Contract drilling service provider
) has confirmed that Hurricane Isaac - which affected U.S. Gulf of
Mexico region -- has not caused any damage to the company's seven
active rigs operating in the area.
Noble had cut down on the dayrates at the seven rigs in the
region to 90% from the full operational dayrate of 95% over the
last seven days, owing to the advancing cyclone. Currently, all
these seven rigs have resumed operations and crews have returned to
The Switzerland-based company also informed that deepwater
semisubmersible Noble Max Smith is undergoing a planned shipyard
program in Pascagoula, Mississippi due to a delay in mobilization
to Brazil. The rig is likely to incur 30-40 days of unpaid
downtime. Once the rig is mobilized, it is expected to receive
daily dayrate of $170,000.
Noble further cautioned that its third quarter financial results
of 2012 are likely to be adversely affected due to various
operational issues and delays in returning rigs to work. The
revenue will likely be reduced by $50 million from estimated level
in the last Fleet Status Report.
In particular, the U.S. Gulf of Mexico-stationed ultra-deepwater
drillship Noble Globetrotter is among those rigs which have
experienced a higher-than-expected amount of downtime and reduced
dayrate as commissioning and testing continues on the unit's subsea
blowout prevention and control system (BOP). The rig will carry on
at lowered rates till the third quarter, when the commissioning and
testing on its BOP is expected to conclude in the third
Other units, which have been delayed, include ultra-deepwater
semisubmersible Noble Dave Beard, and drillships Noble Leo Segerius
and Noble Phoenix. These vessels experienced postponement due to
the shipyard programs and partly due to slowdown in the grant of
regulatory approvals by the Brazilian authorities.
The rigs are expected to receive clearance from the authorities
by the end of third quarter 2012. Noble Duchess, operating in
offshore India, started work late in August and Noble Charles
Copeland in the Middle East, anticipated to begin its three-year
contract in the Middle East on October 1, 2012, were also delayed
in the quarter due to maintenance and repairs.
Currently, Noble Hans Deul - operating in the UK sector of the
North Sea - received a minimum 18-month contract extension from a
Royal Dutch Shell plc
). The extension period will likely start in February 2013, in
direct continuation of the rig's existing contract. The deal is
expected to swell Noble's coffers by an estimated $132 million.
Noble holds a Zacks #3 Rank (Short term Hold rating). Longer
term, we maintain our Neutral recommendation.
NOBLE CORP (NE): Free Stock Analysis Report
ROYAL DTCH SH-A (RDS.A): Free Stock Analysis
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.