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Noble Corporation’s (NE - Analyst Report) two shallow water rigs have been contracted by Pemex for employment off Mexico. The complete portfolio of rigs allocated for Mexicois now fully employed.

The two rigs that have been signed by Pemex are Sam Noble and Eddie Paul. Sam Noble, which had been lying idle in the shipyard since the beginning of this year, has secured a five-month contract with an average day rate of $81,000.

The other rig ––Eddie Paul ––has procured a deal for six months at a rate of $100,000 per day. With this deal, Noble now has all 13 rigs in Mexico under contract. Noble has a total fleet of 65 rigs of which one-fifth, or 13, are allocated for Mexico and contracted by Pemex.

One rig, Lewis Dugger, is stuck in the middle of controversy between the state oil company, Pemex, and Noble. According to the company, Pemex had contracted the rig for $83,000 per day from late April. The start date was later altered to late June. Noble apparently does not agree to this change and is in negotiations with Pemex. Importantly, Noble has refused to recognize any revenue during the contention period.

Switzerland-based Noble Corporation is a provider of diversified services for the oil and gas industry. With continued increases in tender activity as well as the influx of positive contracts globally, management remains optimistic about the broader recovery in jackup demand, led by the North Sea, Mexico, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Notably, Noble believes that North Sea jackup dayrates will soon exceed $100,000 due to the building backlog and strong bidding activity for 2012.

Noble is a Zacks #3 Rank, which is equivalent to a Hold rating for a period of one to three months. We maintain a Neutral rating on the company for the longer term.

Diamond Offshore (DO - Analyst Report) and Ensco Plc (ESV - Analyst Report) are major competitors of Noble.

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