Noble Drilling provides update on fleet, damaged jackup

Offshore staff

LONDONNoble Corp. plc has provided its monthly fleet status report, including an update on the recently damaged newbuild Noble Lloyd Noble. Currently in the late stages of construction at the Sembcorp Marine Jurong Shipyard, Noble reported earlier this month that the jackup sustained damage following the collapse of a nearby crane boom.

In today’s report, Noble Corp. said it had completed an initial investigation of the accident, which occurred Feb. 28, and concluded that damage was likely confined to an onboard crane and some cabling.

The company said it estimates the delivery of the Noble Lloyd Noble from the yard to be delayed an estimated 30-60 days. In turn, delivery to customer Statoil, which days ago canceled contracts for two rigs, has now been pushed into early- to mid- 3Q.

Originally, the rig’s four-year primary term contract with the Norwegian operator was expected to begin during 3Q 2016. In an October 2015 update, Statoil said that the purpose-built jackup would assist in drilling wells on its Mariner field project, located on the East Shetland Platform of the UK North Sea. It also moved production back from 2017 to 2018.

Noble Corp. also said it is undergoing discussions with other customers who are revamping their operations in light of the current down market. Noble Sam Croft and Noble Tom Madden are currently contracted to Freeport-McMoRan into July 2017 and November 2017, respectively. However, last December, among reports that it would exit the oil and gas sector completely, Freeport-McMoRan said that part of its reduction in capex spending included the incorporation of rig utilization of three deepwater Gulf of Mexico drillships to one. In addition, Noble Corp. also reiterated its willingness to discuss the possibility of restructuring existing contracts, and confirmed that it was having discussions “in this context” with Freeport-McMoRan.

In regards to Noble Scott Marks, Noble Roger Lewis, Noble Joe Beall, and Noble Gene House, Noble Corp. noted the current market conditions but said it was finalizing discussions with Saudi Aramco regarding operating rates in 2016. Contract rates for Aramco and others were adjusted downward for 2015.


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