SOCO International plc notes the recent announcement from Salamander Energy plc that first production of crude oil from the Bualuang Oil Field in block B8/38, in the Gulf of Thailand, occurred on 27th August 2008. SOCO’s 99.93% owned Thailand subsidiary, SOCO Exploration (Thailand) Co. Ltd., holds a 40% interest in the field, following a farm-out.

Following successful hook up and commissioning of the Rubicon Vantage Floating Production Storage & Offloading vessel ("FPSO"), production from the field began from well BA-05. After a period of multi-rate testing of this well, the other producers will be brought on-stream sequentially over the coming days.

In total, six development wells have been drilled on the field, five producers and one water injector. Oil will be processed and stored in the Rubicon Vantage FPSO vessel prior to onward sale.

The joint venture partners plan to test the remaining potential within Block B8/38, including the undrilled east flank of the field as well as analogous structures elsewhere in the production license area.

Ed Story, President and Chief Executive of SOCO, commented:
"Following the commencement of production from the CNV field in Vietnam and now at Bualuang, we are set to exit 2008 with a higher production rate than we started with, despite the sale of our producing Yemen assets. The farm out in Thailand has allowed us to benefit from the production in a cost and time effective manner, and means our strong balance sheet will be further underpinned by cashflow to fund our drilling programmes in Vietnam and West Africa.”

(Oil Voice)