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Press release from PR Newswire

Noble Energy Announces Santiago Discovery and Increases Projected Galapagos Production

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Noble Energy Announces Santiago Discovery and Increases Projected Galapagos Production07:55 EDT Tuesday, May 31, 2011HOUSTON, May 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NBL) announced today a discovery at the Santiago exploration prospect in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The well, located in 6,500 feet of water on Mississippi Canyon Block 519, was drilled to a total depth of approximately 18,920 feet. Open-hole logging identified approximately 60 feet of oil pay in a high-quality Miocene reservoir. Noble Energy is the operator at Santiago with a 23.25 percent working interest.Santiago is the third discovery in the Company's Galapagos project, in addition to the prior successes at Santa Cruz and Isabela. Total gross resources discovered in the larger Galapagos project, including the Santiago well, are estimated by Noble Energy to be 130 million barrels of oil equivalent. Approximately 75 percent of the discovered resources are oil.Charles D. Davidson, Noble Energy's Chairman and CEO, said, "The discovery at Santiago is a great way to resume our drilling program in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The well results were very consistent with our pre-drill expectations, and our teams did an outstanding job in the midst of a changing operating environment. We expect all three wells at Galapagos to be online in early 2012, and we are increasing the project's total net production impact to Noble Energy to over ten thousand barrels of oil per day. This major project will deliver significant near-term production and cash flow for our business."In late February 2011, the Company received the industry's first drilling permit after the deepwater Gulf of Mexico moratorium for the Santiago prospect, where drilling was suspended in June 2010. Drilling operations resumed in early April 2011 following multiple reviews of operating and response plans, as well as third-party certifications of well designs and equipment.   Utilizing the Ensco 8501 drilling rig, the Company will immediately proceed with completion operations at Santiago. Those operations are expected to last approximately two months, after which the Company is planning to return to drilling the Deep Blue prospect (Green Canyon 723). Following Deep Blue, the Company is planning to spud an appraisal well at the Gunflint discovery (Mississippi Canyon 948). Other interest owners in the Santiago discovery are Houston Energy, L.P. with 10 percent, Red Willow Offshore, LLC with 20.25 percent, and BP Exploration & Production Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of BP America Inc. with the remaining 46.5 percent.  Noble Energy is a leading independent energy company engaged in worldwide oil and gas exploration and production. The Company has core operations onshore in the U.S., primarily in the DJ Basin, in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, offshore Eastern Mediterranean, and offshore West Africa. Noble Energy is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is traded under the ticker symbol NBL. Further information is available at www.nobleenergyinc.com.This news release includes projections and other "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Such projections and statements reflect Noble Energy's current views about future events and financial performance. No assurances can be given that such events or performance will occur as projected, and actual results may differ materially from those projected. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected include, without limitation, the volatility in commodity prices for crude oil and natural gas, the presence or recoverability of estimated reserves, drilling and operating risks, exploration and development risks, government regulation or other action, the ability of management to execute its plans to meet its goals, competition, the ability to replace reserves, environmental risks and other risks inherent in Noble Energy's business that are detailed in its Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Words such as "anticipates," "believes," "expects," "intends," "will," "should," "may," and similar expressions may be used to identify forward-looking statements. Noble Energy assumes no obligation and expressly disclaims any duty to update the information contained herein except as required by law. Cautionary Note to Investors -- The Securities and Exchange Commission prohibits oil and gas companies, in their filings with the SEC, from disclosing estimates of oil or gas resources other than "reserves," as that term is defined by the SEC. We use certain terms in this news release, such as "total gross resources," which describes quantities of oil and gas that may not meet the SEC's definitions of proved, probable and possible reserves, and which the SEC's guidelines strictly prohibit us from including in filings with the SEC. These estimates are by their nature more speculative than estimates of proved reserves and accordingly are subject to substantially greater risk of being recovered by us. Investors are urged to consider closely the disclosures and risk factors in our Forms 10-K and 10-Q, File No. 1-07964, available from Noble Energy's offices or website, www.nobleenergyinc.com. These forms can also be obtained from the SEC by calling 1-800-SEC-0330.SOURCE Noble Energy, Inc.For further information: David Larson, +1-281-872-3125, dlarson@nobleenergyinc.com or Brad Whitmarsh, +1-281-872-3187, bwhitmarsh@nobleenergyinc.com