Noble to spin off standard spec fleet

Noble Corp. has approved a plan to separate its drilling fleet into two business units, effectively creating a new company comprising its standard specification jackups and floaters.

McculleyRussell McCulley • Houston

Noble Corp. has approved a plan to separate its drilling fleet into two business units, effectively creating a new company comprising its standard specification jackups and floaters. The new entity will own and operate a fleet of five drillships; three semisubmersibles; 34 jackups; two submersibles; and one FPSO, theNoble Seillean. The spinoff company will also operate the Hibernia platform in Canada.

Noble Corp. will continue to own and operate its high-specification assets, including ultra-deepwater drillships, semisubs, and high-spec and harsh environment jackups.

Noble said the new company could file for an initial public offering later this year or early 2014. The spinoff is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

"The purpose of the separation is for Noble to move forward with our development as a robust high specification and deepwater drilling company through continued execution of newbuilds and fleet enhancements," said David Williams, who will remain chairman, president and CEO of Noble. "By separating these two businesses, we believe each company will be able to better leverage the overall value of its fleet by focusing on the drivers of its particular business."

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Yantai CIMC Raffles Offshore successfully mated the topsides and hull of the semisubCOSLProspector in late September. COSL Drilling will take delivery of the rig, the fourth deepwater semi built by the Chinese fabrication yard, in 3Q 2014. The semi is operable in water depths up to 1,500 m (4,921 ft) and will be customized for harsh North Sea conditions. (Photo courtesy CIMC)

Keppel adds to Mexico order book

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