Blackford Dolphin rig; Source: Dolphin Drilling

Dolphin Drilling: No ‘permanent’ restraining order in place for rig in Nigeria

Norway-headquartered offshore drilling contractor Dolphin Drilling has provided an update on an interim injunction, which Lagos-based General Hydrocarbons Limited (GHL) managed to secure in response to the Norwegian firm’s notice of termination of a drilling contract off the coast of Nigeria for a semi-submersible rig.

Blackford Dolphin rig; Source: Dolphin Drilling

After Dolphin Drilling announced the termination of a drilling contract for the Blackford Dolphin rig with General Hydrocarbons Limited and the request for arbitration to pursue the recovery of sums remaining due by GHL, the termination of the contract was disputed by the Nigerian oil and gas player, which also made an application to the African country’s courts for an interim injunction seeking to maintain status quo, pending the appointment of an arbitrator.

“GHL is portraited in Nigerian media to have been granted a permanent restraining order for the rig, which is inaccurate. This has been brought to the court’s attention, whereupon the court has directed GHL’s counsel to take steps to prevent any such further pre-emptive or prejudicial communications from being instigated by GHL, with counsel also undertaking to do so,” outlined Dolphin Drilling.

According to the Norwegian offshore drilling contractor, no new decision has been made by the Nigerian court concerning the restraining order for the Blackford Dolphin rig. The firm intends to provide more information about the issue as further developments in the arbitration and court processes occur.

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Dolphin Drilling has confirmed the appointment of a sole arbitrator, which it deems mutually acceptable. The company highlights that the Nigerian court is expected to hear arguments on May 20, 2024, on the discharge of the status quo orders earlier granted.