The deal is expected to close by the end of July and be accretive to Noble's cash flow immediately and earnings beginning in 2011, the company said in a written statement. Noble said that the acquisition will result in six additional floating drilling units to Noble's fleet and add about $3.2 billion in gross contract backlog over about 23 rig years.
Separately, the company said it also has agreements with
to provide 10-year contracts for two deepwater drillships and a multi-year extension on a deepwater semisubmersible.
The Shell agreements add about $4 billion in contract backlog over more than 25 rig years, Noble said.
Shares of Noble finished Friday's trading session 2.9% higher at $29.28. In Monday morning trading, Noble stock is down 0.3%, to $62.67.
-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York
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