HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 21, 2011--
Cobalt International Energy, Inc. (“Cobalt”) (NYSE:CIE) announced today
that the Ensco 8503 drilling rig, contracted to Cobalt, has returned to
the U.S. Gulf of Mexico following a sublet of the rig to drill a well in
French Guiana. Cobalt received the required U.S. Coast Guard Certificate
of Compliance and has subsequently received APD approval from the Bureau
of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) for the Ligurian #2
exploratory well. Cobalt plans to spud Ligurian #2 by year end. Ligurian
is located in the Southern Green Canyon Area immediately adjacent to the
2009 Heidelberg discovery in which Cobalt is a part owner. After
drilling Ligurian #2, Cobalt plans to move the rig to the North Platte
#1 well location in the Garden Banks Area to drill that prospect. Cobalt
anticipates that each of the Ligurian #2 and North Platte #1 exploratory
wells will take approximately six months to drill.
“Obtaining the approved APD for Ligurian #2 represents another
significant milestone for Cobalt”, said Van P. Whitfield, Cobalt’s Chief
Operating Officer. “Ligurian #2 will be our first company-operated well
drilled in the Gulf of Mexico since the deepwater drilling moratorium
was enforced in May 2010. We are definitely excited about our return to
drilling and are confident in our ability to drill this well safely.
Additionally, we look forward to obtaining the additional permits
required to drill and evaluate the multiple other significant world
class prospects we have in our Gulf of Mexico portfolio.”
Cobalt is the operator of the Ligurian #2 well located in Green Canyon
Block 814, with a 45% working interest. Other working interest owners
include TOTAL E&P USA, INC. with a 30% working interest and Sonangol
Exploration & Production International, Ltd. with a 25% working interest.
2012 Cash Expenditure Forecast
Cobalt also announced that its 2012 cash expenditures will be $500-$550
million. This range is consistent with previous guidance for 2011-13
cash expenditures of $1.3-$1.4 billion and compares with $170-$190
million recently estimated for 2011. The increased cash expenditures for
2012 relative to 2011 anticipates increased U.S. Gulf of Mexico and
offshore Angola drilling activity and the payment of the first social
bonus contribution associated with Angola Block 20. Cobalt’s net
expenditures for 2012 exploration and appraisal drilling are forecasted
at $250-$300 million. Each range of cash expenditures excludes changes
to restricted cash items such as escrow agreements and collateralized
letters of credit.
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.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release includes “forward-looking statements” within the
meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 — that is, statements related
to future, not past, events. Forward-looking statements are based on
current expectations and include any statement that does not directly
relate to a current or historical fact. In this context, forward-looking
statements often address Cobalt’s expected future business and financial
performance, and often contain words such as “anticipate,” “believe,”
“intend,” “expect,” “plan,” “will” or other similar words. These
forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that
ultimately may not prove to be accurate. Actual results and future
events could differ materially from those anticipated in such
statements. For further discussion of risks and uncertainties,
individuals should refer to Cobalt’s SEC filings. Cobalt undertakes no
obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking
statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after this press
release. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these
forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this
press release. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their
entirety by this cautionary statement.
Source: Cobalt International Energy, Inc.
Cobalt International Energy, Inc.
A. Smith, +1 713-452-2322
Vice President, Investor Relations and
Lynne L. Hackedorn, +1
Vice President, Government and Public