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Offshore drilling contractor Noble's loss widens on $793 million charge

(Reuters) - Offshore oil and gas drilling contractor Noble Corp Plc (NE.N) reported a bigger quarterly loss on Thursday, hurt by a $792.8 million (608.68 million pounds) impairment expense related to drilling rigs and other equipment.

The company, which operates largely in the Gulf of Mexico, has been retiring deep-water rigs as oil producers move away from offshore drilling to cheaper land-based shale.

Noble had 54 percent of its fleet in operation in the second quarter of 2018, down from 65 percent a year earlier. The average dayrate for its rigs rose 10 percent to $180,689.

Net loss attributable to the company increased to $628.1 million or $2.55 per share in the three months ended June 30, from $93.4 million or 38 cents per share a year ago.

Revenue fell to $258.4 million from $278.1 million.

(Reporting by Karan Nagarkatti in Bengaluru)