Noble orders its fourth ultra-deepwater drillship this year

Noble Corporation said today that it has exercised its option with Hyundai Heavy Industries for the construction of an additional ultra-deepwater drillship, the companies fourth this year.  The drillship will be built at HHI’s shipyard in Ulsan, Korea, and is expected to be delivered in the second half of 2014.

“We continue to see an increase in deepwater demand, both near and longer-term,” said David W. Williams, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Noble Corporation. “This view is bolstered not only by geologic successes in the traditional regions offshore the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and Brazil, but also by emerging regions offshore West Africa, Indonesia, the Black Sea, India and eastern Africa. With the addition of this fourth HHI newbuild drillship, by 2014 Noble will have one of the newest, most versatile and technologically advanced floater fleets in the industry with a total of 28 units, 16 of which will be dynamically positioned.”

The new drillship will be based on a Hyundai Gusto P10000 hull design and is designed for operations in waters of up to 12,000 feet. The unit will be equipped with DP-3 station keeping, the ability to handle two complete BOP systems, and multiple parallel activity features that improve well construction and overall project efficiencies, including a heave compensated construction crane to facilitate deployment of subsea production equipment. The drillship will also have accommodations for up to 210 personnel, in addition to a number of other operational enhancements beyond the shipyard’s base specifications.

The expected price tag of the drillship is $630 million.  Noble still has an option for one more drillship under the agreement with Hyundai.