Cobalt International sells offshore Angola blocks

Sonangol Building Chimpanz APe Wikimedia CommonsSonangol will bear all costs going forward, even though the transition will take till the year-end to complete. (Image source: Chimpanz APe/Wikimedia Commons)Cobalt International Energy (Cobalt) has sold the entirety of its stake in blocks 21/09 and 20/11 offshore Angola to Sonangol

Under the sale and purchase agreement signed between the two sides, Sonangol has acquired Cobalt’s 40 per cent participating interest in the two blocks for US$1.75bn, effective from 1 January 2015. The transaction is subject to customary Angolan government approvals which are expected before the end of the year.

Commenting on the transaction, Francisco Lemos José Maria, CEO of Sonangol said, “Over the past seven years, Cobalt International Energy has had outstanding exploration success in Angola’s pre-salt, which will accrue considerable prosperity to the Angolan people over coming generations. We are thankful and appreciative of their efforts and dedication to the task and wish them well in their future endeavours in the global industry.”

The agreement provides for a smooth transition to a new operator and underscores the parties’ commitment to attain the final investment decision for the Cameia development in Block 21/09 by the end of 2015 in order to deliver first oil from Cameia in 2018. Cobalt will continue as operator for the interim period while the transition is completed, all costs going forward will be borne by Sonangol.

“We are proud of the tremendous success that our partnership with Sonangol has achieved in opening the pre-salt play in the Kwanza Basin with five significant discoveries and a deep portfolio of exploration prospects,” said Joseph H. Bryant, CEO of Cobalt. “We remain committed to continuing our joint efforts with Sonangol to move the Cameia development project to sanction by year-end.”

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