USA: Marathon Oil Company Terminates Drilling Contract for Noble Jim Day Rig

Noble Corporation  today reported that Marathon Oil Company  has provided notice that it is terminating the drilling contract for the ultradeepwater semisubmersible drilling rig Noble Jim Day. Marathon’s stated reason for the termination was that the rig had not been accepted by Marathon by December 31, 2010.

Noble believes the rig is ready to commence operations and should have been accepted by Marathon. The contract was for four years and represented approximately $752 million in contract backlog to Noble.

“We are disappointed by Marathon’s actions,” said David W. Williams, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Noble Corporation. “Fortunately, the Noble Jim Day is one of the most capable rigs in existence and there are already a number of potential customers interested in a unit of this caliber.”

Noble also reported that an independent third-party has affirmed the rig’s readiness. The Company also confirmed that the unit’s subsea system, including the BOP, has received its certificate of compliance.

About Noble

Noble is a leading offshore drilling contractor for the oil and gas industry. Noble performs, through its subsidiaries, contract drilling services with a fleet of 71 offshore drilling units (including six drilling rigs currently under construction), located worldwide, including in the Middle East, India, the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Mexico, the Mediterranean, the North Sea, Brazil, West Africa and Asian Pacific. Noble also owns and operates a dynamically positioned floating production, storage, offloading vessel. Noble’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “NE”.

Source:Noble , January 4, 2011;

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