Dolphin Drilling wins $96 million contract in Nigeria.


By Chizoba Doris

Dolphin Drilling announced it has secured a 12-month contract with Nigeria-based General Hydrocarbons Limited (GHL) at a value of $96 million.

The contract for the Blackford Dolphin will commence during Q4 this year. The rig recently completed work in the Gulf of Mexico for PEMEX and will mobilize to Las Palmas for its special periodic survey prior to commencing operations in Nigeria.

Bjørnar Iversen, CEO at Dolphin Drilling, said: “We are proud to announce the final award of the Blackford Dolphin contract, proving our position in the niche moored semisubmersible market. Dolphin Drilling has attractive assets, a strong team and a solid platform to leverage on the favorable market development with improved rates. The contract for Blackford Dolphin underlines the potential of the company and its assets, and we believe Dolphin Drilling will capitalize on the continued expected tight rig market for the rest of the fleet.”

The company recently announced its activation on the Euronext N-OTC list and expects to be listed on Euronext Growth in late October. Dolphin Drilling’s fleet comprises three fourth- and fifth-generation drilling rigs – the Borgland Dolphin, Blackford Dolphin and Bideford Dolphin.

The Offshore drilling contractor announced the formal contract award, where the rig will begin 12-month operations during the fourth quarter of 2022 with a total contract value of approximately $96 million. GHL has the right to shorten the contract by up to 6 months.

Just last September Norway-based Dolphin Drilling raised $45 million through a private placement to take advantage of increased day rates in the offshore drilling market, which will enable it to cover mobilisation costs for one of its semi-submersible drilling rigs along with the reactivation of another rig in its fleet.

In a bid to capitalise on the increasing day rate environment, Dolphin Drilling undertook this equity issue, raising gross proceeds of $45 million – increased from $40 million at launch – as the private placement “attracted strong interest from high-quality institutional investors.”

The Norwegian drilling contractor owns three harsh environment semi-submersibles which have been rebuilt with 5th/6th generation topsides. Recently, the company received a letter of award (LoA) for the Blackford Dolphin rig in Nigeria at $232,500 per day plus a mobilisation fee of $12 million, starting in late 2022. The Blackford Dolphin is a semi-submersible drilling rig of an Enhanced Aker H-3 design built in 1974.

The Blackford Dolphin recently completed work in the Gulf of Mexico for Pemex, the rig will mobilize to Las Palmas for its special periodic survey prior to starting operations in Nigeria. The contract with Pemex was worth $83 million and it started in December 2020.

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