Blackford Dolphin rig; Source: Dolphin Drilling

Multi-million drilling job takes Dolphin semi-sub rig to India

Offshore drilling contractor Dolphin Drilling has secured a long-term contract for one of its semi-submersible rigs with Oil India Limited, an exploration and production company, for operations off the coast of India.

Blackford Dolphin rig; Source: Dolphin Drilling

After emerging as the lowest bidder in Oil India Limited’s rig tender in September 2023, Dolphin Drilling also got a letter of award (LOA) with the same company for a drilling campaign covering a 14-month firm period, extendable by another seven months, in October 2023. The LOA was subject to a final contract.

According to the rig owner, the award of a drilling contract for the Blackford Dolphin semi-submersible rig has now been received from the Indian player. The deal spans a firm three-well drilling campaign over 14 months, representing a firm value of $154 million for the rig and associated services, plus an optional period of seven months.

Bjørnar Iversen, CEO of Dolphin Drilling, commented: “We are delighted to have been selected by Oil India Ltd for this important drilling contract. This partnership is a testament to our track record of operational excellence, safety, and reliability. We look forward to leveraging our expertise to support Oil India’s objectives and contribute to the success of their projects.”

Thanks to this agreement, Dolphin Drilling will deploy the Blackford Dolphin rig to support Oil India’s exploration and development activities with operations planned to kick off in the second half of 2024.

The 1974-built Blackford Dolphin is a semi-submersible drilling rig of an enhanced Aker H-3 design and can accommodate 120 people.  At the start of December 2023, the offshore drilling player announced the termination of a contract for the rig with Peak Petroleum.

At the end of the same month, a formal notice of legal action was received from Peak Petroleum, disputing the termination of the contract. Dolphin Drilling owns a fleet of four high technical standard fourth and fifth-generation enhanced Aker H3 and H4 units: Borgland Dolphin, Blackford Dolphin, Paul B. Loyd, Jr., and Dolphin Leader.

Recently, the company sold its Bideford Dolphin rig for scrap to optimize its fleet and enhance operational efficiency.