Incidental stuff

Thursday, May 21 2009 by

NO TA ON THIS THREAD PLEASE - (edit) and no pointless speculations either!

I've created this thread just to park stuff in that is only tangentially-related to SOCO's interests and doesn't relate to any of the specific assets.


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SOCO International plc (SOCO) is an oil and gas exploration and production company. The Company's segments include South East Asia and Africa. It has field development and production interests in Vietnam, and exploration and appraisal interests in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) and Angola. In Vietnam, SOCO's Block 16-1 and Block 9-2 include the Te Giac Trang and Ca Ngu Vang Fields, which are located in shallow water in the Cuu Long Basin, near the Bach Ho Field. SOCO holds working interest in Block 16-1 and Block 9-2 through its subsidiaries, SOCO Vietnam Ltd and OPECO Vietnam Limited. SOCO holds its interests in the Marine XI Block, located offshore Congo (Brazzaville) in the shallow water Lower Congo Basin, through its subsidiary, SOCO EPC. SOCO holds working interest in the Mer Profonde Sud Block, offshore Congo (Brazzaville) through its subsidiary, SOCO Congo BEX Limited. SOCO's subsidiary, SOCO Cabinda Limited, holds participation interests in the Cabinda North Block. more »

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1294 Posts on this Thread show/hide all

emptyend 18th Nov '11 755 of 1294

Lukoil/PV tie-up...and....

Lukoil has said it was seeking to bid for more offshore blocks in Vietnam

Presumably that means bidding for explo blocks - but some of us will recall that it was Lukoil who bought SOCO's Russian interests 10 years ago.


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peterg 24th Nov '11 757 of 1294

In reply to kenobi, post #756

"We are always looking to improve our exploration portfolio and Myanmar is a country that we think could offer opportunities," said deputy chief executive Roger Cagle.

That should make Isaac happy!

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emptyend 25th Nov '11 758 of 1294

In reply to kenobi, post #756

I must say that such a move would make absolutely perfect sense! I would think that they would be looking for shallow water acreage with potential for fans, similar to Cuu Long. I wouldn't be at all surprised either if they partner with PV - and perhaps PTTEP. Note that there have been very recent improvements in the politics in Myanmar (there was a recent interview on the BBC with Aung  San Suu Kyi indicating some significant relaxations and it is clear that she and her party intend to run in the upcoming by-elections)  and there is also talk of Shell partnering in some deepwater acreage.

Structurally the way for SOCO to participate would be to interpose (if necessary) an Asian regional holding company between the main Group and SOCO Vietnam. This could then hold all Asian explo assets - including perhaps any future farm-back-in to TGD....and it would continue unaffected if SOCO International (LON:SIA) simply monetised the main SOCO Vietnam interest. I would expect the actual licence-holding entity to most likely be a new local consortium company, FWIW,similar to the Vietnam JOCs.

This would also make sense in the context of the potential Asian deals flagged earlier in the year. No way of knowing whether they would get whichever blocks were bid for - but, supposing they would be partnered with PV and/or PTTEP, I would think they have an excellent chance!


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Isaac 25th Nov '11 759 of 1294

Top up time, £2.76, yes please!

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icemanpip 25th Nov '11 760 of 1294

Would you believe, I had a SB at £1 point that`s modest, with a stop that I thought would never be reached as long as the sun shone of 275p and got stopped out, unbelievable the way this share price is performing.Where will it all end.

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compounder 25th Nov '11 761 of 1294

In reply to Isaac, post #759

By putting up more hard cash I guess that means you agree with and support managements plans - hence will stop #####ing every 5 mns!

Back to sleep for me - I'll wake up when the Chinese make thier move.

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WeeEck 25th Nov '11 762 of 1294

In reply to icemanpip, post #760

The SB companies do very well out of SOCO. I have seen this so often now. This stock is not very liquid and it does not take much selling to push it down quite hard. I would imagine that quite a few people would have had spreadbets on around the £3 mark and stops 25p below that with exactly the same thinking that you had. As soon as they saw the chance of taking out 275 they would have gone for it. Easy money for them. I would imagine if they have got most of the stops in that region the SP will gradually rise again on even light buying. Unfortunately I am fully topped up and do not really want to buy any more as long as the market is as unsettled as it is just now but for anyone with spare cash these opportunities are welcome gifts.

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kenobi 25th Nov '11 763 of 1294

In reply to WeeEck, post #762

The SB companies do very well out of SOCO

I doubt they give a monkeys which way you bet or which way the market moves, they have punters betting both ways which they offset against each other, take the spread and funding costs, then hedge any outstanding position one way or the other. They win anyway, they would prefer it if their customers won too, that way they could keep betting, betting bigger and making more money.

There may well be players with big positions who sell to try to knock out shorts and then buy back in and make a profit that way, but I doubt the spread betting companies do anything other than playing with the spread, to make it beneficial for them.

I could be wrong, but that's my view.


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kenobi 25th Nov '11 764 of 1294

another 110,000

I can't help but wonder what price the shares would be at if they hadn't bought half a million in the last few weeks.

Still I'm glad they're letting the price slide while buying up relatively high volumes of them.

Soco have been good an the financial management stuff over the years, so I'm sure they won't spend too much on shares, and leave themselves plenty of scope to buy more if the eurozone goes into some kind of meltdown.

missed out on topping up today , will be following it over the next few weeks,


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macroeconomix 28th Nov '11 765 of 1294

NED purchase of £29k worth:

Also another 90k buybacks today.

Better putting that cash into shares in Treasury than hanging onto paper currency IMV :)

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nigelpm 28th Nov '11 766 of 1294

In reply to macroeconomix, post #765

Isn't all currency based on paper?

Yours confused!

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macroeconomix 28th Nov '11 767 of 1294

In reply to nigelpm, post #766

Drifting off topic here really...

My point was that it is better to have real assets (company stock & effectively the promise to produce more oil in the future) than to have cash reserves in the event of a currency crisis.

Eric Sprott was recently advising Silver producers to hold more reserves in silver than in cash:

Same sort of thing applies here IMV - I'd be more keen for them to have less cash on the books and more in the way of real producing assets to hedge against future currency problems (as a result of aggressive bond purchases by the central banks). Though cash does have an "optionality" in times of crises (e.g. ability to buy assets at firesale prices), trouble is the political will to print may develop a momentum of its own at some point.

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kenobi 30th Nov '11 768 of 1294

“We are very keen on refreshing our exploration pipeline” and “bringing some projects forward,” Cagle said in an interview yesterday in London. “We’d like to bring larger projects.”

Looks like they have plans for at least some of the cashflow. I hope we can get back to finding more oil, we don't seem to have had much luck with the drill bit lately,


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emptyend 30th Nov '11 769 of 1294

In reply to kenobi, post #768

Interesting. This is quite intriguing:

Soco directors are due to meet next week to examine seven new projects close to existing operations in Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Vietnam, according to Chief Financial Officer Roger Cagle. One drilling project may win approval to start next year, he said, while Soco may expand into three new countries.

I suspect there could be a major with a package on offer. ENI? Unlikely to be 7 completely unrelated opportunities.

I think with the three new countries comment one can assume that Myanmar/Burma is on the list. But which others?

And I wonder whether one project that could be "advanced" is TGD? Maybe someone has a technical edge to bring to the table?

Fun (but fairly pointless) to speculate for now.....

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kenobi 30th Nov '11 770 of 1294

In reply to emptyend, post #769

yes, good news I would say, don't want the management sitting around waiting for a deal !

this could be a good time to do deals, the future looks uncertain, but soco has strong cash flows to
invest. Getting a partner in on tgd would be good, especially if this is a first step to a vietnamese sale,

though if there's any other deals in vietnam, I hope (and am sure), they will be done in another
legal company, so as not to put limits on the sale of soco vietnam.

looking forward to hearing the outcome of this meeting


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repobear 30th Nov '11 771 of 1294

In reply to kenobi, post #770

There are definitely some interesting opportunities and cash and cashflow are king right now. Soco are well positioned to get some nice deals done I feel.

No doubt Isaac will be along soon;-)


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Isaac 30th Nov '11 Reported for Disruptive Behaviour

Soco to Focus on ‘Larger’ Projects Following Drilling Review

Roger/Ed - So are you telling us that what you have in Africa is small fish for Soco having drilled 8 wells you clearly have a better idea now? Is TGD not big enough for you? You have a 58.5% Working interest in this project.

I attended the June 2010 AGM and to quote you from your presentation :


2010 will be the most prolific drilling campaign in terms of
potential NET reserve adds with c600+ mmbbls possible

Nganzi drilling potential adds NET 500 mmbbl
TGD appraisal drilling potentially adds NET 30 mmbbl on the
low case, with upside potential more than 10 fold if current
interpretation is validated

I'm sorry but for a company like Soco the above is MASSIVE, so to quote on Bloomberg that your looking for alternative projects REALLY leaves your credibility in tatters.

Because the way I have interpreted it, Soco are now saying Africa is a damp squib and TGD probably won't get drilled and is no where near as prospective as once thought.

Even if we drill TGD next year & if it is succesful it would be one of many wells proving up the field so surely that will burn a hole in Soco's pockets? And surely if the management had any confidence in flowing a commercial find on TGD they would'nt be having meetings about 7 new exploration plays would they? Because there simply won't be enough cash to drill and develop loads of projects around the world.

“We are very keen on refreshing our exploration pipeline”

 So you should be. I've said it before and I will say it again, Soco is suppose to be an exploration company but has not found a commercial oil field in the last 4 years but the directors continue to take home HUGE amounts of money every month. Do you not have any shame?

Ed Story took home $838k in salary last year, with current exchange rates that is equivalent to £533,736K per year, which after tax and national insurance in the UK is £22.9k a month net after tax. I understand Story is not a UK tax payer but this is just highlighting tangible figures.

There are people who earn considerably less then that in a year let alone a month pre tax, so I expect to see a commercial find if this kinda money is leaving the balance sheet every month.

The above excludes benefits, it is purely salary. I honestly hope the management team intend to excercise restraint and even consider taking considerably less salary. I don't care one jot what the industry is paid either as exec pay is at absurd levels.

One good thing from this bloomberg piece could be the sale of Vietnam maybe sooner then expected especially if Soco are now concluding that TGD is not likely to be as prosperous as once thought because that would significantly narrow the valuation gap in which an acquiror is prepared to pay.

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rhomboid1 30th Nov '11 773 of 1294


you appear to be taking the bloomberg reporter's words as being equivalent to an RNS , they aren't...


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Isaac 30th Nov '11 774 of 1294


Forget what the reporter is saying, my post addresses the the quotes made by Cagle :

We are very keen on refreshing our exploration pipeline” and “bringing some projects forward,” Cagle said in an interview yesterday in London. “We’d like to bring larger projects.”

“Right now we have some near-term exploration drilling but it’s not as high impact as we would like it to be,” Cagle said.

The management should do the right thing and sell TGT and return a significant portion of cash to shareholders as it is quite clear there is not much to go for in Africa/TGD. I am quite capable of choosing my own Investments, I don't need Soco management to cherry pick acreage for me to Invest in.

All I need is the value of the assets returned to me and I will choose the companies that I find attractive - Please let me have a choice.

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