Noble Energy Wraps Up Asset Disposal Program

Noble Energy, Inc. has provided an update on its 2003 asset disposition program. As previously reported, the company identified five property packages for disposition. Bids have now been received on all five packages. Year-to-date, property sales have closed on four of the five packages, with the remaining property package expected to close during the first quarter of 2004. Total pretax proceeds on all five packages, before closing adjustments, are expected to be in excess of $110 million.

During the third quarter, closed property sales resulted in a pretax gain of $9.9 million. Also during the third quarter, certain properties in two packages were classified as held for sale, written down by $18.3 million to fair value, pretax, and reported in discontinued operations.

Subsequent to September 30, 2003, the remaining asset package met the criteria to be classified as held for sale. During the fourth quarter, Noble Energy has closed sales on properties located in California, Oklahoma and Wyoming. A package of Gulf of Mexico properties is expected to close during the first quarter 2004. The transfer of the remaining property package to discontinued operations and the timing of completed sales will result in a non-cash, pretax write-down to fair value and realized loss of approximately $40 million ($26 million after tax). The total non-cash charge will appear in discontinued operations for the fourth quarter.

Noble Energy also plans to write off its current investment in Vietnam during the fourth quarter, resulting in an after-tax charge of $5 million, including a pretax dry hole charge of approximately $20 million offset by a $15 million tax benefit for writing off the stock in the company's wholly-owned Vietnam subsidiary.