Noble Energy, Inc. announced that it has entered into a 36 month contract with a subsidiary of Atwood Oceanics Inc. for a new build drillship to support its global new ventures efforts in deepwater exploration and development. The agreement demonstrates the Company's commitment to global offshore exploration.
The drillship Atwood Advantage is currently under construction by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd. in South Korea. Delivery is anticipated in the fourth quarter of 2013 when the rate of $584,000 per day will be initiated. The dual BOP stacks, enhanced offline capabilities, 12,000 feet water depth/40,000 feet drill depth ratings and the increased mobility will add flexibility to Noble Energy's global exploration program. The rig's advanced capabilities are sufficient to reach the deep oil target in the Eastern Mediterranean, which will be the first exploration prospect drilled.