Noble Drilling Inks Deal with Marathon for Deepwater Semisub

Noble Corporation's wholly-owned, indirect subsidiary, Noble Drilling Services Inc., has signed a Letter of Intent for its Noble Bingo 9000 Rig 4 semisubmersible hull for a two-year contract with a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marathon Oil. The Noble Bingo 9000 Rig 4, which will be renamed the Noble Jim Day, will be completed as a dynamically positioned (DPS-3) unit designed to operate in water depths up to 12,000 feet with living accommodations for 200 persons. The unit's highly efficient operational design will follow that of the Noble Danny Adkins, currently under construction in Singapore. The Company expects for Marathon to use the Noble Jim Day in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico during the initial two years of service of the unit.

The LOI is contingent upon the negotiation and execution of a definitive drilling contract mutually acceptable to Noble and Marathon, including provisions regarding delivery date, mobilization, rig acceptance criteria, and timing and rates for an option in favor of Marathon to extend the primary term from two years to four years. The terms of the LOI provide an operating dayrate capable of producing revenues over the initial two years of approximately $375 million to $377 million.

As previously reported, the unit is located in the Jurong Shipyard in Singapore, where the Company intends to complete the construction program. The Company estimates that the rig will be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Mark A. Jackson, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "One of our goals for 2007 was to have a commitment on the Noble Bingo 9000 Rig 4 by the end of the first quarter. This achievement is especially meaningful, for it allows the employees to recognize Jim's contribution to Noble and the entire energy industry. It is only fitting that our most technologically advanced drilling unit will bear the name of a leading pioneer in our industry."

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