Noble Energy

Noble Energy
Noble Energy, Inc.
Type Public
Traded as NYSENBL
Industry Oil and gas industry
Founded 1932 (1932)
Headquarters Greenspoint, Houston, Texas, United States
Key people Charles D. Davidson, Chairman, CEO, & President
Revenue increaseUS$3.272 billion (2007)
Operating income increaseUS$1.529 billion (2007)
Net income increaseUS$944 million (2007)

Noble Energy, Inc. of Houston, Texas, United States is the modern name of Noble Affiliates Inc., by which it was known through the 1990s, and it is now an oil and natural gas exploration and production company with almost US$3 billion in revenue at #660 on the 2007 Fortune 1000 list of the largest American companies.

In 1985, Noble Affiliates spun off its subsidiary Noble Drilling Corporation to shareholders, and that company in turn went public by the early 1990s, and then became Noble Corporation, an S&P 500 company.[1]

In South America, the company operates in Argentina and Ecuador. In Africa, Noble Energy operates in Equatorial Guinea. And in Eurasia, it operates in the Mediterranean Sea, the North Sea and China.[1]

Noble is headquartered in the Northborough Tower at 100 Glenborough Drive in the Greenspoint district and in Houston.[2][3][4]



In 1932 Noble Energy, Inc. began as Samedan Oil Corporation in southern Oklahoma, an explorer of crude oil and natural gas founded by Lloyd Noble, in Ardmore, Oklahoma.[1]

By the 1970s, the company became a parent holding company named Noble Affiliates Inc., with three subsidiary business lines, the original oil and gas explorer Samedan Oil Corporation, a drilling company Noble Drilling Corporation, and a trucking company B. F. Walker.[1]

In 1972, Noble Affiliates first became publicly-traded.[1]

Noble Affiliates was among the first independent producers to explore offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, where it also operates onshore.[1]

In 1980, Noble Affiliates was first listed on the New York Stock Exchange with the ticker symbol NBL.[1]

Throughout the long bear market of the 1970s, Noble Affiliates did extremely well, as its stock price multiplied by over 29 times from its low, and split two-for-one in 1981. It had begun paying a cash dividend to shareholders in 1975, which it has continued for every year since. It earned nearly US$82 million in 1981, although it carried a long-term debt of nearly US$100 million by then. But as the early 1980s progressed, the stock settled back down to half of its earlier record peak price, as earnings steadily declined each year, until by 1985 the company was operating at a loss.[5]

In cost-saving measures, in 1984, Noble Affiliates sold the B. F. Walker trucking company, and in 1985 it spun off Noble Drilling Corporation to shareholders.[1]

In 1986, Noble Affiliates reached a peak loss for that decade, of over US$63 million, and long-term debt had grown by then to US$285 million. The stock price plunged to less than 25% of its 1970s peak price.[5]

However, by 1987, the company had recovered to marginal profitability of US$6 million, and the stock price nearly doubled off its lows of the prior year.[5]

In the late 1980s Noble Affiliates raised some cash by issuing an additional 15% of its common shares outstanding in its struggle to remain profitable and to keep debt down. By 1995, the long-term debt had grown to nearly US$380 million, but the company had grown enough that it was added to the S&P MidCap 400 index by then. Earnings had fared well through the 1990-1991 recession, but were again in decline after, so that by 1995 the company was again facing a marginal loss. The stock price nearly set a new all-time high in 1994, but by the end of 1995 it was still trading at one third below its 1970s peak price.[5]

In 1996, Noble Affiliates stock finally reached an all-time high, for the first time in well over a decade, although earnings remained marginal still in the low millions for those years of the mid 1990s.[5]

In October 2000, Charles Davidson became president and CEO of Noble Affiliates, Inc.. Also that month the company moved from Ardmore, Oklahoma to Houston, Texas.[1]

By April 2002 Noble Affiliates, Inc. had diversified into methanol production, and changed its name to Noble Energy, Inc.[1]

By 2004, Noble Energy's reserves, including offshore, had grown over fourfold since the late 1970s. It also discovered the major Mari-B reserve in offshore Israel, that country's first significant hydrocarbon resource.[1]

Current operations

In May 2010, Noble Energy, Inc., operator of the Deep Blue exploration well on Green Canyon 723 in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico successfully reached a depth of 32,684 feet.[6] The well found potential hydrocarbon reserves in multiple Miocene intervals. Noble announced plans to sidetrack the well to determine the extent and commerciality of the hydrocarbon pay zones encountered.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Noble Energy, History, Noble
  2. ^ "Northborough Tower." Transwestern. Retrieved on January 12, 2009.
  3. ^ "Boundary Map." Greenspoint Management District. December 13, 2007.
  4. ^ "Contact Us." Noble Energy. Retrieved on May 19, 2010.
  5. ^ a b c d e Standard & Poor's Stock Guide, various issues
  6. ^ Noble Energy Announces Status of Deep Blue Exploration Well PR Newswire 11 May 2010
  7. ^ Noble Energy Updates On Deep Blue Exploration Well,, 10 May 2010

External links

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