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NOBLE DRILLING SIGNS DEFINITIVE PURCHASE AGREEMENT TO PURCHASE NINE JACKUPS; ALSO ANNOUNCES ACQUISITION OF TWO ADDITIONAL OFFSHORE RIGS

 HOUSTON, Aug. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Noble Drilling Corporation announced that the definitive purchase agreement by which Noble will acquire nine offshore jackup drilling units from the Western Company of North America was signed on Aug. 20, 1993. The company expects the closing under the agreement to take place on or before Oct. 15, 1993.
 In a separate transaction, Noble Drilling has agreed to purchase two offshore submersible drilling rigs and related drilling equipment from Portal Rig Corporation for 656,410 shares of Noble Drilling Corporation common stock. The Portal 201 and Portal 202, originally constructed in 1982, are both in the Gulf of Mexico and are currently idle. The shares will be issued to Portal Rig Corporation pursuant to a private placement, and the company will have no obligation to register the resale of the shares under the Securities Act of 1933. The company's acquisition of these two rigs is expected to close in September 1993.
 The addition of these two rigs and the nine Western rigs will bring the Noble Drilling offshore rig fleet to a total of 33 units comprised of 19 jackups, eight submersible rigs, four posted barges and two platform rigs.
 As previously announced, Noble Drilling has filed separate registration statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the proposed public offering of 10,500,000 shares of common stock of the company (including 34,000 shares being sold by selling stockholder) and $125 million aggregate principal amount of Senior Notes Due 2003. The closing of each offering will be conditioned upon the simultaneous closing of the other offering and the simultaneous closing of the Western acquisition.
 Registration statements relating to the common stock and the senior notes have been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission but have not yet become effective. These securities may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statements become effective. This new release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any State in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such State.
 Noble Drilling Corporation is a major drilling contractor providing offshore and onshore services worldwide with operations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Africa, the Middle East and the Far East. The company's outstanding common stock and preferred stock are traded on the NASDAQ/NMS under the symbols "NDCO" and "NDCOP", respectively.
 -0- 8/23/93
 /CONTACT: Byron L. Welliver, senior vice president - finance and treasurer, Noble Drilling, 713-974-3131/
 (NDCO)


CO: Noble Drilling Corporation ST: Texas IN: OIL SU:

LG -- NY030 -- 5002 08/23/93 11:07 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 23, 1993
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