Cobalt plows ahead on drilling and FPSO projects

Cobalt International's Cameia #3 appraisal well drill stem test offshore Angola has proved more successful than expected, the firm announced (4 November).

The results confirm the existence of a large reservoir and support Cobalt’s plan to obtain approval of the integrated field development plan later this year or in early 2015, the firm said.

"Cobalt anticipates formal award of major project facilities, including the floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) and subsea trees and manifolds, umbilicals, risers and flowlines in Q1 2015, subject to obtaining necessary approvals and the financing for the Cameia FPSO."

Cobalt, as operator, owns a 40% working interest in the Cameia project.

Following Cameia #3, Cobalt moved Petroserv's Catarina semisubmersible drilling rig to drill the Loengo #1 Pre-salt exploration well on Block 9.

The well was drilled to total depth in 45 days, but did not encounter commercial hydrocarbons, despite confirming the presence of "world class" reservoir rock, said Cobalt.

The well has been plugged and abandoned and the Catarina has moved to and spud the Mupa #1 Pre-salt exploration well on Block 21. Cobalt expects results from Mupa #1 by early 2015.

Also in Blocks 9 and 21 Cobalt announced that Nazaki Oil and Gas and Alper are no longer members of the contractor group of these Blocks, as their working interests have been transferred to Sonangol P&P. Working interest ownership across Blocks 9 and 21 includes Cobalt with 40% working interest and Sonangol P&P with 60% working interest. As a result of this change, Cobalt’s paying interest during the exploration phase has decreased from 62.5% to 52.5% and after the exploration phase, Cobalt’s paying interest equals its 40% working interest.

Cobalt also announced that development drilling is under way at the Heidelberg field in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The first development well has been drilled and development operations continue with the hull having recently been transported from Pori, Finland to Ingleside, Texas, where construction on the main topsides module is almost 60% complete.

Heidelberg remains on schedule for initial production in 2016. Cobalt, as non-operator, owns a 9.375% working interest in Heidelberg. 

Also in the Gulf of Mexico, drilling operations are continuing on the Shenandoah #3 appraisal well, which will further appraise Cobalt’s Shenandoah Inboard Lower Tertiary discovery. Shenandoah #3 is being drilled approximately 2.5 miles east and structurally down-dip from the Shenandoah #2 appraisal well, which encountered more than 1000ft of high-quality oil pay in the Inboard Lower Tertiary. Results are expected from this well in late 2014 or early 2015. Cobalt, as non-operator, owns a 20% working interest in Shenandoah.

In addition, Cobalt is participating in the non-operated Anchor exploration well in the Gulf of Mexico, which targets Inboard Lower Tertiary horizons as well as a secondary Miocene horizon. Cobalt expects results from this well in late 2014 or early 2015. Cobalt owns a 20% working interest in Anchor.

Cobalt anticipates taking delivery of the Rowan Reliance drillship in early 2015, following the satisfactory completion of deepwater acceptance procedures. The Rowan Reliance is a new build, ultra-deepwater dynamically positioned drillship. Cobalt will use the Rowan Reliance to drill the North Platte #2 appraisal well, which is expected to start late in Q1 2015. Cobalt, as operator, owns a 60% working interest in the North Platte discovery.

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