Noble Corporation, an offshore drilling contractor, has entered into an agreement for the construction of two high-specification harsh environment jackup drilling rigs with Sembcorp Marine's subsidiary Jurong Shipyard in Singapore.

The new units are scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2012 and second quarter of 2013, respectively.

Total delivered costs are estimated at approximately $220m per rig, including project management, spares, and start-up costs, but excluding capitalized interest.

The contract also contains options for up to four additional units which must be exercised by 1 January 2012.

Each option unit is priced based on the original unit price, plus a potential escalation factor, with future deliveries scheduled in six month increments beginning in late 2013.