Noble Jim Thompson Breaks Free During Hurricane Katrina

Noble Corporation reported that its semisubmersible Noble Jim Thompson, contracted to Shell Exploration & Production Company and working offshore Louisiana at Mississippi Canyon Block 935, was in the main path of Hurricane Katrina. The unit had been secured and all personnel safely evacuated prior to the storm's arrival. The unit broke away from its mooring lines and has moved approximately 17 miles north-northeast from its original location.

A Noble assessment team has been able to conduct an airplane flyover of the unit and of the other Noble rigs operating in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico in the general pathway of Hurricane Katrina. Currently, an anchor handling vessel and a tug boat are at the location of the Noble Jim Thompson preparing to assist in securing it. A Noble assessment crew is scheduled to travel to and board the unit this afternoon, subject to safety considerations.

Based on the visual observations from the airplane flyover, the unit does not appear to have sustained damage of a material nature. The Company expects to provide updated information on the Noble Jim Thompson after personnel are able to board the unit and conduct a survey of its condition. The Company has not yet projected when the unit can return to operations.

In addition, the Company reported that its other moored semisubmersibles observed in the airplane flyover described above remained on location in the aftermath of the storm, and that the Company's submersible and jackup rigs also observed in such flyover appeared not to have sustained damage of a material nature. The Company expects these units to return to operations in due course.

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