SOCO ramps up production in Vietnam

Oil and gas group SOCO saw a fourfold year-on-year increase in output in the first three quarters of the year, helped by an early start to production at its Te Giac Trang (TGT) project in Vietnam.

Oil and gas group SOCO saw a fourfold year-on-year increase in output in the first three quarters of the year, helped by an early start to production at its Te Giac Trang (TGT) project in Vietnam.

Production for the nine months to September 30th was around 400% higher than the same period of 2011 and averaged 13,755 barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOEPD) net to the company's working interest. This has since increased to 18,824boepd in the week ended October 26th.

TGT in Block 16-1, Vietnam, started producing on July 6th, over one month earlier than scheduled and nearly a year ahead of the original approved development plan, SOCO said. Output from TGT has averaged 11,556bopd during the first three quarters (16,317bopd in the week ended October 26th).

Production on Block 9-2 from the Vietnamese Ca Ngu Vang (CNV)field is said to have been steady during the year.

The firm said: "Production for SOCO's Vietnam assets is expected to continue at the current rates for the remainder of the year with temporary fluctuations occurring due to well intervention work and facilities and FPSO testing. Production capability could be increased in both projects early next year as drilling is anticipated to include an additional producing well on CNV and a step out appraisal well for the previously undrilled H5 fault block on TGT."

In the Republic of Congo, the company said that, after analysing data from the Marine XI project, it is to drill the next Lideka Marine East1 well before the end of 2012. As for Marine XIV, it has been decided that it will not enter a second exploration phase and the block has been relinquished back to the government.

Elsewhere, in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola, analysis and interpretation of data is still ongoing.

"The company continues to negotiate for new projects which would give us larger footprints in regions where SOCO already has a presence, and continues to evaluate other projects in new areas of interest. Progress has been made on both initiatives, with the Nanga II A area exploration licence in the Republic of Congo added to our portfolio this year."

Net cash at October 31st was $170m, slightly down from the $178m recorded at the end of the first half (June 30th) but up on the $113.5m at the previous year-end (December 31st 2011).

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