Offshore drilling contractor Noble has exercised an option to purchase a second jack-up rig from the PaxOcean Group in an $83.75m deal.

The new-build CJ46 design jack-up rig will be named the Noble Joe Knight and is built to carry out operations in moderate drilling environments.

It is capable of operating in water depths up to 375ft and well depths of 30,000ft.

Noble chairman, president and CEO Julie Robertson said: “The CJ46 design is an ideal drilling unit for many applications in the Middle East and the exercise of the option is evidence of Noble’s customer-driven philosophy, including fit-for-purpose drilling solutions and superior operations execution.”

“The CJ46 design is an ideal drilling unit for many applications in the Middle East.”

Noble will pay $30.1m of the purchase price in cash, and the remaining $53.6m will be seller-financed at a 4.25% interest rate paid in cash.

Another 1.25% will be paid in kind over the term of the financing.

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Noble will make the initial payment using existing cash balances and plans to repay the secured seller-financed amount in a period of four years.

A new drilling control system, along with a versatile cantilever skidding system and two blowout preventers, supports the enhanced drilling capabilities of the jack-up rig.

The transaction is expected to conclude this month, following which the Noble Joe Knight will be relocated to a shipyard in Singapore for commissioning and final outfitting.

The jack-up rig is expected to start operations during the third quarter of this year as part of a primary term contract with Saudi Aramco for three years, plus a one-year option.

Noble has a fleet of 24 offshore drilling units, comprising 12 drillships and semi-submersibles and 12 jack-ups.