Noble Announces South China Sea Agreement

Noble Affiliates, Inc. announced that its wholly owned indirect subsidiary, Energy Development Corporation (China), Inc. (EDC) has entered into an agreement with Devon Energy Corporation as operator, to acquire a 50 percent interest in South China Sea blocks 16/02, 16/05 and 26/35. The blocks encompass approximately 2 million acres in the Pearl River Mouth Basin, a proven hydrocarbon basin.

Three wells are planned to be drilled on the licenses commencing early this year. Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) will have the right to participate up to 51 percent in the development of any discovery.

Assignment of the interest to Noble is subject to Chinese government approvals, which are not anticipated to be an obstacle in light of Noble's existing activities in China.