Cobalt International Energy, Inc. Announces Sub-Let of the ENSCO 8503 Ultra-Deepwater Semisubmersible Drilling Rig

HOUSTON, Dec 01, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) --

Cobalt International Energy, Inc. ("Cobalt") (NYSE:CIE) today announced that a subsidiary of Ensco plc has sub-let the ENSCO 8503, a new ultra-deepwater semisubmersible drilling rig currently under contract to Cobalt. The ENSCO 8503 was recently mobilized to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and is scheduled to begin sea trials shortly.

Under the sub-let agreement, once rig acceptance procedures have been completed in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, the ENSCO 8503 will mobilize to offshore French Guiana to commence drilling operations for a subsidiary of Tullow Oil plc on behalf of itself and its coventurers in the license (Shell, Total, and Northpet Investments). Acceptance procedures will be witnessed jointly by Cobalt and Tullow.

Mobilization to offshore French Guiana is scheduled to begin in early 2011. The combined mobilization and demobilization will be approximately 50 days in total and drilling operations in French Guiana are estimated to be up to three months in duration. During this sub-let period, Cobalt will be relieved from paying the contracted day-rate and the Cobalt contract for the ENSCO 8503 will be suspended. Following the sub-let period, the ENSCO 8503 will return to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico under its contract with Cobalt.

About Cobalt

Cobalt is an independent oil and gas 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 our 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.
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+1 (713) 452-2322
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Lynne L. Hackedorn, +1 (713) 579-9115
Vice President, Government, Public Affairs, Land
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