Noble Taking a Hit on Rig Delays

Noble Globetrotter 1. Photo: Noble Corp.

Noble Corp. (NE) said it expects its third-quarter revenue to be hurt by about $50 million due to operational delays and other developments around returning its rigs to work.

Noble also said its seven active rigs operating in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico sustained no damage as a result of Hurricane Isaac. It had suspended operations on the rigs in preparation for the storm. The offshore-oil driller said all seven rigs had redeployed crews and have now recommenced operations.

The revenue impact stems, among other things, from operations on the ultra-deepwater drillship Noble Globetrotter I in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, which has experienced a higher than expected amount of downtime and reduced dayrate. The rig will remain at the reduced dayrate until the end of the third quarter.

Also, in Brazil, the ultra-deepwater semisubmersible Noble Dave Beard and drillships Noble Leo Segerius and Noble Phoenix have experienced delays in their returns to work following shipyard programs. Both rigs are expected to remain at less than 100% of their full operating date rates until regulatory approvals are received, likely by the end of the third quarter.

Other rigs also have experienced higher than planned operational downtime in the quarter to address maintenance and repairs, including the drillship Noble Duchess, operating offshore India, and the jackup Noble Charles Copeland, in the Middle East.

In July, Noble said its second-quarter earnings surged more than expected as it saw contract dayrates continue to rise.

Shares edged down 0.4% in recent premarket trading to $37.99. The stock is up 27% in the past three months.

 By Saabira Chaudhuri. (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.