Noble to Acquire Frontier Drilling in a $2.16 Billion Deal
Under its acquisition, which is expected to close by the end of July, Noble will get six floating drilling units from FDR, a privately held company that's also known as Frontier Drilling. FDR's floating drilling fleet is expected to bring in an addition $2 billion above Noble's contract backlog over approximately 23 rig-years.
"This acquisition is a highly complementary extension of our mid- and deepwater presence and positions us for additional growth in new market segments that can provide further opportunities for Noble and our customers," said Noble CEO David Williams in a statement. "Noble's historical hallmark of a strong safety culture and our reputation for operational excellence should benefit Frontier's existing customers and drive value for our shareholders."
A Worldwide Drilling Fleet
Frontier, through a joint-venture with Royal Dutch Shell, owns two so-called Bully-class drillships, designed to handle the depths of the Arctic, that are currently being built.
In addition to the joint venture, Frontier also has a deepwater drillship operating in Southeast Asia under contract with Shell through mid-2015; a drillship in Nigeria under contract with the Nigerian Petroleum Development Co. until the third quarter; an Arctic-class drillship that's currently moored and under contract with Shell but may be dispatched to Southeast Asia until the third quarter 2011; and a deepwater floating production/storage/offloading vessel that's expected to soon begin a 100-day short-term contract.
And of particular note, Noble will snap up a moored deepwater semisubmersible driller that's contracted with Shell in the Gulf of Mexico until the second quarter of 2012. That contract comes with the dayrate of $383,000 that Noble gets to charge Shell. And with the federal court lifting the drilling ban, that could spell big bucks for Noble.