U.S. Coast Guard says Noble’s drill ship stable, cause of damage probed


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HOUSTON — Noble Corp’s drill ship damaged in the Gulf of Mexico by Hurricane Ida is in stable condition despite taking in water after the storm, the U.S. Coast Guard said on Friday.

The body is conducting an investigation in coordination with the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement on the cause of the incident, Lieutenant John Edwards said. Nine crew members suffered minor injuries during the storm.

“Flooding did occur in the cofferdam, but has been secured and is not rising,” Edwards said.

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The vessel, Globetrotter II, leased to Royal Dutch Shell PLC., left a drilling location early on Saturday and encountered hurricane-force conditions.

About 140 crew members were onboard when the storm hit, USCG had previously said. The ship’s master initially said the vessel was not in distress and not actively taking on water, according to the Coast Guard.

Several riser joints and the lower marine riser package separated from the rig during the storm and sank to the seabed, Noble said on Thursday.

The U.S. Coast Guard is assisting Noble in taking the vessel to a Louisiana port for repairs.

After an inspection conducted on Thursday, investigators said the vessel had adequate stability, lifesaving, and water-tight integrity. (Reporting by Sabrina Valle Editing by Chris Reese and Mark Porter)