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Noble (NE) Inks Offshore Drilling Contract With Trident Energy

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Noble Corporation plc (NE - Free Report) has inked a contract for its Noble Venturer drillship to be utilized for an upcoming drilling campaign conducted by Trident Energy offshore Equatorial Guinea. The drilling campaign is expected to begin shortly. Noble Corporation had previously stated that the expected duration of the project was 150 days.

The Noble Venturer drillship is slated to drill two infill wells at water depths of 250 meters and 740 meters in Block G offshore Equatorial Guinea. Trident Equatorial Guinea operates Block G in the Ceiba and Okume complex fields. Upon completing the drilling campaign with Trident, the Noble Venturer will move to Block S, operated by Kosmos Energy, to drill an exploration well.

The Noble Venturer is expected to drill an Akeng Deep ILX well in Block S. This well is aimed at testing a play in the Albian. This drilling campaign targets an estimated gross mean resource of approximately 180 million barrels of oil. Further, the location of the resource is deemed favorable, owing to its proximity to the existing infrastructure at Block G.

Previously, the drilling contract was awarded to Island Drilling’s semi-submersible Island Innovator rig. However, the agreement was terminated over safety concerns and the drilling campaign was put on hold. The contract for the drilling campaign was awarded to Noble Corporation in April 2024 by Trident Energy on behalf of its joint venture (JV) partners in Block G. Trident Equatorial operates the block with a 40.375% stake, alongside its JV partners, Kosmos Energy holding 40.375%, Panoro holding 14.25% and GEPetrol holding 5%.

Noble recently announced the acquisition of a rival offshore drilling company, Diamond Offshore Drilling (DO - Free Report) . Following the acquisition, NE will own a giant fleet of 41 rigs, including 28 floaters and 13 jack-ups, thereby establishing the offshore driller as a leading provider of drillship services in the industry.

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

Currently, NE carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), while DO holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the energy sector are SM Energy (SM - Free Report) and Hess Midstream Partners LP (HESM - Free Report) . SM Energy presently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while Hess Midstream carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

SM Energy is an upstream energy firm operating in the prolific Midland Basin and the South Texas regions. For 2024, the company expects its production to increase from the prior-year reported figure, signaling a bright production outlook.

Hess Midstream owns, operates, develops and acquires a wide range of midstream assets, providing services to Hess Corporation and other third-party customers. The partnership has a stable fee-based revenue model secured via long-term commercial contracts. Since Hess Midstream operates through 100% fee-based contracts, it is exposed to minimal commodity price risks.

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