Noble Corporation to Purchase Shares of Smedvig ASA

Noble Corporation has entered a share purchase agreement with Peter T. Smedvig and members of his family and entities he controls to purchase (directly and indirectly) 21,095,600 Class A shares and 2,501,374 Class B shares of Smedvig ASA. Smedvig ASA is recognized as a leading provider of premium harsh environment drilling rigs, self- erecting tender rigs and engineering services. The purchase price for the Class A shares is NOK 200 per share and for the Class B shares is NOK 150 per share. The closing is scheduled for December 23, 2005, subject to any required regulatory matters. The Company expects to pay the purchase price with available cash, funds available under the Company's existing bank credit agreement, and/or funds generated from the public or private issuance of debt securities.

James C. Day, Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Company, said, "The performance of the Smedvig team is widely recognized within our industry. This investment represents a unique opportunity for Smedvig's and Noble's management, operational and engineering teams to complement one another in key drilling markets. Smedvig's significant presence in Stavanger, Norway, and Singapore will leverage our collective global efforts in drilling operations and major new shipyard construction projects. We believe this affiliation will capitalize on the robust demand for safe and efficient drilling operations worldwide."

The Company will conduct a management conference call on Tuesday, December 13, 2005 at 8:00 a.m., Central Time, to discuss this news release.

What: Noble Corporation Management Conference Call

When: Tuesday, December 13, 2005 at 8:00 a.m., Central Time

Phone: 1-212-271-4650 -- Access code is 21259584 or Noble Corporation

Conference Call

Website: Live webcast available at

How: Visit the "Investor Relations" area of the Company's website, click on "Webcast" and follow the instructions provided. (Note: Visit the Company's website prior to the scheduled broadcast time in order to download, install and register any audio software that may be required in order to access the webcast).

A replay of the conference call will be available on Tuesday, December 13, 2005, beginning at 12:00 p.m., Central Time, through Tuesday, December 20, 2005 ending at 5:00 p.m., Central Time. The phone number for the conference call replay is 800-633-8284 or internationally 402-977-9140. The access code is the same (as indicated above for the conference call).