Noble Corp. Exercises Option to Acquire Maersk Valiant

Noble Corporation has exercised its option to purchase the premium jackup drilling unit, the Maersk Valiant, from a subsidiary of A.P. Moeller for an exercise price of $28.4 million. As previously announced, in June of 2003 Noble paid an option fee of $13.2 million to the seller for the right to acquire the unit. Noble's aggregate purchase price for the MODEC 300C, independent leg, cantilever jackup was therefore $41.6 million. The Maersk Valiant is currently in the territorial waters of the United Arab Emirates being assimilated into our Middle East fleet which is now comprised of 13 units. The unit is scheduled to commence a 500-day contract in Qatar in mid February, 2005 after an upgrade program. The unit has been renamed the Noble David Tinsley.

James C. Day, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Noble Corporation, said, "This option exercise continues our strategy of adding premium assets to our fleet on a cost effective basis. Additionally, this unit is being added to a region that is quite active."