Noble Drilling Corporation announced that its fifth successful EVA-4000(TM) semisubmersible conversion, the Noble Max Smith, commenced its mobilization to its first location in Alaminos Canyon for Amerada Hess Corporation. The unit, which is capable of drilling in water depths up to 6,000 feet, was delivered from the shipyard this morning and is expected to arrive on location in approximately one week. The rig will commence drilling operations under its contract with Amerada Hess Corporation after final commissioning of its marine systems. Upon completion of commissioning, the rig will commence drilling operations under its contract with Amerada Hess Corporation. The conversion of the Noble Max Smith was completed in fourteen months, which was approximately eight months faster than the first EVA-4000(TM) semisubmersible conversion, the Noble Paul Romano. Additionally, the estimated total conversion cost is anticipated to be approximately four percent below the construction budget. Noble Drilling Corporation is a leading provider of diversified services for the oil and gas industry worldwide. Contract drilling services are performed with our fleet of 47 offshore drilling units located in key markets worldwide. Our fleet of floating deepwater units consists of nine semisubmersibles and three dynamically positioned drillships, seven of which are designed to operate in water depths greater than 5,000 feet. Our fleet of 32 jackup rigs includes 19 premium units that operate in water depths of 300 feet and greater, four of which operate in water depths of 360 feet and greater. In addition, our fleet includes three submersible units. Ten of our units are capable of operating in harsh environments. Over 60 percent of the fleet is currently deployed in international markets, principally including the North Sea, Africa, Brazil, the Middle East and Mexico. We also provide engineering and production management services and turnkey drilling services. The company's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "NE".

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