Noble Sells Rigs to Mideast Player

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Offshore drilling rig operator Noble Corp. has agreed to sell four jackup rigs currently contracted to Saudi Aramco to Middle East-focused contractor ADES International for $292 million in cash. Once the deal closes -- expected in October 2021 -- Noble expects to have no ongoing operations in Saudi Arabia, it said in a securities filing. The Texas-based firm will sell to ADES the jackup rigs Noble Roger Lewis and Noble Scott Marks -- built in 2007 and 2009, respectively -- as well as Noble Joe Knight and Noble Johnny Whitstine, both built in 2018. Current contracts with Aramco extend into next year and beyond, although Noble said they will be replaced with new contracts. Aramco's current plans for the rigs and any potential contract extensions could not be immediately determined. The national oil company is planning to accelerate capital spending in the second half of this year to around $20 billion, up from $15 billion spent in the first half. The company is planning upgrades that will help increase production capacity from certain offshore fields (IOD Aug.9'21). Saudi Arabia had six offshore rigs drilling for oil and none drilling for gas in July, according to the latest Baker Hughes international rig count.

Offshore Oil and Gas, Corporate Strategy
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