Monday released the following operations update.


Current production in the East Shabwa Development Area is up over 12,000 barrels of oil per day ('BOPD') from the 2005 year average. Drilling results and the addition of a self contained production facility have enabled the fields to exceed all previous production records with production exceeding 45,000 BOPD.

Appraisal/Development Drilling—Kharir Field

A number of successful development wells have been drilled on the field since the February 2006 update. These include the KHA-1-12 well in the western part of the structure, the KHA-1-14 well in the southern flank of the structure and the KHA-1-07.G1 sidetrack, which was drilled as a water injection well but completed as a producer based on drilling results. These wells are all connected to the production facilities and were tested at rates between 5,500 and 8,000 BOPD.

The drilling of wells designed to ensure field pressure maintenance is being accelerated in parallel. The KHA-1-11 gas injection well is nearing completion. It is being drilled using underbalanced drilling technology that allows the assessment of connectivity between a nearby producer and an actively drilling injection well. Gas injection is scheduled to commence late summer. The KHA-1-13 water injection well, designed to provide pressure support to the eastern end of the structure, has been connected to the water injection system.

Currently, the KHA-1-16 production well, designed to continue the delineation of the reservoir in the eastern part of the structure as currently mapped, and the KHA-1-17 water injection well, aimed at providing pressure support to the wells draining the northwest end of the structure, are being drilled.

Exploratory Drilling—Jathma Area

The first Jathma exploration well, the JAT-01 that tested over 1,900 BOPD, is currently being prepared for long term production. The oil produced will be trucked to the existing Kharir facilities for processing and export, enabling rapid and economic development.

The sidetrack of the second exploration well in the Jathma area, the JAT-02 well, has been completed. The objective of the sidetrack was to evaluate fracture development away from the original wellbore. Testing programs on the JAT-02-ST and the exploration well on the eastern side of the Jathma area, JAT-04, have been completed. Both wells encountered significant oil columns, but neither produced commercial volumes of hydrocarbons when tested.

An evaluation of the results of all the Jathma area wells drilled to date will now be conducted. A 3D seismic program is currently being considered to acquire better definition of the fracture zones in the Jathma area.


The sidetrack of the Ca Ngu Vang appraisal well, CNV-4XST, is currently at 4,927 meters measured depth, just above Basement. Logging operations in the Oligocene have been completed and preparations have begun to run 9-5/8 inch casing prior to drilling into the Basement reservoir horizon.

Following this well, the drilling campaign in the Cuu Long Basin will continue with the arrival of the Transocean Trident 9 jack-up rig.

Republic of Congo (Brazzaville)

A contract has been awarded to PGS Overseas AS for the acquisition of a 1,200-square-kilometer 3D seismic program. The Ramform Explorer is expected to begin acquisition in early October.

"There is a lot of activity across the asset portfolio," said Ed Story, SOCO's president and chief executive. "The ESDA partners have drilled a series of superb high performance wells in the Kharir Basement. With the production capacity reaching the facility limits, the partnership is focusing on ways of upgrading the facility. Success of both the water injection and producer wells is good news for improving oil recovery in the Basement."

"We are just above the top of Basement in the CNV-4X ST having successfully drilled through the operationally problematic section that forced us to abandon the original well-bore," added Story. "Operations will begin in earnest on Marine XI with the 3D seismic acquisition program now set to begin. We expect exciting news flow throughout the rest of the year."


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