Borgland Dolphin rig; Source: Dolphin Drilling

500-day assignment in UK lands on Dolphin Drilling rig’s worklist

Offshore drilling contractor Dolphin Drilling has inked a letter of intent (LOI) for a long-term drilling program, enabling one of its semi-submersible rigs to carry out operations in the UK with an undisclosed operator.

Borgland Dolphin rig; Source: Dolphin Drilling

The LOI for a 500-day drilling campaign in the UK is for the Borgland Dolphin semi-submersible rig. This assignment is planned to start directly after the 137-day drilling contract with EnQuest, which was disclosed in November 2023.

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According to Dolphin Drilling, the contract value includes an upfront cash payment and a fixed day rate. Thanks to this deal, the rig has secured backlog throughout 2025 and 2026, plus further options with schedule flexibility.

The Borgland Dolphin rig is a semi-submersible drilling rig built in 1977 by Harland & Wolff. The rig received major upgrades back in 1998/1999. It can accommodate 100 people. With a maximum drilling depth of 27,800 ft, the rig can carry out operations in water depths of 1,476 ft.

Dolphin Drilling has been working on expanding its fleet. To this end, the company set the wheels in motion to acquire two semi-submersible rigs – Paul B. Loyd Jr. and Transocean Leader – from Transocean for a total of $64.5 million and disclosed a further three-year extension for the first rig from Harbour Energy, prolonging the contract for additional three years until September 2027. 

The completion of the acquisition agreement was conditioned upon the acceptance of a material change of the Paul B. Loyd, Jr. UK HSE safety case to Dolphin Drilling as duty holder, which was expected within December 31, 2023. This has been obtained ahead of schedule.

In addition, Dolphin Drilling terminated a contract in Nigeria a few days ago for another rig with Peak Petroleum Industries Nigeria Limited due to – what it deemed to be – a continued breach of the contract. As a result of the termination, the offshore drilling player is now facing legal action.