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Cobalt’s Lontra Well Finds More Gas in Angola Than Was Expected

Cobalt International Energy Inc. (CIE) said its latest Lontra well off Angola found more natural gas than the company had expected.

The well flowed 2,500 barrels of gas condensate and 39 million cubic feet of gas a day during tests in Block 20, the company said today in statement. It was drilled to a total depth of 4,195 meters (13,763 feet).

“It is clear that Lontra is a discovery on a global scale,” Cobalt Chief Executive Officer Joseph Bryant said. “Although the field contains more gas than our pre-drill estimates, it is beneficial that Lontra is offshore near Luanda, where we believe there is a potentially large emerging market for gas.”

Cobalt and partners BP Plc (BP/) and Sonangol EP started talks with the government on the possible development of the field. The Houston-based company has drilled three wells in the Kwanza pre-salt basin, all of which made discoveries.

The north of the Kwanza basin has a “risk” of having high volumes of gas, Oswald Clint, a London-based analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., wrote in an e-mail today. Gas content in Angola discoveries could offset the value of oil because foreign investors cannot market gas under the nation’s production-sharing agreements, Clint wrote in a report last year.

ConocoPhillips and Statoil ASA and some other explorers plan to invest more than $3 billion to drill beneath a layer of salt off Angola next year in the country’s biggest deepwater drilling campaign, Wood Mackenzie Ltd. said in August.

Oil companies plan to test the theory that Angola’s offshore geology mirrors that off Brazil, where multibillion-barrel finds have been made, Domingos Cunha, head of integration at Luanda-based Sonangol, said last month.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eduard Gismatullin in London at egismatullin@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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