Cobalt International Energy, Inc. (“Cobalt”) (NYSE:CIE) today announced that its Ligurian #2 exploratory well on Green Canyon Block 814 in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico had reached objective total depth after having drilled through all of the targeted Miocene formations. The well did not encounter commercial hydrocarbons and operations are underway to plug and abandon the wellbore.
Once these plugging operations are finished, Cobalt will move the Ensco 8503 drilling rig to its North Platte #1 exploratory well location on Garden Banks Block 959. The North Platte Prospect is a large 4-way Inboard Lower Tertiary structure. This well lies within Cobalt’s greater North Platte complex, consisting of the North Platte Prospect, as well as four adjacent Inboard Lower Tertiary prospects. Per an independent third-party assessment, the gross unrisked resources for the North Platte Prospect are estimated to be 400 – 850 million barrels of oil equivalent (mean to high range), and the combined gross unrisked resources for the greater North Platte complex is estimated to be more than two billion barrels of oil equivalent. The North Platte #1 well, which is expected to take five to six months to drill and evaluate, is located approximately 40 miles northwest of Cobalt’s Shenandoah discovery.
Drilling operations at Cobalt’s Cameia #2 appraisal well in Block 21, offshore Angola continue. Cobalt expects to announce the results of this appraisal well as soon as drilling operations are completed and logging/test results have been evaluated, sometime in the next 30 to 60 days.
Following completion of operations on the Cameia #2 well, the Diamond Ocean Confidence drilling rig will be released to another operator for approximately 120 days for the drilling of one offshore Congo well. The Ocean Confidence rig will then return to Cobalt and will be used to drill Cobalt’s next two Angolan pre-salt wells. In addition, Cobalt has tendered for and is currently evaluating bids for additional drilling rig capacity for its 2013+ Angolan pre-salt drilling campaign. It is anticipated that a rig selection announcement will be forthcoming in the third quarter.