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Noble awarded contracts for two ultra-deepwater drillships

Posted on 18 April 2013

Noble Corp has entered into two three-year term drilling contracts with Plains Exploration & Production Co for the Noble Sam Croft and the Noble Tom Madden, two of Noble’s new ultra-deepwater drillships currently under construction at the Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea. The drillships, which are being constructed on a fixed-price basis, are expected to be utilized for operations primarily in the US Gulf of Mexico (GOM) under these contracts.

The Noble Sam Croft is expected to be delivered in Q2 2014, followed closely by the Noble Tom Madden, which is expected to be delivered in the second half of 2014. The contracts are expected to commence following mobilization to the US GOM and customer acceptance. With the contracts for these two units, all four ultra-deepwater drillships under construction for Noble at HHI are now under contract.

Revenues to be generated over the three-year terms are expected to total approximately US $693 million per rig, including mobilization fees, representing in excess of $1.3 billion in total potential backlog.

“With the addition of these units to our US Gulf of Mexico fleet, Noble will have one of the most modern and capable fleets in the region, a fact that demonstrates the fundamental change going on across the company,” David W. Williams, Noble’s chairman, president and CEO, and 2013 IADC chairman, said. “At the same time, these contracts provide us with significant additional backlog, while expanding and diversifying our customer base as we grow our relationship with an important new customer.”

The drillships are based on a Hyundai Gusto P10000 hull design, capable of operations in water depths up to 12,000 ft and offering a variable deck load of 20,000 metric tons. The Noble Sam Croft and Noble Tom Madden will be fully equipped to operate in up to 10,000 ft of water, while offering DP3 station keeping, two complete six-ram BOP systems, multiple parallel activity features that improve overall well construction efficiencies and accommodations for up to 210 personnel. Both rigs also will be equipped with a 165-ton heave compensated construction cranes to facilitate deployment of subsea production equipment, providing another level of efficiency during field development programs.

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