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Commodity Pricing

Noble confirms consistent signs of recovery in rig market as new deals come in

Echoing the sentiment of its rivals Transocean and Valaris, Noble Corporation has said it is continuing to see consistent signs of recovery in the offshore rig market, with encouraging and supportive trends, also visible through its new contract awards.

As reported earlier this week, Transocean and Valaris were encouraged by continued and meaningful signs of improvement in the market environment and an increase in rig day rates and contract durations. The two rig owners have also recently revealed their latest contract awards.

On Thursday, Noble also reported on its quarterly financial performance and revealed its latest deals in a new fleet status report.

According to its 3Q 2021 report, Noble’s contract drilling services revenues totalled $231 million compared to $200 million in the second quarter of 2021. The increase in revenue was largely due to contract starts on the Noble Clyde Boudreaux and Noble Faye Kozack, and higher operating days on the Noble Scott Marks, Noble Tom Prosser, Noble Sam Croft, and Noble Stanley Lafosse (formerly Pacific Sharav).

Revenues of both Transocean and Valaris were higher when compared to those of Noble as the former’s total contract drilling revenues were $626 million and the latter’s revenues totalled $327 million in the third quarter of 2021.

The rig owner’s marketed fleet utilization was 81 per cent in the three months ended 30 September 2021 compared to 74 per cent in the second quarter.
During the third quarter of 2021, Noble managed to cut its net loss to $23.7 million from $50.9 million during the predecessor period of three months ended 30 September 2020 when Noble was under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which it emerged from in February 2021.

At the end of September 2021, Noble’s estimated revenue backlog totalled approximately $1.5 billion. Earlier this week, Noble completed the sale of four jack-up rigs, currently under contract with Saudi Aramco, to ADES International, further bolstering its balance sheet and expecting to generate approximately $285 million in cash.

Robert W. Eifler, President and Chief Executive Officer of Noble Corporation, stated: “Oil prices remained stable through the third quarter and within a dollar-per-barrel range that provides supportive economics for our customers’ offshore projects. Global energy demand also continues to normalize from last year’s pandemic-driven lows.

”On the back of these global macro improvements, the rig market has continued to show consistent signs of recovery throughout 2021, especially in the UDW segment. These recent market trends are encouraging and are supportive of our strategy to implement a sustainable return of capital policy.”

Jack-up rigs

Over the course of the third quarter, the Noble Tom Prosser was awarded a new contract with Santos for three wells in Australia. These firm wells are expected to start in the first quarter of 2022 in direct continuation of the rig’s current contract with Santos. Furthermore, nine additional one-well priced options were added to Santos contract.

In the UK North Sea, IOG elected to exercise the first of two one-well options for the Noble Hans Deul, changing the rig contract’s end date from May to August 2022.
In September, the Noble Lloyd Noblereceived its Acknowledgement of Compliance from the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway and in late October started its contract with Equinor, which exercised the first of 12 one-well options. The rig is now booked with Equinor until October 2022.

Furthermore, Perenco has booked theNoble Sam Hartley rig, which has been warm-stacked since May 2021, for one firm well off the UK, starting in November and ending in December 2021.
The Noble Regina Allen recently completed its contract with BHP in Trinidad and Tobago and the company is pursuing opportunities for follow-on work in the region while the rig is currently warm-stacked.


The Noble Gerry de Souza (formerly Pacific Santa Ana) completed its plug and abandonment contract with Petronas in Mauritania in August 2021. Since the programme conclusion, the rig has since mobilized to Las Palmas to complete the installation of a managed pressure drilling system and a second blowout preventer stack in preparation for previously announced work in Suriname for APA Corporation.

The contract with APA is for one firm well plus two one-well priced options. The firm part will go on from February until March 2022.

In early September, the Noble Faye Kozack, previously known as Khamsin, began operations for Petronas in Mexico with a day rate of $$192,000. The rig is expected to return to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico to start its next contract with Murphy for four firm P&A wells in the fourth quarter with a day rate of $$215,000. This contract is set to end in February 2022.

The rig has also secured a contract with QuarterNorth Energy for one firm well plus three one-well options in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Starting in April and ending in August 2022, the rig will work under a day rate of $290,000.

Source: Offshore Energy | This text was excerpted from the media outlet cited on November 5, 2021 and is provided to Noia members for information purposes only. Any opinion expressed therein is neither attributable to nor endorsed by Noia.