By Houston Business Journal

As expected, Noble Corp. on Monday said that Marathon Oil Co. officially terminated its contract for Nobleâ¿¿s Jim Day ultra-deepwater semi-submersible drilling rig.

In early December, Noble (NYSE: NE) received notice from Houston-based Marathon (NYSE: MRO) that Marathon intended to exercise its right of termination if the rig did not begin operations by Dec. 31. The rig would have operated in the Gulf of Mexico.

Noble, an offshore drilling contractor that maintains a large presence in Houston after moving its base to Switzerland, said the four-year contract would have added about $752 million to its backlog and that the rig was ready to begin operations on the agreed-upon date.

David Williams, Noble⿿s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement that the company was ⿿disappointed by Marathon⿿s actions.⿝

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