Document And Entity Information (USD $)
In Billions, except Share data, unless otherwise specified
3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2013
Apr. 08, 2013
Jun. 30, 2012
Document And Entity Information [Abstract]      
Entity Registrant Name NOBLE ENERGY INC    
Entity Central Index Key 0000072207    
Current Fiscal Year End Date --12-31    
Entity Well-known Seasoned Issuer Yes    
Entity Voluntary Filers No    
Entity Current Reporting Status Yes    
Entity Filer Category Large Accelerated Filer    
Entity Public Float     $ 15.1
Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding   179,314,474  
Document Fiscal Year Focus 2013    
Document Fiscal Period Focus Q1    
Document Type 10-Q    
Amendment Flag false    
Document Period End Date Mar. 31, 2013