Soco Is in Talks for Assets in South East Asia, West Africa

Soco International Plc, a British oil explorer operating in Vietnam and the two Congos, said it’s in talks to buy more assets in those countries as it sells a stake in an exploration block in Angola.

“We are in negotiations with governments of countries where we operate in, in Southeast Asia and West Africa, for assets,” Roger Cagle, deputy chief executive officer, said today in a phone interview from London, where Soco is based.

The expiration of the option to sell its 80 percent Cabinda stake in Angola has been extended to mid-February, Soco said today in a statement.

The sale faces logistical delays, Cagle said. Last year Soco announced it was selling its interest to Quill Trading Corp., which paid a non-refundable deposit to secure the deal.

Soco closed down 4 percent at 380.80 pence in London. That values the company at 1.3 billion pounds ($2 billion). Shares dropped as much as 10 percent earlier in the day after Soco said selling the asset in Angola would take longer than planned.

“The delay is unwelcome, but the deal is not material to Soco’s investment case,” analysts at RBC Capital Markets said in a note today.

Production is expected to average 16,000 barrels of oil equivalent this year mainly from operations in the Te Giac Trang field in Vietnam, Cagle said. That’s higher than the 15,496 barrels it produced in 2012.

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