Cobalt announces lay-offs after Angola exit

Offshore staff

HOUSTON Cobalt International Energy Inc. said it will cut the 50 jobs from its Houston area headquarters as early as April 30, moving to reduce its total headcount by 50%, FuelFix has reported.  Those 50 workers account for nearly one-third of Cobalt’s 155-person, Houston-based workforce.

The company is rebalancing as it is in the process of exiting its Angolan assets.

“With the pending transfer of Cobalt’s Angolan assets and its focus on reducing costs, Cobalt is also in the process of restructuring its organization to better align with its post-Angola business needs,” it said in its 4Q 2015 earnings statement. “Cobalt anticipates a total workforce reduction of approximately 50% as compared to its pre-Angola sale workforce.”

In August, it signed a sale and purchase agreement for Sonangol to acquire all of Cobalt’s 40% participating interest in blocks 21/09 and 20/11 offshore Angola for $1.75 billion. In its results statement, the company said it had received the initial payment of $250 million last year and expects to close the transaction upon receipt of applicable Angola government approvals, although it is unknown when these government approvals will be obtained.

Cobalt said that it identified approximately $100 million of reduced expenditures for 2016, after it successfully reduced the overall daily spread rate for its operated drilling activities from around $1.3 million to about $1.1 million.


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