Noble Corp. Wins Contracts for Six Offshore Drilling Rigs

Credit: Timon/AdobeStock
Credit: Timon/AdobeStock

Offshore drilling contractor Noble Corp. on Tuesday released a fleet status report, according to which the company has secured contracts for six offshore drilling rigs since its previous fleet report issued on August 2, 2023.

The company has secured contracts for three drillships—the Noble Valiant, Globetrotter I, and Globetrotter II—and three jack-up drilling rigs—the Noble Reacher, Noble Regina Allen, and Noble Resilient, with total contract value of approximately $240 million.

The Noble Valiant drillship has secured six-month contract with LLOG in the US GOM at clean dayrate of $470,000, excluding potential additional fees for MPD. The contract contains a six-month unpriced option. The contract takes effect in January, and runs until June 2024.

The Globetrotter I has secured a one-well extension with Shell in the US GOM at $390,000 dayrate, extending the duration to late February 2024, and the Globetrotter II has secured a four-month extension with Shell in the US GOM, extending the duration to early March 2024. 

While the dayrate has been listed as $398,500, Noble Globetrotter II's dayrate is based on a market index or floor of $275,000, whichever is higher, and will be adjusted every six months, until completion of the contract.

As for the jack-up drilling rigs, the Noble Reacher has been awarded a 15-month extension with TotalEnergies in Denmark, extending the firm duration until July 2025. TotalEnergies will have the option to extend the contract by twelve months.

In Argentina, TotalEnergies has awarded a three-well program for the Noble Regina Allen jack-up at a rate of $150,000 per day, excluding mobilization / demobilization fees, plus four one-well options. The contract has an estimated 220-day duration, with a scheduled start-up at mid-year 2024.

The Noble Resilient jack-up has secured a two-well contract with Petrogas in the UK North Sea at $133,000 dayrate, plus a two-well option. The contract has a minimum duration of 120 days, with an expected start-up in Q3 2024.

Net income rises

Noble Corp. on Tuesday reported a net income of $158 million, up from last year 3Q’s $34 million, and up from 2Q 2023’s $66 million.

Revenue was $697 million, up from 3Q 2022’s $306 million, and also up versus previous quarter’s $639 million.

For the full year 2023, Noble is increasing guidance for total revenue to a range of $2.5 to $2.6 billion (previously $2.35 to $2.55 billion) and Adjusted EBITDA to a range of $775 to $825 million (previously $725 to $825 million). Full year 2023 guidance for capital expenditures (net of reimbursable capex) remains unchanged at a range of $325 to $365 million.

Noble's marketed fleet of sixteen floaters was 92% contracted through the third quarter, compared with 90% in the prior quarter. 

"Recontracting visibility for the marketed fleet continues to be promising, with leading edge dayrates for working tier 1 drillships in the mid to high $400,000s range, and with moderate utilization inefficiencies caused by gaps between programs and scheduled maintenance related downtime," the company said.

Utilization of Noble's thirteen marketed jackups was 61% in the third quarter, compared with 59% utilization during the second quarter. 

"Contracting activity for the jackup fleet has picked up moderately from recent cyclical lows with leading edge fixtures for harsh rigs in the $130,000 to $150,000 range, while persisting soft demand in Norway continues to suppress utilization and dayrate potential for ultra-harsh jackups," Noble Corp. said.

Robert W. Eifler, President and Chief Executive Officer of Noble Corporation plc, said: "Our third quarter results reflect continued strong operational and financial performance and demonstrate the power of the Noble – Maersk Drilling combination, where synergy progress and integration are ahead of schedule. We recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of the combination, and I'd like to extend a special thank you to our employees around the world who have been so critical to the success of the integration which has exceeded all expectations. We remain optimistic about expanding free cash flow potential for Noble in the years ahead. To that end, we are pleased to be able to raise our quarterly dividend to $0.40 per share in the fourth quarter."

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