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Press release from PR Newswire

Noble Corporation Board Schedules Previously Approved Regular Capital Reduction Payment to Shareholders

Friday, April 29, 2011

Noble Corporation Board Schedules Previously Approved Regular Capital Reduction Payment to Shareholders11:54 EDT Friday, April 29, 2011ZUG, Switzerland, April 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Noble Corporation (NYSE: NE) today reported that the Company's Board has set the record and payment date for a payment to shareholders in the form of a regular capital reduction.  On April 30, 2010, the shareholders of the Company approved a return of capital to shareholders through a reduction in par value in an aggregate amount equal to 0.52 Swiss francs (CHF) per share, which dividend in the form of par value reduction is to be paid in four equal installments. This installment payment is the fourth of these installments and will be in the amount of CHF 0.13 per share. The ex-dividend date for the payment of this fourth installment of the regular capital reduction is expected to be May 5, 2011, with a record date of May 9, 2011 and a payment date of May 19, 2011, subject to a required filing with the Swiss Commercial Register.  The fourth installment of the regular capital reduction will be paid in U.S. dollars based on the CHF/USD exchange rate available approximately two business days prior to the payment date.  The par value of the Company's shares is currently CHF 3.80 per share. In connection with the return of capital described above, the par value per share will be reduced by CHF 0.13 to CHF 3.67.  While the exact amount of the payment in U.S. dollars is not yet determinable, the CHF/USD exchange rate of CHF 0.8689/1.0 USD as of April 29, 2011 would result in an approximate hypothetical distribution of $0.15 per share.  We expect that this distribution will be treated as a qualified dividend for purposes of U.S. taxes. About NobleNoble is a leading offshore drilling contractor for the oil and gas industry. Noble performs, through its subsidiaries, contract drilling services with a fleet of 76 offshore drilling units (including seven ultra-deepwater rigs and four jackup drilling rigs currently under construction), located worldwide, including in the Middle East, India, the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Mexico, the Mediterranean, the North Sea, Brazil, West Africa and Asian Pacific. Noble also owns and operates a dynamically positioned floating production, storage, offloading vessel.  Noble's shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "NE". Additional information on Noble Corporation is available via the worldwide web at http://www.noblecorp.com.This news release may contain "forward-looking statements" about the business, financial performance and prospects of the Company. Statements about the Company's or management's plans, intentions, expectations, beliefs, estimates, predictions, or similar expressions for the future, including any statements regarding the payment of any dividend or capital reduction, the timing and amount of such payment or the anticipated tax treatment of any such payment, are forward-looking statements that involve certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including the making of required filings with the Swiss Commercial Register. No assurance can be given that the outcomes of these forward-looking statements will be realized, and actual results could differ materially from those expressed as a result of various factors. A discussion of these factors, including risks and uncertainties, is set forth from time to time in the Company's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.SOURCE Noble CorporationFor further information: Investors, Lee M. Ahlstrom, Vice President - Investor Relations and Planning, +1-281-276-6440, or Media, John S. Breed, Director of Corporate Communications, +1-281-276-6729, both of Noble Drilling Services Inc.