Noble has exercised options with Sembcorp Marine's subsidiary Jurong Shipyard for the construction of two additional high-specification heavy duty, harsh environment JU3000N jackup drilling rigs. This order will bring to six the total number of new jackup rigs the Company will have under construction with the Jurong Shipyard.
David W. Williams, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Noble Corporation, stated, "We continue to see a growing interest from clients for the advanced features of the JU3000N jackup design. Opportunities for these units are evident in several offshore regions, including the North Sea, Middle East and Asia. This latest rig order reflects our continuing commitment to expand our ownership of industry-leading offshore drilling technology, enabling us to address some of the most demanding well construction challenges around the world."
Total delivered costs for these latest two orders are estimated at approximately $245 million per rig, including project management, spares, and start-up costs, but excluding capitalized interest. Payment terms are consistent with the order of the four previous rigs placed with the Jurong Shipyard since December 2010: 20 percent of the construction price due at contract signing, 20 percent due at steel cutting, and the remainder due at rig delivery. The two latest orders are expected to be delivered from the shipyard during the third and fourth quarters of 2014, following which would be mobilization and acceptance testing by their respective future customers.
The Friede & Goldman JU3000N design is an enhanced evolution of the JU2000E design and represents the latest generation of high-specification jackup drilling rig with greater capacities and capabilities than most existing units. 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 blowout preventer system. The units are capable of off-line pipe handling and offer accommodations for up to 150 people.
In addition to six newbuild jackup projects, Noble has seven ultra-deepwater drillships under construction, three of which are scheduled to be delivered later this year. The Company continues to evaluate an option it has with Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. for the construction of an additional ultra-deepwater drillship that expires on August 31, 2011, with delivery taking place in the second half of 2014.
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