• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Dolphin drilling clears Nigeria dispute, heads to India

Dolphin drilling clears Nigeria dispute, heads to India

Norwegian deepwater drilling company Dolphin has made significant progress in Nigeria, allowing its detained drilling rig to move to its next job in India.

Dolphin Drilling had been caught in a legal tussle with Nigeria’s General Hydrocarbons Limited (GHL) since the latter half of last year. This dispute had prevented Dolphin from mobilising its semi-submersible rig, Blackford Dolphin, for its next assignment in India.

The Norwegian company, which aimed to have the interim injunction lifted through an appointed arbitrator, successfully got the ex parte order of arrestment against the Blackford Dolphin rig lifted last month. Despite this success, Dolphin Drilling still faced ongoing Nigerian court proceedings related to claims made by Technova Africa International (Technova).

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Dolphin Drilling recently announced the submission of a $20 million bank guarantee and the removal of the Blackford Dolphin rig from Nigerian waters. The company confirmed that the rig would continue its transit to India to commence its next drilling contract. Additionally, Dolphin Drilling is negotiating a debt facility underwritten by DNB Markets, part of DNB Bank, to secure the necessary funding.

The semi-submersible rig was set to leave Nigeria and head to India for a drilling campaign with Oil India Limited in the latter half of 2024. This three-well campaign is expected to last 14 months and is valued at $154 million for the rig and its services. The agreement also includes an optional extension of seven months.

The Blackford Dolphin, constructed in 1974, is an enhanced Aker H-3 design semi-submersible rig with a capacity for 120 personnel. Dolphin Drilling is currently streamlining its fleet. One rig is undergoing reactivation in Las Palmas for upcoming operations in the UK, while another is being sold for recycling.