Noble to construct two ultra-deepwater drillships

Noble Corp. has contracted with Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. for construction of two ultra-deepwater drillships.

Offshore staff

ZUG, Switzerland – Noble Corp. has contracted with Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. for construction of two ultra-deepwater drillships. Deliveries are expected in 2Q and 4Q of 2013 at a cost of $650 million each.

The rigs are to be based on a Hyundai Gusto P10000 hull design for operations in waters of up to 12,000 ft (3,656 m), although either may be outfitted for less depending on specific contract requirements. Each unit will have DP-3 station keeping, the ability to handle two complete BOP systems, a heave compensated construction crane to facilitate deployment of subsea production equipment and accommodations for up to 200 personnel.

"We believe the fundamentals of the global ultra-deepwater market will continue to be strong in the decade ahead," said David W. Williams, chairman, president and CEO, Noble Corp. "These units, capable of meeting the industry's most stringent operating requirements, further support our continued commitment to increasing the technological and operational capabilities of our fleet. Furthermore, the previously announced Letter of Intent from Shell for one unit reduces the speculative risk and enhances future shareholder value."

Yesterday, Noble announced a Letter of Intent with Shell for a five and a half year long drilling contract for a newbuild vessel.

1/192011

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