Noble Corp PLC is a Swiss corporation. The Company is an offshore drilling contractor for the oil and gas industry. It performs contract drilling services with its fleet of mobile offshore drilling units. The Company also owns one floating production storage and offloading unit. The Company typically employs each drilling unit under an individual contract. The Company's drilling contracts generally contain the following terms: contract duration extending over a specific period of time or a period necessary to drill a defined number wells; provisions permitting early termination of the contract by the customer if the unit is lost or destroyed or if operations are suspended for a specified period of time due to breakdown of equipment; provisions allowing the impacted party to terminate the contract if specified force majeure"events beyond the contracting parties' control occur for a defined period of time; payment of compensation to the Company (generally in U.S. Dollars although some customers, typically national oil companies, require a part of the compensation to be paid in local currency) on a daywork basis, so that it receives a fixed amount for each day (dayrate) that the drilling unit is operating under contract (a lower rate or no compensation is payable during periods of equipment breakdown and repair or adverse weather or in the event operations are interrupted by other conditions, some of which may be beyond its control); payment by the Company of the operating expenses of the drilling unit, including labor costs and the cost of incidental supplies; and provisions that allow the Company to recover certain cost increases from its customers in certain long-term contracts.The Company conducts its contract drilling operations principally in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, the North Sea, the Mediterranean, West Africa, the Middle East, India, Asia and Australia. The Company performs services for drilling and workover activities covering one platform with two drilling units off the east coast of Canada. The offshore contract drilling industry is a competitive and cyclical business characterized by high capital and maintenance costs. It competes with other providers of offshore drilling rigs. Political developments and numerous governmental regulations, which might relate directly or indirectly to the contract drilling industry, affect many aspects of its operations.
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