Noble Provides Updated Status of Jackup Noble Charlie Yester

Noble previously reported on the status of its Noble Charlie Yester jackup rig, which was operating approximately 1,000 feet from the fire that began on and destroyed Oil and Natural Gas Corporation's (ONGC) BHN platform in the Bombay High field located approximately 100 miles off the west coast of India. As reported by Noble on July 27, 2005, two of the Noble employees assigned to the Noble Charlie Yester were then unaccounted for with search and rescue efforts ongoing and the extent of any damage to the rig was unknown.

A total of 73 persons aboard the Noble Charlie Yester evacuated the rig after the fire began on ONGC's BHN platform. In the search and rescue efforts, one of the two unaccounted for Noble employees died and one was safely rescued. One additional crew member, who was an employee of Discovery Hydrocarbons (P) Limited, died in the incident.

The Noble Charlie Yester escaped any significant damage as a result of the incident, according to a report of MatthewsDaniel, an independent loss adjusting firm. The loss adjusting firm conducted an onboard survey of the rig on July 30, 2005 and has issued to Noble's insurance underwriters its report dated August 1, 2005 of initial observations. MatthewsDaniel's surveyor observed pockets of localized heat and fire damage and some areas of paint blackening / soot deposits. Based on the absence of paint blistering or cable damage, the surveyor reported that the rig was not exposed to significant radiant heat from the fire on ONGC's BHN platform.

Continuing poor weather conditions in the area have delayed the deployment of personnel on board the rig to complete the Company's assessment of damage and testing of systems and equipment. The Company expects the rig will be able to return to work for ONGC following repair or replacement of life-saving and other safety equipment lost or damaged in the incident.

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