Borgland Dolphin drilling rig; Source: Dolphin Drilling

Dolphin Drilling rig comes to shipyard in Las Palmas for 10-month stay ahead of UK gig

Spain-based shipping agency and logistics operator Canarship has confirmed the arrival of a semi-submersible rig to Astilleros Canarios (Astican) in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Canary Islands), off the north-west coast of Africa and at the crossroads of the Atlantic linking Europe, Africa, and the Americas. Dolphin Drilling, an offshore drilling contractor, owns this rig.

Borgland Dolphin drilling rig; Source: Dolphin Drilling

According to Canarship, its team in Las Palmas has assisted with docking operations for the Borgland Dolphin rig, along with port services and Astican. The rig will spend about ten months at the Astican facilities. During this time, repair tasks are expected to be carried out. These are related to the reactivation of the rig, which was towed by the Alp Striker support vessel.

“Thanks to our entire team for their dedication throughout the service! We are proud to have the trust of the Borgland Dolphin crew and to be in charge of this important operation,” highlighted Canarship.

The rig is slated to leave the ship repair yard during the first quarter of 2025 to embark on a journey to the United Kingdom (UK), where it will start its 137-day drilling contract with EnQuest. Thanks to a letter of intent from December 2023, the Borgland Dolphin semi-submersible will begin a 500-day drilling campaign in the UK after the 137-day assignment.

While the name of the company that hired the rig on the 500-day deal has not been disclosed, EnQuest’s rig contract contained an extension option for a significant additional work scope as part of a strategic five-year alliance with Dolphin Drilling. However, the rig owner also explained in November 2023 that it would have schedule flexibility during those five years.

Dolphin Drilling also confirmed the arrival of its Borgland Dolphin rig in Las Palmas, adding that during the Astican shipyard stay, the unit would undergo a full five-year class renewal survey, including an additional ten-bed upgrade. Afterward, the semi-sub is expected to return to the UK to begin drilling operations with EnQuest in early 2025, based on the offshore drilling player’s statement.

With a weight of 18,000 tons, a length of 109 meters, and a beam of 67 meters supported by 12 sturdy pillars, the Borgland Dolphin semi-submersible drilling rig was built in 1977 by Harland & Wolff. The rig received major upgrades back in 1998/1999. The semi-sub 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.

A few months ago, Dolphin Drilling expanded its fleet by acquiring 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. 

Recently, Dolphin Drilling ran into arbitration issues in Nigeria, where another one of its rigs worked for Lagos-based General Hydrocarbons Limited (GHL). At the end of May 2024, the company was also preparing to dispute court proceedings in an action brought by Technova Africa International Limited (Technova).