Noble to Buy Newbuild Jackup
Noble Corp. plc has exercised an option to purchase a second newbuild jackup from PaxOcean Group to support its drilling contract with Saudi Aramco, the company reported Thursday.
According to Noble, it will buy the jackup for $83.75 million with $30.1 million in cash and the remainder seller-financed. The company noted that the new unit, to be named Noble Joe Knight, was built at PaxOcean’s Graha shipyard in Batam, Indonesia and applies the Gusto MSC CJ46 three-legged cantilever type design.
The jackup is built to operate in moderate drilling environments and can operate in water depths up to 375 feet (114.3 meters) with well depths up to 30,000 feet (9,144 meters), Noble stated. In September 2018, the company purchased a similar unit – called the Noble Johnny Whitstine – for its Saudi Aramco contract. According to a press release Noble issued at the time, the purchase price for the Noble Johnny Whitstine was $93.75 million – approximately 12 percent higher than the price of the latest acquisition.
“The CJ46 design is an ideal drilling unit for many applications in the Middle East and the exercise of the option is evidence of Noble’s customer-driven philosophy, including fit-for-purpose drilling solutions and superior operations execution,” Julie J. Robertson, Noble’s chairman, president and CEO, said in a written statement from the company. “Both the Noble Joe Knight and the Noble Johnny Whitstine are expected to serve our customer’s needs for many years to come.”
Noble stated that it expects the transaction to occur this month. Subsequently, it plans to relocate the Noble Joe Knight to a shipyard in Singapore for commissioning and outfitting. The company added that it expects the jackup to commence operations during the third quarter of 2019 under a three-year primary term contract plus a one-year option with Saudi Aramco.
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