The Noble Discoverer drillship. Image courtesy of Shell/Flickr.

Royal Dutch Shell cancelled its contract on Friday for the Noble Discoverer drillship.

Noble Corporation said in its latest fleet status report that Shell terminated its contract for “convenience.”

Shell will pay Noble for the remaining contract term at 90 percent of the rig’s operating dayrate, adjusted for certain items.

The rig is currently being mobilized to Singapore where Noble expects to stack the vessel.

The Noble Discoverer was a key part of Shell’s disappointing Arctic campaign this past summer.

The vessel left Alaska in early October after Shell announced that it would be pulling out of the U.S. Arctic for the foreseeable future.

Last December, Noble Corporation agreed to pay $12.2 million to settle felony charges brought by the U.S. Department of Justice tied to the vessel’s drilling operations in offshore Alaska.

The Noble Discoverer drillship suffered numerous problems with its main propulsion system and main engine, causing equipment failures, engine shutdowns and creating unsafe conditions while under contract with Shell in 2012 for work at the Chukchi Sea.

UK-based Noble acknowledged that it failed to report the hazardous conditions to the U.S. Coast Guard and said when the fine was announced that it had made “significant improvements” to the Discoverer since the issues were reported.

The fine also settled charges that the company failed to keep proper records for its operation of the Shell-owned Kulluk drilling ship that ran aground in December 2012 while returning from work in the Beaufort Sea.


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