Viodo Appraisal Well Spudded in Congo Basin's Marine XI Block

SOCO announces that the Viodo 4 appraisal well spudded on September 17, 2009 in the Marine XI Block, located in the Congo Basin, offshore the Republic of Congo. This well is an appraisal of the 1986 Viodo oil discovery and is targeting an extension of the core area of the field drilled by the VIM-1 discovery well.

The Viodo discovery lies in some 65m of water and contains oil in the Toca formation, a lacustrine carbonate developed below the regional salt horizon. Three of the four existing wells, drilled in the period 1986 to 1990, successfully tested oil, but also showed the accumulation to be geologically complex. The VIM-4 appraisal well is designed to add to the technical understanding of the discovery via a comprehensive data collection and well testing program.

The spudding of the Viodo well is the second well in the most active drilling program in the Company's history, which includes a 12 month drilling campaign in the Cuu Long Basin, offshore Vietnam, one exploration well on the Marine XIV Block, offshore Republic of Congo, a further exploration well on Marine XI, and two exploration wells on the Nganzi Block, located onshore the Democratic Republic of Congo (Kinshasa).