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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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USA: API Upstream Director Calls for Expanded Five-Year Offshore Plan

API’s Group Director of Upstream and Industry Operations Erik Milito told reporters yesterday that today’s Central Gulf of Mexico lease sale would help the nation develop its offshore oil and natural gas resources but that there was also a need for a expanded five-year offshore plan if the U.S. goal is a stronger energy future for the nation:

“Every lease sale is important, but more important for our energy future than any individual sale is our nation’s broader energy policy framework. That, unfortunately, has been inadequate. The administration’s proposed five-year offshore leasing plan for 2012 through 2017 is a case in point. It would limit offshore development to where it historically has always been: parts of the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Alaska. It would restrict opportunities when it should be expanding them. It would not help prepare us well for our energy future.”

“With the right policies, we could secure at home much more of the energy supplies future generations of Americans will need. We also could create vast numbers of additional new jobs for Americans – perhaps one million more in seven years – and deliver billions more revenue to our government. Offshore leasing – and expansion of offshore leasing – are key parts of that equation.

“Oil and natural gas development is a long-term endeavor. Offshore development, in particular, takes many years. From the time a five-year offshore plan is issued to when production actually begins can take well over a decade. The proposed Department of the Interior five-year plan is insufficient, and each year we implement it, we will fall further behind what we really should be doing. The administration ought to begin working on a new plan immediately.”

API represents more than 500 oil and natural gas companies, leaders of a technology-driven industry that supplies most of America’s energy, supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers more than $86 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested more than $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.

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Ocean Rig Corcovado Starts Drilling Offshore Brazil

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Ocean Rig UDW Inc., a global provider of offshore deepwater drilling services, today announced that on May 15, 2012,  its Ocean Rig Corcovado drillship completed the general testing of equipment as required by Brazil’s oil giant Petrobras.

The drillship has now commenced revenue-generating drilling operations in Brazil. The Ocean Rig Corcovado will stay with Petrobras for three years on a contract worth approximately $650 million.

This is the second Ocean Rig’s drillship under a contract with Brazil’s state controlled Petrobras. The company’s Ocean Rig Mykonos drillship had started drilling offshore Brazil in March this year under a similar contract.

Ocean Rig’s drillships are based upon the Saipem 10K design, and built by a proven shipyard, Samsung Heavy Industries. They are a successful and well proven design complete with full dual derrick enhancements to ensure optimal operational efficiency.

The company owns and  operates 9 offshore ultra deepwater drilling units, comprising of 2 ultra deepwater semisubmersible drilling rigs and 7 ultra deepwater drillships, 3 of which remain to be delivered to the company during 2013.

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South Korea: Pacific Drilling Extends Option for its 7th Drillship

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Pacific Drilling S.A.  has reached an agreement with South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries to extend until February 17, 2012 an option to construct a seventh ultra-deepwater drillship.

Under the revised terms of the option agreement, the delivery of the drillship will be no later than May 17, 2014. The commercial terms of the option agreement are unchanged.

Pacific Drilling is  a growing offshore drilling company that provides global drilling services to the oil and natural gas industry through the use of ultra-deepwater drillships. Pacific Drilling’s fleet of six ultra-deepwater drillships will represent one of the youngest and most technologically advanced fleets in the world. The company currently operates four recently delivered drillships and has two additional drillships on order at Samsung.

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