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December 21, 2010

Noble orders two jack-ups at Jurong

Noble Corporation (NYSE: NE) has entered into an agreement for the construction of two high-specification heavy duty, harsh environment jack-up offshore drilling rigs with Sembcorp Marine's subsidiary Jurong Shipyard in Singapore.

The first is scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter 2012, the second in the second quarter of 2013.

Total delivered costs are estimated at approximately US$220 million per rig, including project management, spares, and start-up costs, but excluding capitalized interest. Payment terms are twenty percent of the construction price due at contract signing, twenty percent due at steel cutting, and the remainder due at rig delivery. The contract also contains options for up to four additional units which must be exercised by January 1, 2012. Each option unit is priced based on the original unit price, plus a potential escalation factor, with future deliveries scheduled in six month increments beginning in late 2013.

The rigs will be built to the Friede & Goldman JU3000N design, an enhanced evolution of the JU2000E design.

The rigs, which are approximately 231 feet in length and 270 feet in breadth, will have the capability to operate in water depths up to 400 feet and drill to depths of 30,000 feet. The rigs will each have a seventy-five foot cantilever, 2.5 million pounds of hook load capacity, a high capacity mud circulating system, and a 15,000 psi blow out preventer system. The units are capable of off-line pipe handling and offer accommodations for up to 150 people.

"We are excited to announce the turn-key construction of these units which represent the next step in our ongoing strategy to expand the capabilities of our fleet and position ourselves for the future," said David W. Williams, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Noble Corporation. "When completed, these enhanced versions of our already successful three JU2000E units added between 2007 and 2009 will be some of the most capable jack-ups in the world. Based on our views of the increasing demand for high specification units, we expect that they will command premium dayrates and reward our shareholders with excellent returns."


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