Regulatory issues delay Noble Brazil rig contracts

Offshore staff

ZUG, Switzerland – Noble Corp. (NYSE:NE) says three of its ultra-deepwater rigs have experienced delays in returning to work offshore Brazil following shipyard stays.

This is due in part to a slowdown in the issuance of regulatory approvals by the Brazilian authorities.

The semisubmersible Noble Dave Beard started to earn 90% of its full operating day rate in August, while the drillship Noble Leo Segerius should start to earn 90% of its full day rate this month. The drillship Noble Phoenix should start its contract and begin earning its full operating day rate by the end of the current quarter.

Other Noble-owned rigs have experienced higher than planned operational downtime of late due to the need to address maintenance and repairs. These include the drillship Noble Duchess, operating offshore India, and the jackup Noble Charles Copeland, which is now expected to start its three-year contract in the Middle East in October.

The jackup Noble Hans Deul, currently operating in the UK North Sea, has been awarded a minimum 18-month contract extension by Shell, with the extension period expected to start next February.

Revenues over the 18-month extension period are estimated at $132 million, or an equivalent day rate of $242,500 compared to $175,000 at present. Shell has the option to further extend the rig’s contract, in which case the day rate will be correspondingly reduced.

9/18/2012

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