Borgland Dolphin drilling rig; Source: Dolphin Drilling

Dolphin Drilling rig wins North Sea gig

Offshore drilling contractor Dolphin Drilling has secured a long-term contract for one of its semi-submersible rigs in the UK with EnQuest.

Borgland Dolphin drilling rig; Source: Dolphin Drilling

The 137-day drilling contract, which comes with a contribution for the reactivation of the Borgland Dolphin rig, entails a further option, to be confirmed within 90 days of contract signing, enabling EnQuest to extend the deal for a significant additional work scope as part of a strategic alliance over a five-year period. Dolphin Drilling explained that it would have schedule flexibility within the five-year period.

Therefore, this contract enables the offshore drilling player to strategically position the Borgland Dolphin rig in the North Sea, where extensive, multi-year production and development well drilling as well as plug and abandonment campaigns are expected to be undertaken. Dolphin Drilling underlines that it is working with potential clients to establish flexible contracts that allow such work to be planned and executed in clusters in “a safe, efficient, and cost-effective manner.”

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.

Bjørnar Iversen, Chief Executive Officer at Dolphin Drilling, commented: “We are pleased to announce this contract award with EnQuest for the semi-submersible rig Borgland Dolphin. This flexible contract showcases our strategy within semi-submersible moored drilling operations and underlines the value-creation potential for our rig acquisitions earlier this year. Dolphin Drilling’s fleet of well-maintained and efficient rigs should serve to be attractive for our clients in the UK in order to deliver much-needed energy supply.”

The company set the wheels in motion to expand its fleet in 2Q 2023, 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. 

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.

Related Article

Within its unaudited results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2023, Dolphin Drilling revealed an EBITDA of $4.6 million, compared to $1.6 million in 2Q 2023. The firm explains that its Blackford Dolphin rig has been operating for General Hydrocarbons Limited (GHL) throughout the quarter and achieved 98.3% operational performance.

Regarding subsequent events, the company won a letter of award (LOA) for a drilling campaign in India with Oil India Limited for a 14-month firm period, extendable by another 7 months. Dolphin Drilling’s total revenue backlog is $422 million, excluding option periods, effective on November 28, 2023, including the contemplated acquisition of Paul B. Loyd, Jr. and Transocean Leader.

“The company has made good progress adding contract revenue backlog following Euronext Growth listing in 3Q 2022. As of the date of this report, we have increased total firm revenue backlog to $422 million. Adding option periods, the revenue backlog increases to $941 million. We are pleased to have secured firm work for three of our drilling rigs including the to-be-acquired rig Paul B. Loyd, Jr., delivering on our promises to return more of our stacked rigs to work,” highlighted Iversen.