Drilling contractor Noble Corporation plc has reported second quarter 2014 net income of $235 million, or $0.91 per diluted share, compared to $177 million, or $0.69 per diluted share in 2Q 2013.
“As of the close of the second quarter, Noble has added nine new, technically advanced rigs to its fleet since 2011. Two additional new rigs are expected to commence operations during the third quarter with the arrival of the ultra-deepwater drillship Noble Sam Croft in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and the high-specification jackup Noble Sam Turner in the North Sea. Operating performance on our new rigs has continued to improve due in part to the implementation of previously announced operational readiness procedures and crew competency measures. We believe these improvements are sustainable and should continue to drive operating performance.”
Contract drilling services revenues for the second quarter of 2014 reached $1.2 billion, a slight decline of less than 1 percent from revenues reported during the first quarter of 2014. The slight decrease was the result of increased non-operating days in the quarter as six rigs began planned shipyard projects, substantially offset by favorable contractual pricing increases, most notably on the Noble Bully II, Noble Roger Lewis, Noble Jimmy Puckett and Noble Discoverer, and revenues received from newbuilds beginning their first contracts.
Williams added: “On August 1, Noble will complete the spin-off of Paragon Offshore, creating a separate and distinct company focused on the operation of standard capability rigs. The transaction represents a critical step in transforming Noble into one of the offshore drilling industry’s premier fleets, one possessing the modern features and versatility to address the increasing technical complexity of many of our customers’ well programs today and in the future. As for Paragon, we believe it is positioned to excel in the standard specification drilling sector, with well-maintained and efficient rigs, highly-proficient crews, a strong customer base and a talented management team.
“We are delighted to reach this point in our strategic transformation and believe the completion of the spin-off will provide Noble with an improved competitive posture and an enhanced platform for creating shareholder value. We strongly believe our improved fleet mix, improving operations performance, best-in-class shipyard execution, demonstrated contracting expertise and improving free cash flow, place the Company in an advantageous position to address opportunities expected in the next phase of the industry cycle.”