Noble Corporation has exercised its option to purchase the premium jackup drilling unit, the TRIDENT 18, from a subsidiary of Schlumberger for an exercise price of $32.9 million. As previously announced, in December of 2002, Noble paid an option fee of $14.1 million to the seller for the right to acquire the unit. Noble's total purchase price for the Marathon LeTourneau 116-C, independent leg, cantilever jackup is therefore $47.0 million. The TRIDENT 18 is currently in the territorial waters of the United Arab Emirates being assimilated into Noble's fleet. The unit has been renamed the Noble Charlie Yester.
James C. Day, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, "The purchase of this unit completes the company's acquisition of four jackup units from Schlumberger since December 2002. This purchase further fulfills our strategy of opportunistically acquiring deepwater jackups and other deepwater units. The unit is under preparation to mobilize to India for a long-term contract with ONGC."