Cobalt International loss widens as expenses rise

July 31 Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:46am EDT

July 31 (Reuters) - Oil explorer Cobalt International Energy Inc's second-quarter loss rose more than seven times on higher expenses.

Seismic and exploration expenses in the quarter tripled, while its dry hole and impairment expenses soared to $111.3 million from $2.5 million.

Cobalt's Chief Executive Joseph Bryant said operations continued to gain momentum in Angola, Gabon and the Gulf of Mexico in the second quarter.

An appraisal well, located in Block 21 offshore Angola, pointed to "a high-quality reservoir" extending over a broad area, the company said.

Net loss widened to $141 million, or 35 cents per share, in the second quarter, from $19 million, or 5 cents per share, a year earlier. The company has no oil and gas revenue.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc and private equity firms Riverstone and First Reserve own a stake in Cobalt.

Cobalt International shares, which have nearly doubled in the last year, closed at $24.15 on Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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