US$ 490 million – Noble exercises options for 2 more drilling rigs

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Noble Corp. said Monday it exercised options with a shipyard for construction of two offshore drilling rigs for about $490 million. Noble, a drilling contractor that works for oil and gas companies, placed the order with Sembcorp Marine’s Jurong Shipyard subsidiary. The company said the rigs are about $245 million each, including spares and start-up costs.

Like previous orders with Jurong since December, Noble will pay 20 percent of the construction price upfront, 20 percent when work begins and the rest when the rigs are delivered, which is expected to be in the second half of 2014.

Noble said it will have six so-called jackup rigs under construction with Jurong. Jackups are shallow-water rigs that are towed into place before the legs are extended to the bottom of the sea and the drilling platform is raised above the water line.

The rigs that Noble ordered are about 231 feet long by 270 feet wide and can operate at depths up to 400 feet.

Chairman and CEO David W. Williams said customers were increasingly interested in using the rigs in the North Sea, the Middle East and Asia.

Noble shares fell 14 cents to $36.73 in midday trading.

Font – Associated Press

By Rodrigo Cintra

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