Noble Energy
Noble Energy, Inc. of Houston, Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 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
Fortune 1000
Fortune 1000 is a reference to a list maintained by the American business magazine Fortune. The list is of the 1000 largest American companies, ranked on revenues alone...

 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
Noble Corporation
Noble Corporation is the modern name of Noble Drilling Corporation, by which it was known through the 1990s. The company was part of the S&P 500 stock market index until 3/26/2009, when the headquarters were transferred to Switzerland. Noble Corporation is a major contract driller of oil and...

, an S&P 500
S&P 500
The S&P 500 is a free-float capitalization-weighted index published since 1957 of the prices of 500 large-cap common stocks actively traded in the United States. The stocks included in the S&P 500 are those of large publicly held companies that trade on either of the two largest American stock...


In South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

, the company operates in Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 and Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

. In Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, Noble Energy operates in Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea, officially the Republic of Equatorial Guinea where the capital Malabo is situated.Annobón is the southernmost island of Equatorial Guinea and is situated just south of the equator. Bioko island is the northernmost point of Equatorial Guinea. Between the two islands and to the...

. And in Eurasia
Eurasia is a continent or supercontinent comprising the traditional continents of Europe and Asia ; covering about 52,990,000 km2 or about 10.6% of the Earth's surface located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres...

, it operates in the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

, the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

 and China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...


Noble is headquartered in the Northborough Tower at 100 Glenborough Drive in the Greenspoint district and in Houston.


In 1932 Noble Energy, Inc. began as Samedan Oil Corporation in southern Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

, an explorer of crude oil and natural gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

 founded by Lloyd Noble, in Ardmore, Oklahoma
Ardmore, Oklahoma
Ardmore is a business, cultural and tourism city in and the county seat of Carter County, Oklahoma, United States. As of the 2010 Census, the city had a population of 24,283, while a 2007 estimate has the Ardmore micropolitan statistical area totaling 56,694 residents...


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.

In 1972, Noble Affiliates first became publicly-traded.

Noble Affiliates was among the first independent producers to explore offshore in the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

, where it also operates onshore.

In 1980, Noble Affiliates was first listed on the New York Stock Exchange
New York Stock Exchange
The New York Stock Exchange is a stock exchange located at 11 Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, New York City, USA. It is by far the world's largest stock exchange by market capitalization of its listed companies at 13.39 trillion as of Dec 2010...

 with the ticker symbol NBL.

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
Dividends are payments made by a corporation to its shareholder members. It is the portion of corporate profits paid out to stockholders. When a corporation earns a profit or surplus, that money can be put to two uses: it can either be re-invested in the business , or it can be distributed to...

 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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
Houston, Texas
Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States, and the largest city in the state of Texas. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a population of 2.1 million people within an area of . Houston is the seat of Harris County and the economic center of , which is the ...


By April 2002 Noble Affiliates, Inc. had diversified into methanol
Methanol, also known as methyl alcohol, wood alcohol, wood naphtha or wood spirits, is a chemical with the formula CH3OH . It is the simplest alcohol, and is a light, volatile, colorless, flammable liquid with a distinctive odor very similar to, but slightly sweeter than, ethanol...

 production, and changed its name to Noble Energy, Inc.

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
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, that country's first significant hydrocarbon
In organic chemistry, a hydrocarbon is an organic compound consisting entirely of hydrogen and carbon. Hydrocarbons from which one hydrogen atom has been removed are functional groups, called hydrocarbyls....


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. 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.

External links

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