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Cobalt Forced to Abandon Bicuar #1 Well on Block 21

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 7/27/2011, Location: Africa

On May 3, 2011, Cobalt announced that the national oil company of Angola, Sociedade Nacional de Combust•veis de Angola-Empresa Publica (Sonangol), had approved Cobalt’s drilling plans for its two initial pre-salt exploratory wells, Bicuar #1 and Cameia #1, on Block 21 offshore Angola.

Subsequent to the end of the second quarter, on July 19, 2011, Cobalt commenced its initial two well pre-salt exploratory drilling program on Block 21 offshore Angola by spudding the surface hole of the Bicuar #1 exploratory well. On July 20, 2011, after setting the 36’’ conductor casing and drilling approximately 210 meters of surface hole, Cobalt encountered an over pressured water sand resulting in a water flow with limited quantities of natural gas.

No safety or environmental issues resulted from the incident. Cobalt is focused now on its abandonment procedures for the Bicuar #1 exploratory well surface location. Given the unique nature of encountering pressured water sands in Angolan waters, Cobalt has agreed with Sonangol that Cobalt will take its learnings from this incident and reexamine its shallow hazard analysis of proposed Cameia and Bicuar drilling locations before moving the drilling rig to Cameia or a different surface location on Bicuar.

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