Cobalt International Energy announced yesterday that it has received a termination letter from the Securities and Exchange Commission, stating that the agency does not intend to recommend any enforcement action after looking into potential violations of federal securities laws related to Cobalt's operations in Angola.
“This formally concludes the SEC’s investigation,” the company stated.
As Compliance Week previously reported, Cobalt disclosed in August that it had received a Wells Notice from the SEC, making a preliminary determination to recommend an enforcement action against the company. The issuance of the Wells Notice followed a formal investigation the SEC launched in 2011.
The SEC had launched the investigation in response to allegations concerning senior Angolan government officials and two Angolan companies—Nazaki Oil and Gaz—that held a working interest alongside Cobalt until 2014, when the company severed ties with them. In August, Cobalt had disclosed in a Form 8-K filing that Nazaki Oil and Gaz had transferred their interests in an offshore oil venture operated by Cobalt to Sonangol, Angola’s state-owned oil company. "As a result, the company no longer has any relationship with Nazaki or Alper," Cobalt stated.
Cobalt said it continues to cooperate with the Department of Justice’s parallel investigation.