Alongside Transocean Ltd.’s Polar Pioneer semisubmersible rig, Discoverer was part of Shell’s Chukchi Sea exploration drilling program that folded in September (OGJ Online, Sept. 28, 2015). The drillship is now in transit to Singapore where it will be stacked. Shell will pay Noble for the remaining term at 90% of the operating dayrate.
The Noble Sam Croft and Noble Tom Madden rigs remain under contract into July 2017 and November 2017, respectively, with Freeport-McMoRan Oil & Gas, which recently reported plans to reduce its number of rigs operating in the Gulf of Mexico. Noble says it’s in discussions with Freeport-McMoRan on possible restructuring of the contracts.