SOCO Awarded Block Offshore Vietnam

SOCO announces today that its 70% owned subsidiary, SOCO Vietnam Ltd., 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 percent by Petrovietnam and 50 percent 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 meters and 60 meters and covers an area of approximately 1,370 square kilometers. 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 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.

Ed Story, President and Chief Executive of SOCO, commenting on the announcement, said: SOCO's 50 percent interest in Block 9-2 when coupled with its 30 percent 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.