Cobalt International Energy, Inc. (“Cobalt”) (NYSE:CIE) announced that at an official signing ceremony today in Luanda, Sonangol and Cobalt executives signed the Production Sharing Contract for Block 20 offshore Angola. Cobalt has been named the operator of Block 20 and has a 40% working interest in the block under this agreement. Other partners in Block 20 include Sonangol Pesquisa e Produção, S.A. (30%), BP Exploration Angola (Kwanza Benguela) Limited (20%) and China Sonangol International Holding Limited (10%).
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Joseph H. Bryant said, “Cobalt is extremely pleased to be awarded operatorship of Block 20, which was the most sought after block by industry in the Pre-salt Bid Round. Together with our current positions in Blocks 9 and 21 and the Diaba Block in Gabon, Cobalt has the pre-eminent Pre-salt portfolio in West Africa.” Bryant added, “The Block 20 partnership has already initiated the acquisition of a 4,100 square km (1,575 square mile) 3D seismic program following Sonangol’s conditional award of Block 20 earlier this year. We are planning our first well in Block 20 in 2013.”
Block 20 is located immediately north of and adjacent to Block 21 and 12 km (7.5 miles) from the Cobalt-operated Cameia-1 well location. Block 20 is Cobalt’s third operated block in the Angolan Pre-salt Kwanza Basin, along with Blocks 21 and 9.
Cobalt is currently evaluating the results of Cameia-1 in Block 21. The results thus far confirm the existence of hydrocarbons and are very encouraging.
After Cameia-1 operations are complete, Cobalt will spud its Bicuar-1 well on Angola Block 21 with the Diamond Offshore Ocean Confidence drilling rig. Other partners in Block 21 and Cameia-1 include Sonangol Pesquisa e Produção, S.A. (20%), Nazaki Oil and Gáz, S.A. (30%), and Alper Oil, Limitada (10%).
Cobalt is an independent oil exploration and production company focusing on the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico and offshore Angola and Gabon. Cobalt was formed in 2005 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.