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Noble Corp (NE) Secures Two Contracts for Idle Drillships

Zacks Equity Research
Noble Corp. (NE) wins two contracts for two idle drillships and acquires a new jack-up, which comes with a three-year contract in the Middle East.

Noble Corporation plc NE recently announced that it has secured new contracts for two of its idle drillships, namely Noble Don Taylor and Noble Globetrotter II, per the company’s fleet status report. Also, it has acquired a new jack-up rig, with Gusto MSC CJ46 design, from PaxOcean Group for around $93.8 million in late-September.

Noble Don Taylor has received an award to work in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico (GoM) from Talos Energy Inc. TALO. The Gusto P1000 UDW drillship, constructed in 2013, is expected to start drilling for Talos in early-November. The contract will be over by the end of mid-January 2019.

Notably, last month, Royal Dutch Shell plc RDS.A exercised its contractual right to idle the drillship, for the remaining 183 days of its contract, in GoM. The rig is supposed to receive $420,000 per day during its idle period till the date of completion of the contract on Feb 25, 2019. Noble is expected to receive an undisclosed amount of dayrate from Talos in addition to the compensation from Shell.

Noble Globetrotter II, warm stacked in Europe, won a contract from TOTAL S.A. TOT at offshore Bulgaria. The contract will commence in early-November and will be over in the beginning of January next year. The financial details of the deal are not yet disclosed. Notably, the rig, equipped with Huisman unique lifting system, operated for TOTAL in the Black Sea last year.

The drillship is capable of working at a water depth of 12,000 feet. During 2016-end, Shell idled its operations in the rig. The company will keep paying $185,000 per day of idle rate for the drillship through 2018-end.  

Noble Corp.’s recent jack-up acquisition from PaxOcean is a significant one. The company renamed the rig as Noble Johnny Whitstine. The rig will be deployed in the Middle East in early-2019 via a three-year contract. The dayrate and name of the operator of Noble Johnny Whitstine are yet to be disclosed. 

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