Noble secures new drilling contracts


Noble Corporation reported second quarter 2021 results.



Jun 30, 2021

Period from
Feb 6, 2021 –
Mar 31, 2021

Period from
Jan 1, 2021 –
Feb 5, 2021

Jun 30, 2020

(stated in millions, except per share amounts)

Total Revenue

$          219

$            92

$            77

$          238

Contract Drilling Services Revenue





Net Income (Loss)





Adjusted EBITDA*





Adjusted Net Loss*





Diluted Earnings (Loss) Per Share





Adjusted Diluted Loss Per Share*




Contract Drilling Services Backlog





* A Non-GAAP supporting schedule is included with the statements and schedules attached to this press release and can be found at  

Robert W. Eifler, President and Chief Executive Officer of Noble Corporation, stated, “I am pleased with the continued strong execution in the second quarter demonstrated by the entire Noble team.  During the quarter, we delivered safety and uptime performance to our customers that is outstanding by any measure.  Noble’s achievements in the second quarter also validated our rationale behind the Pacific Drilling acquisition, which was announced in March and closed in April.  Specifically, the team has already signed three contracts on legacy Pacific Drilling rigs and retired two of its stacked drillships.  The integration of Pacific Drilling’s fleet into Noble’s operations is nearly complete and we are on track to deliver the identified synergies by the end of the third quarter this year, three months ahead of schedule.  In addition, we successfully ramped up four Noble rigs and returned them to dayrate while also mobilizing the Noble Sam Croft to a new country and customer, all in the midst of Covid-related travel restrictions that continue to make logistics for our crews and equipment more difficult.  These accomplishments reinforce my trust in Noble’s people to manage significant operational challenges without compromising service or safety.”

Second Quarter Results

Contract drilling services revenue for the second quarter of 2021 totaled $200 million compared to $159 million in the combined first quarter of 2021. The increase in revenue was largely due to contract commencements on the Noble Tom Prosser,Noble Hans Deul, and Noble Clyde Boudreaux; higher operating days on the Noble Sam Turner, and Noble Scott Marks; and the addition of the Pacific Santa Ana and Pacific Sharav into the fleet in April.  Additionally, contract drilling services revenue included a reduction of $14 million for the second quarter and $8 million for the combined first quarter related to the non-cash amortization of favorable customer contract intangibles which were recognized when Noble emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on February 5, 2021 (the “Effective Date”).  Marketed fleet utilization was 74 percent in the three months ended June 30, 2021 compared to 66 percent in the combined first quarter.

Contract drilling services costs for the second quarter were $189 million compared to $127 million in the combined first quarter of 2021. The increase was driven by the addition of the rigs acquired through the Pacific Drilling transaction in April, as well as mobilization and contract startup activities of five rigs in the Noble fleet and the shipyard upgrade project on the Noble Lloyd Noble.  As a result, contract drilling margin decreased to 12 percent from 24 percent in the previous period when excluding the non-cash intangible amortization.

Adjusted EBITDA for the three months ended June 30, 2021 was $10 million compared to $28 million in the combined first quarter of 2021.

Upon emergence, Noble adopted fresh-start accounting which resulted in Noble becoming a new reporting entity for accounting and financial reporting purposes.  Accordingly, our financial statements and notes after the Effective Date are not comparable to our financial statements and notes prior to that date.  As required by GAAP, results for the first quarter must be presented separately for the predecessor period from January 1, 2021 through February 5, 2021 (the “Predecessor” period) and the successor period from February 6, 2021 through all dates after (the “Successor” period).  However, the Company has combined certain results of the Predecessor and Successor periods as non-GAAP measures (referred to as “combined” results) to compare to prior periods for discussion purposes herein since we believe it provides the most meaningful basis to analyze our results.

Operating Highlights

Jackups – Over the course of the second quarter, customers elected to exercise options for the Noble Regina Allen and Noble Mick O’Brien for additional durations of one-well and one-year, respectively.  In early April, the Noble Hans Duel began its approximately 13-month contract with IOG in the North Sea.  In May, the Noble Sam Hartley moved to warm stacked status in Scotland after the completion of its contract with CNOOC, and the Noble Tom Prosser returned to work in Australia on an estimated 9-month campaign with Santos. In mid-June the Noble Scott Marks returned to operations with Saudi Aramco after its one-year suspension period.  The Noble Lloyd Noble is continuing its preparations for its upcoming contract in Norway which we expect to begin in early September.  In July, the Noble Tom Prosser signed a contract with Santos for three firm wells with an estimated duration of 160 days which is scheduled to begin in direct continuation of its current contract and is subject to final project sanctioning.

Floaters – In April, the Noble Sam Croft began its contract in Guyana, bringing our presence to four rigs working for ExxonMobil in that region.  Also in April, the Pacific Sharav commenced its contract with Murphy in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, with firm term into the third quarter of 2022.  The Pacific Khamsin is preparing to begin operations in August for Petronas in Mexico and will follow on to a recently signed contract with Murphy for an estimated 83 days of work to begin in November 2021 in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.  The rig will then move in direct continuation to the previously announced contract with EnVen.  The Noble Clyde Boudreaux began its approximately four-month contract with Premier Oil Indonesia, a Harbour Energy company, in late June.  In July, the Pacific Santa Ana signed a contract with APA Corporation in Suriname for one firm well plus two option wells commencing in early February 2022.

Backlog and Liquidity Update       

At June 30, 2021, the Company’s estimated revenue backlog totaled approximately $1.5 billion, consisting of approximately $1.2 billion associated with the floating rig fleet and approximately $358 million with the jackup fleet. An estimated $464 million of the revenue backlog was attributable to the remainder of the year 2021.

At June 30, 2021, Noble had total liquidity of $636 million consisting of $161 million in cash and $475 million available under the Company’s revolving credit facility. The Company has submitted the election to pay cash interest on its second lien notes at the upcoming interest payment date on August 15, 2021.


Commenting on the state of the offshore drilling industry, Mr. Eifler added, “Throughout the first part of 2021 we have seen a building pipeline of floater tender opportunities, and we are pleased to have signed new contracts on some of the high specification drillships we recently acquired with the Pacific Drilling transaction and are targeting a number of new opportunities for additional work for those rigs.  We do not believe the recent volatility in commodity prices has changed our customer’s offshore rig demand, especially for the most capable rigs, and we maintain our constructive outlook for ultra-deepwater floaters and stable outlook for jackups.

Mr. Eifler continued, “Noble accomplished several important milestones in the first half of 2021.  We emerged from our restructuring with a strengthened balance sheet, added high specification drillships through the Pacific Drilling acquisition, and listed our equity on the New York Stock Exchange, all while continuing to provide the highest level of safe and efficient operations to our customers.  As we move ahead, we remain committed to capital discipline and maintaining a strong balance sheet, and we look forward to returning to positive free cash flow in early 2022.”