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Cobalt International Sinks After Gulf Well Disappoints

The Exchange

Oil exploration company Cobalt International Energy (CIE) was the worst performer on the New York Stock Exchange Monday after it said an exploratory well in the Gulf of Mexico failed to turn up hydrocarbons it could harvest.

The Houston-based company, founded in 2005, sank 15.22% to $24.90 on five times its normal volume, recording one of its ugliest sessions ever in the process.

Cobalt International Energy

Cobalt hasn't recorded any oil and gas revenue from its brief operations, and last year it had a loss of just under $283 million. Prior to the selloff, the stock had been up some 19% from where it ended 2012.

The drop followed a press release from Cobalt in which it said it didn't find commercial oil with the Ardennes No. 1 exploratory well, in which it owns a 42% working interest. Cobalt's 10-K notes that ConocoPhillips (COP), also based in Houston, and France's Total (TOT) are the other two owners in Ardennes, with 30% and 28% interests, respectively. Shares of those two oil majors were modestly weaker for the day.

Cobalt began trading in December 2009, and the session's plunge nearly matched the steepest drop in the company's public history, a 15.23% decrease in January 2010.