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Cobalt International Energy, Inc. (“Cobalt”) (NYSE:CIE) today announced a net loss of $37 million, or $0.09 per basic and diluted share, for the first quarter of 2012, compared to a net loss of $16 million, or $0.05 per basic and diluted share, for the first quarter of 2011.
Cash expenditures (excluding changes in working capital) for the quarter ending March 31, 2012 were approximately $236 million. These expenditures are consistent with previously announced full year 2012 estimated cash expenditures of between $550 and $650 million. Cash, cash equivalents, and investments at the end of the first quarter were approximately $1.8 billion. This includes about $550 million designated for future operations held in escrow and collateralizing letters of credit, but excludes approximately $172 million in the TOTAL drilling fund for the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Cobalt continues to have no outstanding debt.
Cobalt’s existing contract with Z North Sea, Ltd., a subsidiary of Diamond Offshore Company (“Diamond”), for the Ocean Confidence drilling rig allows Cobalt to drill one additional well following the completion of drilling operations on the Cameia #2 appraisal well. On April 27, 2012, Cobalt executed a letter agreement with Diamond that extends the Ocean Confidence drilling contract by allowing the use of the Ocean Confidence drilling rig for an incremental additional well slot, meaning that Cobalt will be able to use the Ocean Confidence to drill two wells offshore Angola following the Cameia #2 appraisal well. In return for this additional well slot, Cobalt has agreed to allow another operator to use the Ocean Confidence to drill one well offshore Congo, which will be drilled immediately after the Cameia #2 appraisal well and before Cobalt’s next two wells. This offshore Congo well, including mobilization and demobilization, is expected to take approximately 120 days to drill. Cobalt’s first well following the Cameia #2 appraisal well will be at a rate of $375,000 per day and the second well will be at a rate of $430,000 per day.