Noble Sets New Record for Deepwater Mooring

Noble Drilling's semisubmersible drilling unit Noble Amos Runner has successfully established a new world record for the deepest "conventionally moored rig" by mooring in 7,650 feet of water in Green Canyon Block 955. Noble will be drilling at this location, which is approximately 200 miles south of Houma off the Louisiana coast, for Kerr-McGee Oil & Gas Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Anadarko Petroleum.

The Noble Amos Runner set this record using the rig's existing mooring system, as opposed to using pre-set mooring systems that require anchors or suction piles to be in place before the rig arrives. The system includes 9,500 feet of 3-1/4" anchor wire and 4,250 feet of 2-3/4" anchor chain on each of the rig's nine anchor points. With a total length of over 23 miles, the complete mooring system weighs in excess of 2,270 tons.

The Noble Amos Runner is a Noble EVA-4000(TM) designed semisubmersible unit upgraded in 1999. Rated to operate in water depths up to 8,000 feet, the Noble Amos Runner is equipped to drill wells up to 32,500 feet total depth. The Noble Amos Runner also has an outstanding safety record, having worked more than five years without a lost time accident.

While the rig's existing mooring system meets all current Minerals Management Service interim guidelines for this location, the Noble Amos Runner is one of four Noble EVA-4000(TM) rigs scheduled to be equipped with Noble's NC-5SM mooring system. This system, which was developed following Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, increases the number of mooring points from nine to 12, providing added station keeping ability during extreme weather.