Noble Drilling Corporation announced today that it has settled its lawsuit with Samedan Oil Corporation regarding the use of Noble's deepwater semisubmersible, the Noble Homer Ferrington. As previously reported, Noble filed suit in January 2000 against the parties for breach of contract regarding the use of the rig. As announced in February 2000, the dispute was settled with Mariner Energy, Inc. through a long-term drilling contract for its use of the rig for 660 days during a five-year period. Since commencement of the contract with Mariner, the rig has been 100 percent utilized, successfully performed two well completions, and drilled two deepwater wells on leases operated by Mariner, and it is preparing to move to its fifth location for Mariner.
As part of the settlement, Samedan has contractually agreed to use the Noble Homer Ferrington at variable dayrates for 660 days over a contract period of 1,625 days, including a stacking dayrate following the first 30 days of non-usage for each year of the contract. Noble will receive working interests in seven of Samedan's deepwater exploration prospects and be carried during the drilling of the initial test well on each of those prospects. The contract provides for a lump sum settlement and includes the provision for Noble to contract the rig to third parties for extended periods during the 1,625-day contract term. Mariner and Samedan will jointly utilize the rig during the terms of their respective drilling contracts.
Noble Drilling is a leading provider of diversified services for the oil and gas industry. Contract drilling services are performed with the company's fleet of 49 offshore drilling units located in key markets worldwide. The company's 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. Noble's fleet of 34 independent leg, cantilever jackup rigs includes 21 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, the Company's fleet includes three submersible units. Eleven of the company's 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. The company also provides labor contract drilling services, turnkey drilling services and engineering and production management services. The Company's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "NE."