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, West Africa, and the North Sea. In 2012 Noble reported proved reserves of about 1.1 billion barrels of oil equivalent. The company markets natural gas and oil.
Noble's five core areas are the DJ Basin (onshore US); the Marcellus Shale (onshore US); the deepwater Gulf of Mexico (offshore US); offshore West Africa; and offshore Eastern Mediterranean. Outside of the US it has offices in Cameroon, China, Cyprus, Equatorial Guinea, Israel, Nicaragua, and the UK.
Sales and Marketing
Crude oil, natural gas, condensate and NGLs produced in the US are sold under short-term and long-term contracts at market-based prices adjusted for location and quality. Crude oil and condensate are distributed through pipelines and by trucks and rail cars to gatherers, transportation companies and refineries.
In Israel, Noble sells natural gas from the Mari-B, Noa and Pinnacles fields, and have contracted to sell natural gas from the Tamar field, under long-term contracts.
The company's UK North Sea crude oil production is transported by tanker and sold on the spot market. In China, it sells crude oil into the local market through pipelines under a long-term contract at market-based prices.
Sales to Glencore Energy accounted for 31% of 2012 total oil, gas, and NGL sales, or 39% of 2012 crude oil sales. Shell Trading (US) Company and Shell International Trading and Shipping Limited accounted for 14% of 2012 total oil, gas, and NGL sales, or 17% of crude oil sales.
Noble's revenues increased by 12% in 2012 due to higher sales volumes in the DJ Basin thansk to the acceleration of horizontal drilling programs in the Wattenberg area; the commencement of production at Galapagos and South Raton in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico; higher sales volumes in Equatorial Guinea due to the commencement of oil production at Aseng during the fourth quarter of 2011; and an increase in average realized prices primarily due to higher Brent pricing resulting from the recovery of the global economy.
Net income increased by 127% in 2012 due higher revenues, an increase in gain on divestitures, an increase in gain on commodity derivative instruments, a decrease in asset impairment charges, and a gain on divestitures related to the sale of certain non-core onshore US assets.
Except for the revenue decline in 2009 the company saw an upward trend in revenues from 2008 to 2012. While overall sales volumes have remained about the same from year to year the slump in 2009 was due to a decline in average realized prices because of decreased demand for natural gas and oil as the result of the global recession.
Noble focuses on organic growth from exploration and development drilling and augments that with a periodic, opportunistic new business development (mergers and acquisitions). To manage the portfolio for superior returns and to ensure geographic portfolio diversification, it makes periodic divestments of non-core assets.
In 2012 Noble sold three onshore US properties in Kansas, western Oklahoma, western Texas, and the Texas Panhandle for $1 billion. The properties included interests in about 1,400 producing wells on approximately 109,000 net acres.
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.
FMR holds 15% of the company, Capitol World Investors, 8.6%.
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.