ZUG, Switzerland – A Noble subsidiary has signed a Letter of Intent with a Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary for a five and one-half year drilling contract using a newbuild ultra-deepwater drillship. The contract is expected to begin in the second half of 2013. Noble is reviewing newbuild options for fulfilling this contract.
Noble also has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Petrobras regarding operations offshore Brazil. Under the MOU, Noble will substitute the dynamically positioned deepwater drillshipNoble Phoenix, currently under contract with Shell in Southeast Asia, for the dynamically positioned drillship Noble Muravlenko. The Noble Muravlenko currently is operating under a six-year contract with Petrobras ending in 2015. Upon release by Shell, the Noble Phoenix will undergo preparations and then mobilize to Brazil.
Noble has decided not to proceed with a reliability upgrade to theNoble Muravlenko scheduled for 2013. Upgrades on the Noble Leo Segerius and Noble Roger Eason are expected to go forward, and the company expects the Noble Leo Segerius to enter the shipyard in Brazil in the first quarter to begin its upgrade.