Blackford Dolphin rig; Source: Dolphin Drilling

Dolphin Drilling mulling over proposed payment plan for rig job in Nigeria

Offshore drilling contractor Dolphin Drilling is pondering over a proposed payment plan, which has been received from General Hydrocarbons Limited (GHL) for the work one of its semi-submersible rigs is undertaking in Nigeria. 

Blackford Dolphin rig; Source: Dolphin Drilling

Dolphin Drilling disclosed in its financial report from November 2023 that GHL’s past due payments represented a net $17.3 million. The drilling player has now received a part payment from General Hydrocarbons Limited along with a proposed payment plan related to the remaining past due payments. 

The company got $2 million from GHL on January 9, 2024, which brings the total collected amount since 3Q 2023 to $2.5 million. Dolphin Drilling is in the process of considering GHL’s payment plan proposal for the remaining past due payments. 

Following a letter of award (LoA) for the Blackford Dolphin semi-sub rig from September 2022, the offshore drilling contractor confirmed the formal 12-month contract award with General Hydrocarbons Limited in October 2022 for operations in Nigeria.

At the time, the company explained that the total contract value was approximately $96 million. In March 2023, the rig began its 12-month drilling contract with General Hydrocarbons Limited in Nigeria, in line with previously stated expectations.

Prior to this, Dolphin Drilling got a letter of award in January 2023 for additional work in Nigeria in direct continuation with the previously announced contract with GHL, entailing the potential to extend the backlog by a minimum of 120 days and up to 485 days.

Afterward, the drilling player inked a new contract for the semi-submersible rig with Peak Petroleum Industries Nigeria Limited (Peak Petroleum) in March 2023 for operations off Nigeria with an effective day rate associated with the minimum firm contract period of $325,000, including the mobilization fee.

However, the company announced the termination of the contract at the start of December 2023 while explaining that it took the step to break off the deal due to a continued breach of the contract by Peak Petroleum.

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At the end of the same month, a formal notice of legal action was received from Peak Petroleum, disputing the termination of the contract. The 1974-built Blackford Dolphin is a semi-submersible drilling rig of an Enhanced Aker H-3 design and can accommodate 120 people. 

Recently, Dolphin Drilling secured a long-term contract for the Borgland Dolphin semi-submersible rig with EnQuest in the UK .