Blackford Dolphin rig; Source: Dolphin Drilling (video)

WATCH: Semi-submersible rig sets off to Nigeria to embark on its drilling assignment

Offshore drilling contractor Dolphin Drilling has revealed that one of its semi-submersible rigs is now on its way to Nigeria, where it is expected to start its new drilling campaign in early March 2023. 

Blackford Dolphin rig; Source: Dolphin Drilling (video)

At the end of January 2023, Dolphin Drilling said that the Blackford Dolphin rig had completed its recertification for a new five-year period in Las Palmas, Spain, where it was moored quayside after it arrived on 24 November 2022. The rig underwent a special periodic survey (SPS) at the shipyard in Las Palmas, allowing for continuous work until 2028.

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In an update on Tuesday, 14 February 2023, Dolphin Drilling announced that the Blackford Dolphin had departed Las Palmas and was en route to Nigeria, following a successful shipyard campaign, which enabled the recertification for a further five years.

The rig owner says that the Blackford Dolphin semi-submersible rig is ready to start drilling operations and explains that this is “a deepwater moored unit capable of drilling in up to 6,000 ft of water with an extensive track record of working internationally. First up this time is General Hydrocarbons Limited (GHL).”

Blackford Dolphin rig; Source: Dolphin Drilling (video)

Watch Blackford Dolphin departing Las Palmas as it heads to Nigeria

Following a letter of award (LoA) for the Blackford Dolphin semi-sub rig from September 2022, the offshore drilling contractor confirmed the formal 12-month contract award in October 2022 for operations in Nigeria. At the time, the company explained that the total contract value was approximately $96 million.

At the start of January 2023, Dolphin Drilling revealed a letter of award for additional work in Nigeria in direct continuation with the previously announced contract with GHL, which contains the potential to extend the backlog by a minimum of 120 days and up to 485 days, in addition to the existing GHL backlog.

The 1974-built Blackford Dolphin is a semi-submersible drilling rig of an Enhanced Aker H-3 design. It can accommodate 120 people.