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Cobalt Reports ‘Exceptional’ Results from Its Gulf of Mexico Wells

Cobalt International Energy, Inc. on Tuesday announced extraordinary results from its Shenandoah #2R appraisal well, located in Walker Ridge Block 51, and provided an update on its North Platte #1 exploratory well, located in Garden Banks 959, both located in the Inboard Lower Tertiary Trend, deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

At Shenandoah, the well’s operator announced today that the Shenandoah #2R appraisal well encountered more than 1,000 net feet of oil pay in multiple high quality Lower Tertiary-aged reservoirs. Log and pressure data from both the Shenandoah appraisal well and the 2009 Shenandoah discovery well indicate the presence of exceptionally high quality reservoirs and hydrocarbons.

The appraisal well was drilled as a straight hole to a total depth of 31,405 feet in approximately 5,800 feet of water, about 1.3 miles southwest and approximately 1,700 feet structurally down-dip from the Shenandoah #1 discovery well, in order to test the down-dip extent of the Shenandoah field. Well results indicate that the targeted sands were full to base with no evidence of oil-water contacts. The Shenandoah #1 discovery well was drilled in early 2009 on Walker Ridge Block 52 and encountered more than 300 net feet of Inboard Lower Tertiary oil pay.

North Platte #1

Cobalt, as operator, provided an update confirming that the North Platte #1 exploratory well encountered over 550 net feet of oil pay in multiple high quality Inboard Lower Tertiary reservoirs. This compares to DeGolyer and MacNaughton’s pre-drill estimate for net pay of 350 feet. North Platte is located in approximately 4,400 feet of water and was drilled to a total depth of approximately 34,500 feet. Cobalt completed a bypass coring operation on North Platte #1 and has since temporarily abandoned the discovery well. In addition, Cobalt has begun the acquisition of a new state-of-the-art 3D seismic survey over the greater North Platte field and the majority of its prospects in the immediate area. Evaluation of this data will be ongoing throughout 2013. Appraisal plans for North Platte will be determined later in the year, as well.

Cobalt is currently drilling its Ardennes #1 exploratory well in Green Canyon 896. Ardennes is targeting both Miocene and Inboard Lower Tertiary reservoirs. Results are expected sometime mid-year 2013. DeGolyer and MacNaughton estimates Ardennes to have potential resources greater than 500 million barrels gross oil equivalent.

“The exceptional results of both the Shenandoah #2R appraisal well and the North Platte #1 exploratory well further substantiate our regional model of the prolific potential of the Inboard Lower Tertiary Trend,” said Joseph H. Bryant, Cobalt’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We believe that our material working interests in these two significant Inboard Lower Tertiary fields will be the source of tremendous value for our shareholders. Our deep portfolio of prospects on trend with these two fields bodes well for our future growth in the Gulf of Mexico. These recent results and our bright future are a testament to our commitment to the people and technology required to succeed in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico subsalt trends.”

Cobalt is the operator and holds a 60 percent working interest in North Platte. TOTAL E&P USA, INC.  is Cobalt’s partner in North Platte with a 40 percent working interest. Cobalt is the operator and holds a 42 percent working interest in Ardennes. Partners in Ardennes include ConocoPhillips (30 percent working interest) and TOTAL E&P USA, INC. (28 percent working interest). In Shenandoah, Cobalt holds a 20 percent working interest. Partners in Shenandoah include Anadarko Petroleum Corporation , as operator (30 percent working interest), ConocoPhillips (30 percent working interest), Venari Resources LLC (10 percent working interest) and Marathon Oil Company (10 percent working interest).

Cobalt Reports ‘Exceptional’ Results from Its Gulf of Mexico Wells| Offshore Energy Today.

USA: Anadarko Completes Heidelberg Sidetrack Appraisal Well

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Anadarko Petroleum Corporation today announced the Heidelberg sidetrack appraisal well in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico successfully confirmed an extension of up to 1,500 acres.

“The Heidelberg sidetrack appraisal well was successfully drilled and defined the down-dip limits of the Heidelberg field,” said Chuck Meloy, Anadarko Sr. Vice President, Worldwide Operations. “This well extends the oil/water contact down structure by approximately 700 feet, and continues to validate the field’s estimated resource range, while providing support for the option of a stand-alone development. Anadarko and Heidelberg’s co-owners have initiated pre-FEED (front-end engineering and design) work to evaluate development solutions with the objective of advancing commercialization of this emerging mega project.”

The Heidelberg sidetrack appraisal well in Green Canyon block 903 is located approximately 1.3 miles from the Heidelberg discovery well. The well was drilled to a total depth of approximately 30,440 feet in water depths of approximately 5,260 feet.

Anadarko operates Green Canyon block 903 with a 44.25-percent working interest. Co-owners in the block include Apache Deepwater LLC, a subsidiary of Apache Corporation (12.5 percent), Eni (12.5 percent), Statoil (12 percent), ExxonMobil (9.375 percent) and Cobalt International Energy, L.P. (9.375 percent).

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USA: Cobalt Excited About Return to Gulf Drilling

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Cobalt International Energy, Inc. 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.

The company expects 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.

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