HOUSTON, Sept. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NBL) today announced that it has entered into a 36 month contract with a subsidiary of Atwood Oceanics Inc. (NYSE: ATW) for a new build drillship to support its global new ventures efforts in deepwater exploration and development. The agreement demonstrates the Company's commitment to global offshore exploration. The drillship Atwood Advantage is currently under construction by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd. in South Korea. Delivery is anticipated in the fourth quarter of 2013 when the rate of $584,000 per day will be initiated. The dual BOP stacks, enhanced offline capabilities, 12,000 feet water depth/40,000 feet drill depth ratings and the increased mobility will add flexibility to Noble Energy's global exploration program. The rig's advanced capabilities are sufficient to reach the deep oil target in the Eastern Mediterranean, which will be the first exploration prospect drilled. Noble Energy is a leading independent energy company engaged in worldwide oil and gas exploration and production. The Company has core operations onshore in the U.S., primarily in the DJ Basin and Marcellus Shale, in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, offshore Eastern Mediterranean, and offshore West Africa. Noble Energy is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is traded under the ticker symbol NBL. Further information is available at www.nobleenergyinc.com. This news release contains certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "anticipated," "intends," "indicates," "suggests," "possibility," "believes," "expects," "intends," "will," "should," "may," and similar expressions may be used to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are not statements of historical fact and reflect Noble Energy's current views about future events. They include planned development activities, business strategy and other plans and objectives for future operations. No assurances can be given that the forward-looking statements contained in this news release will occur as projected and actual results may differ materially from those projected. Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates and assumptions that involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. These risks include, without limitation, exploration and development risks, drilling and operating risks, the presence or recoverability of estimated reserves, the volatility in commodity prices for crude oil and natural gas, environmental risks, competition, government regulation or other actions, the ability of management to execute its plans to meet its goals and other risks inherent in Noble Energy's business that are discussed in its most recent annual report on Form 10-K and in other reports on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These reports are also available from Noble Energy's offices or website, http://www.nobleenergyinc.com. Forward-looking statements are based on the estimates and opinions of management at the time the statements are made. Noble Energy does not assume any obligation to update forward-looking statements should circumstances or management's estimates or opinions change. SOURCE Noble Energy, Inc.