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Cobalt to become a big player in Angola with Cameia discovery

Cobalt to join Majors in Angola pre-salt Kwansa Basin

2B1st_Project_Smart_Explorer_Sales_Pursuit_ToolWith the Cameia discovery, the junior Cobalt International Energy Company Inc. (Cobalt) is joining the major companies BP, Chevron, Eni, ExxonMobil, Galp Energia, Maersk, Petrobras, PetroChina, Statoil and Total in the development of the pre-salt oil and gas reserves lying in the Angola deep offshore Kwanza basin.

Since Brazil unveiled its enormous oil and gas resources in pre-salt, all the companies made the parallel with the Angola deep water suspected to host similar reserves because of the symmetry of the geology across the South Atlantic ocean

Cobalt_Cameia_Angola_Block_21_Pre-salt_MapAs a result of the first investments made by the major companies bringing in all their technology, Angola may envisage to restore its production of crude oil to 2008 levels.

As the second largest producer in Africa, Angola delivered 1.7 million barrels per day (b/d) of crude oil in average along 2012.

Angola expects to run at 1.8 to 1.9 million b/d in 2013 and is targeting 2 million b/d in 2014 with the additional contribution of the Kizomba first phase and its satellites.

Within this exploration frenzy, Cobalt managed to take operator role in the Blocks  20 and 21.

In the Block 20, Cobalt holds 40% working interest and share partnership with BP and the national oil company Sonangol.

In water depth ranging between 1,300 and 1,400 meters, Cobalt is currently drilling the Lontra-1 exploratory well in the north of the Block 20 with the Petroserv SSV Catarina semisubmersible platform.

If Cobalt‘s expectations are confirmed, Lontra-1 could appear as one of the largest pre-salt play of the Kwanza Basin.

In the Block 21, the situation is more complex as Cobalt also owns 40% working interests but in partnership with only Angolan companies:

 – Nazaki Oil and Gas (Nazaki) 30%

 – Sonangol 20%

 – Alper Oil Ltd (Alper) 10%

Cobalt prepares ground for Block 21 Cameia FPSO

In 2011, the first exploratory well, Cameia-1, drilled by Cobalt revealed high quality of 44° gravity light crude oil in 1,655 meters of water depth and 4,810 meters of total depth.

Without stimulation, the flows were measured up to 5,000 b/d for the oil and 14.3 million cubic feet per day (cf/d) for the associated gas.

These flows were in fact exceeding the measurement capacities of the drilling platform and indicated an unexpected quality of the reservoir by its size, continuity and saturation of very light crude.

Cobalt_Caimea_FPSO_ProjectBecause of these exceptional results, Cobalt decided to skip the planned second exploratory well, Bicuar-1, to proceed immediately to an appraisal well in drilling Cameia-2.

In 2012, the Diamond Offshore Ocean Confidence semisubmersible platform performed the Cameia-2 appraisal well.

Unfortunately Cameia-2 did not yield directly hydrocarbons, but confirmed of the continuity of the bearing mound reservoir discovered in Cameia-1.

Providing a better understanding of the pre-salt structure in this Block 21 of the Kwanza Basin, Cobalt and its partners is now working on the Cameia Mound Development Project.

To support this project Cobalt is considering a floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel.

This Cameia FPSO should have a capacity of 100,000 b/d of crude oil.

Cobalt and its partners are preparing the call for tender for which BW Offshore, Modec and SBM Offshore should line up.

But the size of the Cameia discovery in the Block 21 is also leading Cobalt and its partners to reconsider the actual set up of their partnership as it may require much more capital expenditure and deep offshore expertise.

In a first step, Sonangol will increase its stake in the Block 21 to 35% while Nazaki should come down to 15%.

Anyway, with Camiea discovery, Cobalt is joining the major companies in the development of the pre-salt oil in Angola.

Now Cobalt and its partners, Sonangol, Nazaki and Alper, are planning to award the Cameia FPSO in 2014 for first production in 2016.

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