The UK competition watchdog is requesting comments on the proposed move by Noble and Maersk Drilling to sell five jackup rigs to address competition concerns over the anticipated merger between the two offshore drillers.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said in April it had found that the merger of the two trilling giants could increase operating costs for oil and gas producers in the North Sea. As part of the remedy, the NYSE-listed Noble will offload the Noble Hans Deul, Noble Sam Hartley, Noble Sam Turner, Noble Houston Colbert, and Noble Lloyd Noble for $375m.
The divestment also includes, inter alia, management and all offshore crew for each of the rigs and Noble’s leased office space and storage yard space if required by the purchaser Shelf Drilling.
The CMA has until September 1, 2022, to consider whether to accept the undertakings or a modified version of them and is now consulting publicly on whether the proposals are sufficient to address its competition concerns.
Before reaching a final decision, the CMA is inviting interested parties to make their views known before August 5, 2022.