The rig provides Kosmos with additional capacity to accelerate its West African exploration, appraisal and development drilling, particularly in Ghana where the company discovered the prolific Jubilee oil field.

Noble Energy will share the rig with Kosmos and intends to utilize it for additional drilling offshore West Africa.

Under the three-and-a-half-year agreement, Kosmos can use the Atwood Hunter for 27 months beginning in April 2009. Kosmos’s share of the drilling contract commitment is more than $400 million. Kosmos and Noble have the option to extend the drilling contract for one year.

James Musselman, Kosmos chairman and CEO, said: We are pleased to work together with Noble Energy and Atwood Oceanics, two solid companies that have vast West African experience. The historical performance of the Atwood Hunter and its operational capabilities are ideal for the deepwater conditions in the Gulf of Guinea.