Noble Corp. orders ultradeepwater drillship

Noble Corp. has ordered an ultradeepwater drillship to be built by Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd., subject to finalization of a construction contract within the next several weeks.

The $630-million drillship, to be named at a later date and as yet uncontracted, is expected to be delivered during the second half of 2014 from a shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea.

It’s the fourth such drillship Noble has ordered this year.

David W. Williams, Noble chairman, president, and chief executive officer, said he expects to see increased demand for deepwater drilling rigs.

“This view is bolstered not only by geologic successes in the traditional regions offshore the US Gulf of Mexico and Brazil, but also by emerging regions offshore West Africa, Indonesia, the Black Sea, India, and eastern Africa,” Williams said.

The new drillship, based on a Hyundai Gusto P10000 hull design, is designed for operation in 12,000 ft of water, but will be delivered fully equipped to operate in 10,000 ft of water.

The drillship, which will have accommodations for 210 personnel, will have dynamic positioning and the ability to handle two complete blowout preventer systems.

It also will feature multiple parallel activity features that improve well construction and overall project efficiencies, including a heave-compensated construction crane to deploy subsea production equipment.

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