Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Cobalt Energy Sells Contentious Angolan Offshore Oil Field

Carlyle Group affiliate Cobalt International Energy sold its equity interest in an Angolan offshore oil field to partner Sonangol.  Bloomberg's piece did not mention Cobalt's 2010 deal had two shady partners, which kicked off a SEC investigation.  Cobalt offered flimsy excuses for what was likely bribery.  Last year they defended the company by saying the two illicit groups are no longer partners in the deal.  Cobalt's SEC filing did not indicate what remuneration Angolan government officials received from transferring their 30% and 10% interests in the block. 

On August 26, 2014, we received documentation confirming that Nazaki Oil and Gaz ("Nazaki") and Alper Oil Limitada ("Alper") are no longer members of the contractor group of Blocks 9 and 21 offshore Angola. Pursuant to a series of Executive Decrees passed by the Republic of Angola, the working interests previously held by Nazaki and Alper in Blocks 9 and 21 have been transferred to and are now held by Sonangol P&P. As a result, we no longer have any relationship with Nazaki or Alper. The contractor groups for Blocks 9 and 21 offshore Angola now consist only of Sonangol P&P (60% working interest) and the Company (40% working interest). Our obligation to carry and pay for Alper's 10% working interest terminated immediately with the transfer of Alper's interest to Sonangol P&P pursuant to the terms of our 2010 agreements with Alper. 
The Carlyle Group's recent SEC filing shows a 35 million share stake in Cobalt International Energy.  The illicit partnership is gone as is Cobalt's equity interest in Angolan offshore oil fields.  Will Obama's SEC consider this cleaned up?  Highly likely.