Cobalt to sell deepwater Angolan blocks

Cobalt International Energy Inc. has agreed to sell its interests in two blocks in deep water offshore Angola to state-owned Sonangol for $1.75 billion and will concentrate on appraisal and development of deepwater discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico.

Cobalt, Houston, holds 40% interest each in Angolan Blocks 21/09 and 20/11 and operates both. It claims to have opened the Kwanza basin presalt play with the Orca and Lontra discoveries on Block 20/11 and the Mavinga, Cameia, and Bicuar discoveries on Block 21/09 to the south.

Of the discoveries, Cameia is closest to development. Cobalt said a final investment decision is expected by yearend. It estimates the Cameia resource at 300-500 million bbl and expects productivity of 30,000 b/d/well of 39°-41° gravity oil.

Cobalt will operate both blocks until replaced by Sonangol or another operator. Sonangol will bear all costs in the interim.

In the Gulf of Mexico, Cobalt operates the North Platte Lower Tertiary discovery in the Garden Banks area with a 60% interest and holds nonoperating interests in the Heidelberg, Shenandoah, and Anchor discoveries.

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