Cobalt holed on bottom line

by on July 31, 2012 1:45 pm BST

The company reported a net loss for the period of $141 million, versus a loss of $19 million a year earlier.

Cobalt was clobbered by impairment charges of $99 million including expenses related to drilling of a pair of wells at the Ligurian prospect in Nigeria, with total expenditure at $124 million.

However, chief executive Joseph Bryant said the company’s exploration operations in Angola, Gabon and the Gulf of Mexico “continued to gain momentum”.

An appraisal well drilled at Cobalt’s big Cameia pre-salt discovery in Block 21 off Angola has indicated a “high-quality reservoir that extends over a broad area”, with a
large hydrocarbon accumulation, he said.

The company is now planning a production drill stem test at the find in August.

company’s shares, which have nearly doubled in the last year, rose to $28 in
pre-market trade. They closed at $24.15 on Monday on the New York Stock

Meanwhile, the company said on Tuesday it has secured Petroserv’s deep-water semi-submersible SSV Catarina on a three-year drilling contract to support its Angolan drilling operations, with the rig expected to arrive off the country early next year.

Cobalt also expects the Diamond Offshore unit Ocean Confidence to return to its Angola play later this year.