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Jackups Noble John Sandifer and Noble Sam Noble have completed extension terms with Pemex and have been released. The now warm-stacked rigs join the Noble Eddie Paul and Noble Leonard Jones, which were released earlier this year. Noble has five additional jackups with contract terms that expire by the end of 2010.


Rowan Companies, Inc.’s newbuild jackup Joe Douglas has a commitment in place from McMoRan Exploration Co. for an ultra-deep well upon delivery in September 2011. Once signed, it will mark the fifth Rowan jackup to work for McMoRan. Jackup Rowan EXL-1 is now on location in Eugene Island Block 223 to begin a 300-day well for McMoRan after the operator received permit approval last week. Drilling will keep the rig busy through at least next July. The rig had been working for McMoRan in High Island Block A-531. Meanwhile, newbuild jackup Rowan EXL-II has departed the Gulf, enroute to Trinidad where it has a three-year contract with BP starting by the end of October.


Rowan also reports that jackup Bob Palmer is now in Sabine Pass preparing to depart the Gulf for a three-year contract for Saudi Aramco which begins early second quarter next year. Rowan was able to secure an early ship and the rig is expected to load out on October 15. It was originally scheduled to depart in late December with the Ralph Coffman. That rig is not scheduled to finish its well with McMoRan until sometime in December, so it will maintain its originally scheduled departure date of December 23. It also has a three-year contract with Saudi Arabia scheduled to begin in late second quarter of 2011. Finally, Rowan has renamed the recently purchased newbuild Skeie Drilling & Production ASA jackups. The SKDP I is now the Rowan Viking, which will be delivered in October. The SKDP II is now the Rowan Stavanger, which will be delivered in January 2011 and the SKDP III is now called the Rowan Norway, which will be delivered in June 2011. None of the three jackups currently have contracts in place.


Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. has cold stacked jackup Ocean Spartan. The rig has been idle in Diamond’s stacking location in West Cameron Block 184 since late August. The move leaves Diamond with just two marketed jackups in the Gulf of Mexico.


Market reports indicate that Chevron Corp. will not extend its contract with Diamond Offshore’s jackup Ocean Columbia. It is believed the rig will wrap up work in South Marsh Island Block 229 late this week and will be released. Diamond currently does not have any followup work in place, and it will be moved to the company’s stacking location in West Cameron Block 184. Meanwhile, jackup Ocean Titan will complete its current contract with Ankor Energy LLC in early-to-mid October, but indications are that the rig may be extended pending resolution of permitting delays.

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