Noble Corp. Clarifies Media Statements Regarding Offer for Smedvig ASA

Noble Corporation clarifies a report published in the Norwegian media to the effect that the Company will launch an offer shortly to purchase Smedvig ASA. The Company announced on December 13, 2005 that it had entered into 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, with a closing scheduled for December 23, 2005, subject to any required regulatory matters.

The Company is currently reviewing its available alternatives in preparing to make an offer for shares in Smedvig ASA although neither a timetable nor the terms and conditions for any such offer have yet been established by the Company. No tender offer has commenced, and the Company reserves the right to pursue all options available to it. This press release is not a recommendation, an offer to purchase or a solicitation of an offer to sell securities of Smedvig ASA. If the Company should commence a tender offer, the Company would file a tender offer statement and related materials with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and with the Oslo Stock Exchange. Smedvig ASA security holders should read any such materials carefully because they would contain important information with respect to any such potential offer. Any such materials would be made available to Smedvig ASA security holders by the Company at no expense to them. In addition, the materials (and all other offer documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission) would be available at no charge on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Website at