Transocean beats Eni in lawsuit over drillship contract

Offshore driller Transocean has secured a multi-million-dollar litigation victory in the case related to a drilling contract with the Italian oil company Eni for the Deepwater Pathfinder drillship.

In the case against Eni’s subsidiary, ENI US Operating Co, Transocean was represented by a global law firm, Hogan Lovells.

According to information obtained by Offshore Energy Today, the litigation arose out of a five-year drilling contract between Transocean and Eni for the Deepwater Pathfinder drillship hired by the Italian oil company for drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico. The contract award dates back from 2008 and the contract start date was in 2010. Estimated revenues for the five-year contract amounted to $1.19 billion.

Transocean’s fleet status report from December 2014 reveals that, several years into the contract, Eni repudiated the contract for the Deepwater Pathfinder drillship. Transocean, in turn, contested the termination and took legal action to recover its lost profits.

An article published on Monday by Maritime Executive, an oil and gas and maritime industry news source, reported that Eni started the suit against Transocean back in 2013 following a long repair period on the drillship which was supposed to be working for the oil company but instead spent a lengthy period being repaired. Eni alleged that after this long repair period, the vessel’s equipment continued to suffer frequent breakdowns, the industry news source further added.

Further according to information obtained by Offshore Energy Today, Eni sought $149 million in damages from Transocean and Transocean sought to be paid its outstanding invoices through the natural end date of the contract in a three week trial that occurred in June 2017.

In a court document containing final judgement signed by the U.S. district judge Alfred H. Bennett on January 19, 2018, Eni was ordered to pay Transocean over $185.7 million in damages and pre-judgment interest. The court also awarded Transocean attorneys’ fees and costs in an amount to be assessed later.

Offshore Energy Today has reached out to Eni as well as Transocean seeking comment and further details about the case. Neither of the two companies were available for comment.

When it comes to the drillship, the 1998-built deepwater unit has been stacked since March 2015. Transocean announced its intention to retire the unit in September 2017.

Offshore Energy Today Staff