Cobalt Rig

US-based Cobalt International Energy has signed an agreement to offload its interest in two blocks offshore Angola to Sonangol, in a transaction valued at $1.75bn.

Under the terms of the sale and purchase agreement, the Angolan state-oil company will acquire Cobalt’s 40% participating interest in blocks 21/09 and 20/11, with an effective date of 1 January this year.

Sonangol chairman and chief executive officer Francisco Lemos José Maria 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 remain committed to continuing our joint efforts with Sonangol to move the Cameia development project to sanction by year end."

Cobalt International Energy chairman and chief executive officer Joseph Bryant said: "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.

"We remain committed to continuing our joint efforts with Sonangol to move the Cameia development project to sanction by year end."

The latest transaction is subject to customary approvals by the Angolan Government, which are expected before the end of the year.

Offering a smooth transition to a new operator, the agreement underscores the companies’ proposal to attain the final investment decision for the Cameia development in block 21/09 by year’s-end.

Sonangol plans for first oil from Cameia in 2018.


Image: Sonangol will acquire all of Cobalt’s 40% participating interest in blocks 21/09 and 20/11. Photo: courtesy of Cobalt International Energy, Inc