), owner of the world's third-largest offshore drilling fleet,
has inked a couple of three-year period drilling contracts with
Plains Exploration & Production Company
) for two of its new ultra deepwater drillships.
NOBLE CORP (NE): Free Stock Analysis Report
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Both the drillships - Noble Sam Croft and Noble Tom Madden - are
currently under construction on a fixed price basis at the
Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. (HHI) shipyard in Ulsan, South
Korea. The contracts entail the drillships to operate mainly in
the U.S. Gulf of Mexico (GoM).
The deliveries of Noble Sam Croft and Noble Tom Madden are
scheduled for the second quarter of 2014 and second half of 2014,
respectively. The contracts are likely to begin operations after
moving to the GoM and upon receiving customer acceptance. Each
rig is expected to generate revenues of about $693 million,
including mobilization fee, over the three-year period. This will
boost the total potential backlog by over $1.3 billion.
With these latest contracts, Noble now has all four
under-construction drillships at HHI under contract. Based on a
Hyundai Gusto P10000 hull design, all these drillships are
competent to operate in water depths of about 12,000 feet and
provide a variable deck load of 20,000 metric tons.
Noble Sam Croft and Noble Tom Madden will be fully geared to
function in water depth of about 10,000 feet as well as provide
DP-3 station keeping, two complete six-ram BOP systems and
multiple parallel activities. These characteristics will aid in
enhancing overall well construction capabilities and lodge about
Both rigs will be fitted with a 165-ton heave compensated
construction cranes to assist deployment of subsea production
equipment. The rigs will also offer a new level of efficiency
through field development programs. The addition of these units
to Noble's fleet has helped in modernizing its fleet as well as
improving its fleet capabilities. These will also augment the
company's earnings going forward.
Noble holds a Zacks Rank #3, which is equivalent to a short-term
Hold rating. There are other stocks in the oil and gas industry,
Range Resources Corporation
Stone Energy Corporation
), which appear more promising and carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong