Noble drillship cleared to operate offshore Mexico

(OM) Noble Corp drillship Noble Globetrotter I should start a contract offshore Mexico shortly following an extended permitting delay, the company said in its latest results statement.

As for other vessels in the company’s 16-strong fleet, the Noble Gerry de Souza has sailed from the US Gulf of Mexico (GoM)  to Nigeria. Noble Discoverer is due to begin a one-well contract for Ecopetrol offshore Colombia during the fourth quarter, while Noble Valiant as a one-well assignment in the GoM at a day rate of $450,000, again with a fourth-quarter start.

And ExxonMobil Guyana has awarded the company an additional 6.3 years of backlog under their Commercial Enabling Agreement (CEA); this will extend the contract duration for each of the four Noble drillships operating under the CEA until second-quarter 2027.

Industrywide, tier 1 drillships remain at or above 95% marketed utilization, with high-end vessel day rate fixtures steadily increasing, Noble said.

Take-up of the company’s 13 marketed jackups dipped from 85% in fourth-quarter 2022 to 67% in first-quarter 2023, with Noble Regina Allen, Noble Tom Prosser and Noble Invincible all coming off contract.

However, the company has since secured two contracts for Noble Tom Prosser offshore Malaysia with a combined term of 650 days, with the first due to start early in the third quarter.

Noble Regina Allen is undergoing repairs to its damaged leg and jacking system but should be available for marketing from early 2024 onward.

Aker BP has extended the work scope of the ultra-harsh jackup Noble Integrator through September.

Noble’s overall contract backlog totals $4.6 billion.

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