Noble Energy High Bidder on Eight Gulf of Mexico Blocks

Noble Energy is the apparent high bidder on eight deepwater lease blocks on which the company bid at the Central Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf Sale 198, held March 15, 2006. Noble Energy bid with partners on seven of the apparent high bids and bid alone on the remaining apparent high bid.

Noble Energy's share of the lease bonuses on the eight apparent high bids totals approximately $13.6 million. The eight high bid lease blocks cover in excess of 46,000 acres in water depths ranging from nearly 1,900 feet to nearly 5,700 feet. The company concentrated its bids on deepwater opportunities in the Atwater Valley, Green Canyon and Mississippi Canyon areas of the Gulf of Mexico.

All apparent high bids are subject to approval by the Minerals Management Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Of the apparent high bids, Noble Energy has a 50 percent working interest in seven of the eight blocks and a 100 percent working interest in one block. Noble Energy will be the operator of all eight blocks.

Charles D. Davidson, the company's Chairman, President and CEO, said, "Our deepwater exploration partnership with Samson Offshore Company was an important factor in our success at this lease sale by creating two independent teams to evaluate the best prospects. The new leases will add significant opportunities to our expanding deepwater exploration program."