Cobalt touts Angola pre-salt find

Cobalt International Energy, Inc. announced the first discovery in the Syn-rift interval in the Bicuar 1A pre-salt deepwater exploratory well in Block 21, offshore Angola.

The well was drilled to 5739m meassured depth and encountered about 56m (180ft) of net pay from multiple pre-salt intervals. Results of an extensive logging, coring and fluid acquisition program confirmed the existence of both oil and condensate in multiple intervals.

No free gas zones or water contacts were observed. All well data was collected via open hole logging technology. This is Sonangol's and Cobalt's fourth deepwater pre-salt discovery off Angola.

In December, Houston-based Cobalt reported that its Lontra 1 pre-salt discovery well in Block 20, offshore Angola, found more oil and gas than estimated. A drill stem test placed Lontra’s well production at a stabilized flow rate of 2500 bbls of condensate and 39 MMcf/d of gas.

The Bicuar 1A well is the first discovery of mobile hydrocarbons that have been tested in the deeper pre-salt Syn-rift reservoir, Cobalt says. After running production casing, the well was temporarily abandoned. Following full processing and integration of all subsurface data collected from the well, the Block 21 partners will evaluate any additional activities necessary to assess Bicuar's commerciality.

The Bicuar 1A well was drilled to total depth in 59 days, approximately 63 days ahead of schedule. Cobalt operates Block 21 with 40% interest. Partners include Sonangol Pesquisa e Produção SA, Nazaki Oil and Gaz, and Alper Oil Limitada.

"The Syn-rift discovery in Bicuar validates the presence of a viable seal and trap with quality reservoir rocks in the deeper reservoir section," said James Farnsworth, Cobalt's chief exploration officer. "These characteristics have been present in similar features in the Campos basin of Brazil and will be key to expanding the potential of the broader Angola Kwanza basin pre-salt. We are also excited with how quickly Bicuar 1A was drilled, while never compromising our commitment to safety and environmental protection. Continued performance of this type would allow us to drill wells at nearly half the cost we had anticipated."

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