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Cobalt Int'l loss widens on higher costs

HOUSTON (AP) -- Cobalt International Energy Inc.'s first-quarter loss widened on increased operating and interest costs and an impairment.

The independent oil exploration and production company lost $128.1 million, or 31 cents per share, for the period ended March 31. That compares with a loss of $36.5 million, or 9 cents per share, a year earlier.

Cobalt said Tuesday that the current quarter included $66 million, or 16 cents per share, for the impairment of expenditures associated with the Cameia-2 DST well. The company said $34 million of the expenditures were incurred in previous periods.

Removing the impairment, the company lost 15 cents per share. This met the expectations of analysts surveyed by FactSet.

The Houston company didn't report any revenue for either period.

Total operating costs and expenses jumped to $112.5 million from $37.7 million, with dry hole expense and impairment rising to $68.2 million from $5.3 million.

Interest expense totaled $18.7 million compared with none a year ago.

Shares of Cobalt fell 87 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $27.69 in afternoon trading. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $19.68 to $29.45.