Noble Exercises Option to Acquire Jackup

Noble Corporation has it exercised its option to purchase the premium jackup drilling unit, the TRIDENT 19, from a subsidiary of Schlumberger for an exercise price of $25.2 million.

As previously announced, in December of 2002 Noble paid an option fee of $10.8 million to the seller for the right to acquire the unit. Noble's aggregate purchase price for the MODEC 300C, independent leg, cantilever jackup is therefore $36.0 million. The TRIDENT 19 is currently in the territorial waters of the United Arab Emirates being assimilated into our Middle East fleet which is now comprised of 10 units. The unit has been renamed the Noble Gene House.

James C. Day, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said "This purchase is part of a consistent strategy of opportunistic acquisitions that fits the Company's long term strategic goals. We are confident the unit will be under contract by late third quarter of 2003."