Soco profit rises seven-fold on higher oil production in Vietnam

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Soco International Plc, a UK explorer in Africa and Southeast Asia, said profit increased seven-fold in 2011 as production at the Te Giac Trang field in Vietnam rose.

Net income climbed to US$88.6 million from $12.3 million a year earlier, the company said in statement in London. Output at TGT, which started in August, has climbed to 40,000 barrels a day and is scheduled to reach about 55,000 barrels.

Soco, which also has projects in the Republic of Congo, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo, is trying to expand exploration in areas near to where it already operates. The company is working on several deals that should be announced this year, Chief Executive Officer Edward Story said.

"We're reasonably close to finding new exploration prospects, but I can't talk about them now," Story said in an interview. "At least one of them is as promising as TGT."

Shares were little changed in London, at 326.9 pence as of 8:38 a.m.

Soco's share of production at its fields was 5,437 barrels of oil equivalent a day, more than double the level from 2010. Revenues jumped to a record $234.2 million last year from $48.4 million in 2010.

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