Blackford Dolphin rig; Source: Dolphin Drilling

Temporary restraining order against Dolphin Drilling rig lifts but court proceedings still ongoing

Norway-headquartered offshore drilling contractor Dolphin Drilling has managed to persuade the court to change its mind about an ex parte order of arrestment that was in force against its semi-submersible rig. However, the efforts to oppose claims made by Technova Africa International (Technova) at a Nigerian court are still in progress.

Blackford Dolphin rig; Source: Dolphin Drilling

After a judge decided to uphold an interim injunction order, which Lagos-based General Hydrocarbons Limited (GHL) obtained to maintain the status quo and stop Dolphin Drilling from demobilizing or removing the Blackford Dolphin rig, following the termination of the rig contract, the Norwegian player planned to seek the discharge of the interim injunction with the appointed arbitrator.

At the time, the rig owner also received service of Nigerian court proceedings in an action brought by Technova, which obtained an ex parte order of arrestment against the Blackford Dolphin rig. Dolphin Drilling has now confirmed that the arrest order has been lifted but the claims made by Technova continue to be contested.

The 1974-built Blackford Dolphin is a semi-submersible drilling rig of an enhanced Aker H-3 design and can accommodate 120 people. The semi-sub was slated to depart Nigeria and go to India to embark on its new drilling campaign with Oil India Limited in the second half of 2024.

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Dolphin Drilling is currently taking steps to optimize its fleet. While one of the firm’s rigs is in Las Palmas for reactivation ahead of its work in the UK, another is being sold for recycling.