Noble Energy Encounters Gas at Deepwater Tortuga Prospect

Noble Energy, Inc. has provided an update on its exploration activities in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

In the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, the Company and its partners identified a high-quality reservoir at the Tortuga prospect within Mississippi Canyon Blocks 561 and 605. The well, drilled by the Noble Amos Runner semisub to a total depth of 19,885 feet, encountered natural gas in a secondary objective. The primary objective was determined to be wet. The well has been temporarily abandoned pending future development plans. Noble Energy operates the discovery with a 50% working interest.

The Company also announced that its Stones River exploration well, located in Mississippi Canyon Block 285 and drilled to a total depth of 9,800 feet, was unsuccessful. Noble Energy operated the prospect with a 100 percent working interest. The Diamond Ocean Quest rig has subsequently moved to drill an appraisal well at Raton South, where the Company has a 62% operated working interest in the discovery on Mississippi Canyon 292.

In addition, Noble Energy is participating in the Gunflint/Freedom prospect at Mississippi Canyon Block 948, which is being drilled by the Deepwater Horizon semisub. The well is expected to reach its proposed depth of 31,000 feet later in the third quarter. The Company has a 37.5% working interest in the prospect.

Based on these results and combined with other exploration activity in the second quarter, Noble Energy anticipates it exploration expense for the second quarter to be between $100 and $110 million. With the increased activity level, the Company now expects full-year exploration expense to be at the upper end of its initial guidance of $240 to $310 million.

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