Cobalt dismall about Criollo reservoir size, looks to spud Firefox, North Platte

Cobalt International Energy, Inc. (CIE) today announced well results on its Criollo prospect, the anticipated spud dates of its exploratory wells on its Firefox and North Platte prospects, and its 2010 capital program.

Criollo Well Results

Cobalt today announced that it reached a planned total depth of 31,145 feet TVD in the Criollo prospect exploration sidetrack well, and is in the process of suspending operations on the well. The Green Canyon 685 #1 Sidetrack is located in approximately 4,200 feet of water int he US Gulf of Mexico. The combined cost of the discovery well and subsequent sidetrack were within the approved AFE.

The original well discovered 55 feet of Miocene age oil bearing reservoirs and the sidetrack logged 73 feet of Miocene oil in correlative reservoirs. Both the original Criollo well and the sidetrack encountered structural complexities associated with salt, which prevented the testing of the entire prospective interval. A detailed review of the well data and reprocessing of the existing 3D pre-stack depth seismic data will be required prior to Cobalt and its partner determining the next appropriate steps, and while Criollo remains prospective, the potential size of the prospect has likely been reduced and the commerciality of the prospect has yet to be determined.

The original well and the sidetrack were drilled using Transocean’s Development Driller 1 rig. Cobalt is releasing this rig following the suspension of the sidetrack well.

Cobalt is the operator of Criollo and has a 60% working interest in the
prospect. Total E&P USA owns the remaining 40% working interest.

Anticipated Firefox Spud Date

The next exploratory well in Cobalt’s 2010 drilling program, Firefox #1, is scheduled to spud in the first quarter of 2010. Firefox is located in Green Canyon blocks 773 and 817, where BHP Billiton Petroleum (GOM) Inc. is the operator and Cobalt owns a 30% working interest. This prospect lies within the Tahiti Basin approximately six miles northeast of the Heidelberg discovery.

Anticipated North Platte Spud Date

The next Cobalt-operated exploratory well in Cobalt’s 2010 drilling program, North Platte #1, is scheduled to spud in the second quarter of 2010. North Platte targets Lower Tertiary horizons and is located in Garden Banks blocks 915, 916, 958, 959 and 960.

Negotiations are currently in progress to secure a drilling rig to drill this well.

Cobalt is the operator of North Platte and has a 60% working interest in the prospect. Total E&P USA owns the remaining 40% working interest.

2010 Capital Program

Cobalt’s Board of Directors has approved a 2010 capital program of $430 million. This does not include $147 million for letters of credit to cover Cobalt’s Angolan work program which were previously approved by the Board of Directors.

In the Gulf of Mexico, this program includes the commencement of three Cobalt-operated exploratory wells (North Platte, Aegean and Ligurian), three partner-operated exploratory wells (including Firefox) and one partner-operated appraisal well (Heidelberg #2).

Cobalt’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Joseph H. Bryant, said “Our IPO has given the company the funding to embark on a robust exploration program. The number one priority for Cobalt is to drill these exploratory wells and convert through the drill-bit the company’s prospective resources into discoveries.”

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