Noble Acquires Full Ownership of Noble Julie Robertson

Noble Drilling Corporation has acquired 100 percent ownership interest in the Noble Julie Robertson, a Baker Marine European class independent leg cantilever jackup. The Company acquired a 50 percent interest in the rig in January 2000 through a joint venture with Lime Rock Partners. The purchase price for the additional 50 percent interest was $20 million.

Under the joint venture, Noble managed the upgrade, marketing and operation of the rig. The joint venture successfully completed a major upgrade of the rig in 2000, including a third mud pump, solids control and mud system upgrade, and spud can modifications, prior to its reactivation to operations. The rig is currently under contract to Talisman Energy (UK) Limited in the U.K. sector of the North Sea.

Noble has recently commenced construction to extend the leg length to 526 feet, enabling the rig to work in water depths up to 390 feet. Installation of the leg extensions will take place at an appropriate future date.

James C. Day, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Noble Drilling, stated, "The opportunity to complete full ownership in an excellent harsh environment asset at this time is consistent with our strategy to enhance shareholder value. We have appreciated the opportunity to work with such an outstanding group as Lime Rock Partners."

Financial results of the Noble Julie Robertson will be fully consolidated in Noble's results from August 24, 2001. Previously Noble accounted for this investment using the equity method.