Noble Corp. options another two high-spec jackups for $470MM

Source: Noble Corp.

Noble Corporation (NYSE:NE) exercised two of its four options with Sembcorp Marine's subsidiary Jurong Shipyard for the construction of additional high-specification heavy duty, harsh environment JU3000N jackup drilling rigs. This order will bring to four the total number of new jackup rigs the Company will have under construction. 

Total delivered costs are estimated at approximately $235 million per rig, including project management, spares, and start-up costs, but excluding capitalized interest. Payment terms are consistent with the order of the two rigs placed in December 2010: 20 percent of the construction price due at contract signing, 20 percent due at steel cutting, and the remainder due at rig delivery. Unit deliveries from the shipyard are expected in the third quarter of 2013 and first quarter of 2014. The Company still has options for up to two additional units which must be exercised by January 1, 2012. As previously disclosed, the option units are priced based on the original unit price, plus a potential escalation factor, with future deliveries scheduled in six-month increments beginning in late 2014. 

The Friede & Goldman JU3000N design is an enhanced evolution of the JU2000E design and represents the latest generation of high specification jackup drilling rig with greater capacities and capabilities than most existing units. The rigs, which are approximately 231 feet in length and 270 feet in breadth, will have the capability to operate in water depths up to 400 feet and drill to depths of 30,000 feet. The rigs will each have a seventy-five foot cantilever, 2.5 million pounds of hook load capacity, a high capacity mud circulating system, and a 15,000 psi blow out preventer system. The units are capable of off-line pipe handling and offer accommodations for up to 150 people. 

"Noble's fleet evolution is well underway as we focus on adding rigs with superior technology, equipment, and capabilities," said David W. Williams, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Noble Corporation. "With the addition of two more JU3000N units, Noble will have four out of the eleven jackups in existence or under construction with hoisting capacities of 2.5 million pounds. We expect ultra-premium units such as these to be in high demand and look forward to serving our future customers' growing needs in this key market segment."



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