Photo: Noble Roger Lewis jack-up rig; Source: Noble Corp.

Offshore vessel owner buys 1 per cent of Noble Corp.

Cyprus-based offshore vessel operator S.D Standard Drilling has secured a 1 per cent ownership in offshore drilling contractor Noble Corporation.

S.D. Standard Drilling said on Monday it has purchased 500,000 shares in Noble Corporation at $18.5 per share.

Noble Corp. completed its restructuring and Chapter 11 process on 5 February 2021.

Having disposed five cold stacked rigs in the fourth quarter, Noble entered 2021 with 19 offshore drilling units, consisting of 7 drillships and semi-submersibles and 12 jack-ups.

Noble is focusing largely on ultra-deepwater and high-specification jack-up drilling opportunities.

After the restructuring, Noble has net debt of $300 million and liquidity of $600 million.

The rig owner had a contract backlog of $1.6 billion at the end of 2020.

As reported earlier in March, three Noble Corp. rigs will return from the warm-stack to operational mode following the award of new contracts.

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After the investment in Noble has been completed, the vessel owning company will, in addition, own 33.3 per cent of the 2020-built VLCC Gustavia S; 100 per cent of four large-sized PSVs; and, 28 per cent ownership of six medium-sized PSVs.

Following the purchase of shares in Noble, S.D Standard Drilling will have a bank balance of approximately $18 million, including cash in the company and within its 100 per cent owned subsidiaries.

It is worth reminding that this is not S.D. Standard Drilling’s first foray into the offshore drilling market.

Having previously sold all initial rig building contracts, the company in 2014 changed its strategy from building up to become an operator of rigs to being an investment company within the oil and gas service sector.

In 2016, the company decided to enter the platform supply vessel (PSV) market.

In more recent news, Northern Supply, where S.D. Standard Drilling has indirect ownership of 28.1 per cent, last February sold two medium-size PSVs for a total price tag of $6.6 million.