(Noble Corp. 21.Jan.2023) — Noble Corporation plc (CSE: NOBLE, NYSE: NE) today provides an operational and financial update for the fourth quarter of 2022 as well as recent operational and contracting highlights and updates on its prior guidance for Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter of 2022.
In accordance with Danish legal and stock exchange requirements, Noble announced that, although Noble has not completed its preparation of audited financial statements for the fourth quarter of 2022, it has determined, based on preliminary results, that it expects Adjusted EBITDA (a non-GAAP financial measure) to be between $140mn and $150mn, rather than between $155mn and $175mn as previously disclosed. The reduction is primarily related to the previously reported mechanical issues on the Noble Regina Allen as discussed further below.
As of 31 December 2022 Noble’s debt was $673mn and cash and cash equivalents was $470mn, resulting in a net debt balance of $203mn. During the fourth quarter, Noble executed on over $85mn of share repurchases (including the compulsory purchase of legacy Maersk Drilling shareholders in November and open market share repurchases conducted during December pursuant to Noble’s previously announced share repurchase program).
Noble also provides the following operational and contracting updates. The drillship Noble Gerry de Souza is expected to commence a new contract in Nigeria with an undisclosed operator with a firm duration of nine months and with unpriced options extending into Q3 2024.
The drillship Noble Stanley Lafosse has received a commitment from an undisclosed operator for a six-well work program in the US Gulf of Mexico. This scope is expected to commence around June 2023 and is expected to keep the rig busy until mid-2024. This contract also includes five, one-well operations options at mutually agreed dayrates. The firm backlog associated with the contract is estimated to be approximately $148 mn.
The drillship Noble Faye Kozak has been awarded a one-well contract with Kosmos in the US Gulf of Mexico with a minimum duration of 50 days at a dayrate of $450,000. This contract is scheduled to commence in Q2 or Q3 2023 in direct continuation of the rig’s current work. Additionally, QuarterNorth Energy has exercised one option well, with one option well remaining.
The drillship Noble Globetrotter I is expected to commence its previously disclosed contract with Petronas in Mexico in late January, later than previously anticipated due to permitting delays. Additionally, the rig has been awarded a new contract with an undisclosed operator for 70 days of plug & abandonment work in the US Gulf of Mexico, which is planned to commence in July 2023.
As previously reported, the jackup Noble Regina Allen experienced a mechanical failure with the jacking system on one of its legs. The rig has been safely demobilized to a port in Trinidad with repair plans under development. The rig has been off dayrate since mid-December and its contract has been terminated due to extended downtime. While the rig has standard insurance coverage pertaining to repairs, there is no insurance for loss-of-hire. Noble’s efforts are focused on repairing and positioning the rig for potential redeployment in the second half of 2023, although timing is uncertain.
Information regarding Adjusted EBITDA is based on preliminary unaudited information and management estimates for the fiscal quarter ended 31 December 2022 and is subject to change. We have provided a range, rather than a specific amount, for the preliminary results described above because we have not completed our preparation of audited financial statements for the fourth quarter of 2022 and, as a result, our final results upon completion of our closing procedures may vary from the preliminary estimates.