Exxon Boosts Guyana-Suriname Drilling Role for Noble
Noble Corp. plc reported Tuesday that it has executed a commercial enabling agreement with Exxon Mobil Corp. that provides a framework for ongoing drilling services in the Guyana-Suriname Basin.
“The Guyana-Suriname Basin stands out as one of the world’s premier offshore exploration and development opportunities,” Noble Chairman, President and CEO Julie J. Robertson commented in a written statement. “Since establishing an operating presence offshore Guyana in March 2018 with the Noble Bob Douglas, we have continued to expand our footprint in the region.”
According to Noble, the deal defines contract terms to continue using certain drilling units in Noble’s fleet. It includes three ultra-deepwater drillships currently working for ExxonMobil offshore Guyana – Noble Bob Douglas, Noble Tom Madden and Noble Don Taylor – and could be expanded to include other drilling rigs, the drilling contractor explained. The Noble Bob Douglas is mobilized at the Liza Phase I field development project and Noble Tom Madden and Noble Don Taylor are assigned to exploration drilling in the region, the firm added.
Noble stated that, under the commercial enabling agreement, the dayrates earned by each rig will be updated at least two times annually to the prevailing market rate and are subject to a scale-based discount and performance bonus. The drilling contractor also noted that ExxonMobil has awarded 3.5 years of term to be added at the end of each rig’s current contract commitments.
For the Noble Tom Madden, Noble estimates the term will commence in December 2020 for an initial three-year period. An initial 0.5-year term for the Noble Bob Douglas should start in March 2021, the firm added. Moreover, it projected that an unspecified initial term for the Noble Don Taylor will begin this November. Noble also stated that its agreement with ExxonMobil provides for allocating six additional years. It noted the extra years hinge on future develop decisions and government approvals, along with the potential for incremental contract terms or rigs as needed.
“The commercial enabling agreement with ExxonMobil takes our regional position a step further, as we benefit from multi-year contract visibility and utilization allocated across three of our premium drillships,” remarked Robertson. “This attractive commercial model secures current market pricing dynamics on six-month intervals and important operational economies of scale and, importantly, the agreement can cover additional drilling rigs. We are honored to strengthen our relationship with ExxonMobil and to have a significant role in this prolific region, which will continue to contribute to the growing need for advanced offshore drilling technology and solutions.”
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