Noble Corporation, a leading offshore driller, said that subsidiaries of the Company have reached agreement to sell the Company's North Sea platform drilling business to Seawell Holding UK Limited for $35 million. Closing is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions and is expected by no later than the end of the first quarter 2008.
Noble's platform drilling business provides the personnel necessary to manage and perform drilling operations on production platforms owned by various operators. The sale to Seawell includes labor contracts covering 11 platform operations in the United Kingdom sector of the North Sea. Currently, these operations employ approximately 450 people. Not included in this sale is a labor and maintenance contract related to the Hibernia platform located off the east coast of Canada. Noble will continue to provide personnel for the drilling and maintenance operations in support of that project and its client Exxon Mobil.
"With the sale of our platform drilling business we have taken another important step in focusing the Company more tightly on our core endeavors," said David W. Williams, Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President of Noble Corporation. "We are thankful for the many contributions that our platform team members made to our Company's success over the years; their commitment to safety and operational excellence will continue to mark them as industry leaders."
Both Noble and Seawell intend to make the transition as seamless as possible for both the employees and the clients involved in the platform operations.
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