Noble Energy prizes petroleum and has the reserves to prove it. Noble Energy looks for oil and natural gas and produces and markets them in the US and internationally. US operations are in Applacahia, the West Coast, Rocky Mountains, Mid-Continent, and Gulf Coast and Gulf of Mexico regions. International operations include onshore and offshore activities in the the Asia/Pacific region, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, South America, West Africa, and the North Sea. In 2010 Noble reported proved reserves of about 4.4 trillion cu. ft. of natural gas and 365 million barrels of oil. The company markets natural gas and oil. Noble also generates electricity in Ecuador.
Noble operates an ongoing portfolio optimization program through which it acquires high quality crude oil and natural gas properties and divests non-core assets in order to maximize its long term financial returns.
In 2009 Noble made its largest exploration discovery to date, an estimated 6 trillion cu. ft. gas find at Tamar, an offshore Israel field. It also made a major find in the Galapagos oil development in the Gulf of Mexico.
However, 2009 was a tough year for the company, as the global recession and the weaker demand for oil and gas coupled with lower commodity prices led to a major drop in revenues. An improving economy, along with higher commodity prices and increased demand for oil and gas helped lift the company's revenues and net income in 2010.
That year the company faced a setback in Ecuador when that country's government terminated its Block 3 production sharing contract with subsidiary, EDC Ecuador Ltd. as part of an oil nationalization push, causing the company to reduce its book value by $66 million. The government intervention left Noble's future in Ecuador in doubt.
To boost its US assets, in 2010 it further increased its US holdings, buying Rocky Mountain properties (with estimated proved reserves of 53 million barrels of oil equivalent) from Petro-Canada Resources (USA) and Suncor Energy (Natural Gas) America for $494 million. Also that year, it sold several of its non-core assets in the Mid-Continent and Illinois basin for $552 million to Citation Oil & Gas.
Following the moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of the BP rig disaster in 2010, in 2011 Noble Energy was the first company to be awarded a permit to resume drilling in the Gulf.
Further boosting its US shale holdings, in 2011 Noble Energy teamed up with CONSOL Energy to jointly develop CONSOL's 663,350 Marcellus Shale acres in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. It agreed to pay CONSOL $3.4 billion over several years for its 50% stake.
To raise cash, in 2012 the company sold 84,000 acres of oil and gas assets in the Granite Wash, Cleveland, and Marmaton plays (western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle) to Unit Corp. for $594 million. – less