Houston-based Cobalt International Energy, Inc. confirmed the existence of light oil and condensate at its Orca (formerly Baleia) deepwater pre-salt exploratory well offshore Angola.
The Orca No.1 well, located in block 20 at a water depth of 1880m, was drilled to total depth by Petroserv SA's ultra-deepwater semisubmersible SSV Catarina drilling rig. It is thought to have a resource potential of 400-700MMbo, and is the company's fifth pre-salt discovery in Angola's Kwanza basin, Cobalt said. In addition to light oil and condensate, mobile oil was also discovered in the deeper syn-rift section of the well. Cobalt is running production casing at Orca and plans to temporarily abandon the well.
"Over the next several months following full processing and integration of all subsurface data collected from the well, the block 20 partners will evaluate any additional activities necessary to assess Orca's commerciality," Cobalt said.
In December, the company reported that its Lontra No. 1 pre-salt discovery well in block 20 found more oil and gas than estimated. A drill stem test placed Lontra’s well production at a stabilized flow rate of 2500 bbl of condensate and 39 MMcf/d of gas.
The SSV Catarina will next drill the Cameia No. 3 well, located Angola block 21, where Cobalt holds 40% working interest.
Cobalt operates block 20 with 40% interest. Its partners include Sonangol P&P (30%) and BP (30%).
It is not all good news for the Houston-based explorer. Cobalt posted a net loss of US$222 million in 4Q 2013, more than the $67 million loss it experienced 4Q 2012. The current quarter including approximately $107 million loss associated with the Aegean No. 1 exploratory well in the Gulf of Mexico, and $32 million associated with exploration in Angola.
Image: Fairmount Marine