Noble Corporation has ordered a new harsh-environment jack-up rig it is to deploy in the North Sea from 2015.
The new unit, based on the Gusto MSC CJ70 design and meeting an enhanced version of Norwegian oil firm Statoil's "Cat J" specifications, is to be built by Sembcorp Marine's subsidiary Jurong Shipyard.
In addition to the $596million order, Noble agreed an option for an additional unit for use in the UK North Sea.
Exploration and production companies will welcome the new addition to the market. In the last year, day rates for rigs in the North Sea have risen due to demand.
Sembcorp says the ultra-high specification jack-up rig will have an air gap of 69m and will be capable of operating in up to 150m of water and able to drill to 10,000m (about 33,000ft).
Jurong Shipyard is currently building six F&G JU3000N class jack-up rigs worth a total of $1.3 billion for Noble. The yard had also successfully delivered two units of Bingo 9000 ultra-deepwater semisubmersibles, the Noble Danny Adkins and Noble Jim Day, in 2009 and 2010 respectively.