Bloomberg News

Cobalt Climbs to Record on Angola Well Results: Houston Mover

February 13, 2012

Feb. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Cobalt International Energy Inc., a deep-water oil explorer whose biggest investors include Goldman Sachs Group Inc., climbed to a record after test results at a discovery off the coast of Angola exceeded the company’s expectations.

Cobalt surged 37 percent to $32.70 at 11:15 a.m. in New York. The stock earlier touched $36.51, the highest price since the company first sold shares to the public in December 2009.

Work at the Cameia-1 well confirmed a 1,180-foot (360- meter) oil column, the company said in a statement. Cobalt and its partners will now begin to appraise the well to evaluate the discovery’s size, according to the statement.

“The results have exceeded our pre-drill expectations and have increased our confidence in our entire West Africa pre-salt exploration inventory,” Joseph Bryant, chairman and chief executive officer of Houston-based Cobalt, said in the statement.

Cobalt said on Jan. 10 its Cameia-1 well in the Kwanza basin found a “high-quality” oil reservoir. BP Plc, ConocoPhillips and Total SA are among oil producers that won licenses in Angola’s pre-salt areas largely running from the equator south to the Tropic of Capricorn.

The Cameia well may have the potential to produce more than 20,000 barrels of oil a day, according to Cobalt, which has wells in the Gulf of Mexico and West Africa. The company said it plans to start drilling at the Cameia-2 well this month, work that’s expected to take 100 to 120 days.

Goldman and private-equity firm Riverstone Holdings LLC each hold 19 percent stakes in Cobalt, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

--Editors: Jasmina Kelemen, Steven Frank

To contact the reporters on this story: James Paton in Sydney at jpaton4@bloomberg.net; Edward Klump in Houston at eklump@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Amit Prakash at aprakash1@bloomberg.net; Susan Warren at susanwarren@bloomberg.net


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