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Noble’s New Drillship Enters Three-Year Contract in GoM

Noble Corporation announced that the Company has entered into a three-year term drilling contract with Anadarko Petroleum Corporation for the Noble Bob Douglas, one of Noble’s new ultra-deepwater drillships currently under construction at the Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. (HHI) shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea. The drillship, which is being constructed on a fixed price basis, is expected to be utilized for operations primarily in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

The Noble Bob Douglas is expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2013. The contract is expected to commence thereafter following mobilization to an initial operating location and client acceptance. Revenues to be generated over the three-year term are expected to total approximately $677 million. The contract also provides for an operating cost escalation provision.

The Noble Bob Douglas is one of four ultra-deepwater drillships being constructed for Noble by HHI. All four drillships are based on a Hyundai Gusto P10000 hull design, capable of operations in water depths of up to 12,000 feet and offering a variable deck load of 20,000 metric tons. The Noble Bob Douglas will be delivered fully equipped to operate in up to 10,000 feet of water while offering DP-3 station keeping, two complete six-ram BOP systems, multiple parallel activity features that improve overall well construction efficiencies and accommodations for up to 210 personnel. The rig will also be equipped with a 165-ton heave compensated construction crane to facilitate deployment of subsea production equipment, providing another level of efficiency during field development programs.

With the award of this contract for the Noble Bob Douglas, two of the Company’s four ultra-deepwater drillships under construction at HHI are now under contract. The remaining two uncontracted drillships are scheduled to be delivered from the shipyard in 2014.

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UK: Nautronix to Supply Acoustic Positioning System for Noble’s New Drillship

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Nautronix have secured another order for the supply of their NASDrill RS925 deepwater acoustic positioning system for Noble Corporation’s fourth new ultra-deepwater drillship. In 2011, Nautronix was awarded the contracts for supplying their NASDrill RS925 system for Noble’s first three new drill ships.

All new vessels will be constructed at Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard in Ulsan, Korea and will be based on a Hyundai Gusto P10000 design. The rigs will have DP-3 station keeping abilities and the capacity to handle two complete BOP systems allowing for operation in water depths of up to 12,000 feet.

Mark Patterson, Nautronix CEO, commented “This order further strengthens our relationship with Noble Corporation and I believe that it demonstrates their confidence in our NASDrill RS925 system”.

NASDrill RS925 has been designed specifically to meet the requirements for a reliable, stable DP and position reference system for demanding offshore operations, in particular deepwater drilling vessels.

The system combines the two most accurate deepwater acoustic positioning technologies – Short Baseline (SBL) and Long Baseline (LBL) – to calculate multiple independent position solutions providing reliable, repeatable input to the vessel DP system; with SBL mode providing accuracies of 0.15% slant range and LBL mode providing accuracies up to 1m RMS independent of water depth.

The NASDrill RS925 system is supplied with all external interfacing to the Dynamic Positioning System for automatic station keeping and can be used as part of an integrated acoustically-aided INS positioning solution.

The system is also fully upgradable to use NASeBOP and NASNet® (Nautronix unique underwater GPS).

As with all Nautronix leading commercial acoustic systems, NASDrill RS925 utilises Nautronix proprietary ADS² (Acoustic Digital Spread Spectrum) broadband signalling technology which has been proven, with over ten years of successful subsea operations, to provide superior accuracy, repeatability and reliability for dynamic positioning of vessels during deepwater drilling operations.

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Ophir Begins with Drilling Operations Offshore Tanzania

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Ophir announces the start of its 2012 drilling programme in Tanzania with the drillship Odfjell Metro-1. The first three wells in the programme will be Jodari-1, Mzia-1 (previously named 1W) and Papa-1 (previously named 3A).

The Metro-1 is a state-of-the-art drillship capable of drilling in water depths of up to 3,000m. The rig has a dual derrick with a main work centre and an auxiliary work centre to facilitate a number of simultaneous operations. Both work  centres are equipped for drilling. The Metro-1 was built at the Hyundai Heavy Industries yard in Ulsan, South Korea and a detailed series of acceptance tests have been performed ahead of mobilisation to Tanzania.

The Jodari-1 and Mzia-1 wells are both located in Block 1. For efficiency reasons the Mzia-1 top hole section will be drilled first, as part of a batch drilling programme, then the rig will move to drill Jodari-1 in its entirety, before returning to Mzia-1 to complete the bottom portion of the well.

The Mzia-1 well spudded in 1,500m of water on 1 January 2012 and drilling of the top hole section is expected to take 7 to 10 days. Thereafter the Jodari-1 well will spud in a water depth of 1,155m and drill to total depth of c 4,600m subsea in an estimated 40 days. The Jodari prospect contains multiple stacked targets in both the Tertiary and Cretaceous sections with the former having seismic flat spot and amplitude fit to structure. Jodari is modelled by Ophir to contain mean resources of 2.2Tcf in the stacked targets.

Ophir holds 40% of Blocks 1, 3 and 4 and has now fully handed over operatorship to 60% partner BG International, who will manage the programme with the Metro-1.

Ophir CEO, Nick Cooper said: “2012 has the potential to be transformational for Ophir. We are pleased to start the year by kicking off our Tanzanian drilling programme and also to see drilling and seismic operations gearing up across our other key assets. Ophir plans to drill at least 9 wells across our portfolio in 2012.”

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South Korean Hyundai Heavy Delivers Deepsea Metro II Drillship

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Deep Sea Metro Ltd. has today taken delivery of the drillship Deepsea Metro II from Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).

The naming ceremony for the vessel was held on November 10 in Hyundai Heavy’s shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea.

President & CEO of Odfjell Drilling, Simen Lieungh states:

“This is the second project for Deep Sea Metro this year and fourth overall that Odfjell Drilling has successfully delivered since the Deepsea Atlantic in 2009. We are pleased to see that our site team and the yard have succeeded in every way, with regards to safety and schedule. The safety results in all our projects are very satisfactory, which is an important indicator of professionalism and accountability in all aspects. With the delivery of this state of the art vessel, we are now looking forward to the operations ahead.”

Deepsea Metro II will start its first drilling campaign for Petrobras , offshore Brazil.

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