Rig: Byford Dolphin

Name Byford Dolphin
Owner Byford Dolphin Pte. Ltd.
Manager Dolphin Drilling Ltd.
Rig Type Semisub
Sub Type Midwater Floater
Jackup Type --
Max Water Depth (ft) 1500
Max Drill Depth (ft) 20000
Dimensions (ft) 355 x 221 x 120
Leg Length (ft) --
Competitive Yes

Current Location

Country --
Region --

Drilling Equipment

Drawworks Type National Oilwell Varco 1625 DE
Drawworks HP 2400
Mud Pumps Type National Oilwell Varco 12-P-160 Triplex
Top Drive National Oilwell Varco TDS-4
Hookload Capacity (lbs) 1200000

Rig Construction Details

Rig Design Aker
Rig Model H-3
Year Built 1974
Country of Build Norway
Yard Name Verdal Shipyard
Group Yard Name Aker ASA

Rig Contract Details

Operating Status Retired

Rig Images


12 Nov 2015

Harland and Wolff completes Byford Dolphin Contract

Harland and Wolff completed the dry docking and SPS Class Renewal Survey of the Byford Dolphin Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU) during the summer. The rig left Belfast following a six-month dry docking in the ship yard's main Building Dock. Harland and Wolff Director of Marine and Offshore Unit Repair, James Lappin, said "Over the years Harland and Wolff and Dolphin Drilling have collaborated on several occasions, having fabricated pontoons, column extensions, power generation and accommodation modules for other vessels in the Dolphin fleet."

14 Jan 2015

'Byford Dolphin' to head to H&W for SPS

Harland and Wolff (“H&W”) has announced it has been awarded the contract award for the dry docking and Renewal / Special Periodic Survey of the Byford Dolphin Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (“MODU”) by Aberdeen-based Dolphin Drilling Limited (“Dolphin”). Following on the successful completion of its sister rig the Blackford Dolphin in 2014, the Byford Dolphin project is expected to commence early in 2015. H&W and Dolphin will implement an integrated project organisation dedicated solely to the successful execution of the project covering the many disciplines, aspects and subcontractors of the scope. Last in Belfast during 2004/2005, this Aker-H3 design semi-submersible drilling rig will have several major modifications and upgrades including the fabrication and addition of 2 new columns and 4 buoyancy boxes for stability and deck load improvements, fitting of a new larger blow out preventer (BOP) requiring underdeck stiffening and the fabrication and installation of a new BOP control house and installation of new drill string handling equipment. The project will also include numerous standard renewal and maintenance scopes of work such as repairs, renewals and refurbishment of pipework, steelwork, anodes, drilling equipment, electrical systems, propulsion machinery and accommodation areas. H&W have already begun an intense 3 month period of pre-fabrication where new steel sections will be constructed in advance of the rig arrival.

23 Aug 2002

Dolphin charter terminated

A charter with rig contractor Dolphin for the Byford Dolphin drilling unit has been terminated by Statoil. “Safety on this rig does not meet contractual requirements, and new measures adopted after a fatal accident on 17 April have not been satisfactorily followed up,” says Henrik Carlsen, executive vice president for Exploration & Production Norway. Although the termination takes effect immediately, operations on Byford Dolphin will be wound down in a safe way. The charter originally ran until 8 October.

30 Nov 2001

Dolphin to Sigyn

yford Dolphin is now heading for the ExxonMobil-operated Sigyn field in the North Sea. The original plan was to use this drilling rig to plug a well on the Statoil-operated Mikkel field. The rig came adrift during the tow in the Norwegian Sea on 22 November. Weather conditions have been bad on the Halten Bank, and to avoid further delays Statoil decided to reassign the rig to the Sigyn field so as not to hold up the work there. The work on Mikkel is not so critical and will therefore be carried out later. Byford Dolphin is travelling at two-three knots. If everything goes according to plan the rig will arrive on the Sigyn field on 1 December, whereupon Statoil will drill and complete three production wells on assignment from ExxonMobil. Byford Dolphin will remain in block 16/7 until the end of June 2002, reports Torfinn Hellstrand, drilling and well analysis supervisor. Sigyn will be tied back to the Statoil-operated Sleipner East field. Plans call for Sigyn to come on stream in the first quarter of 2003. The licensees in Sigyn are ExxonMobil with 40 per cent, Statoil (50) and Norsk Hydro (10).

23 Nov 2001

Towline attached to ri

The Byford Dolphin drilling rig is under tow again in the Norwegian Sea after a hawser was passed on board at 06.15 today, 23 November. It will now be towed as soon as practicable to Statoil’s Mikkel field on the Halten Bank, which is where the rig was headed when the original towline was lost yesterday morning. Weather conditions in the area have improved considerably since yesterday evening. The wind has slackened considerably, according to reports from Byford Dolphin.

22 Nov 2001

Rig adrift in Norwegian Sea

The Byford Dolphin drilling rig has been adrift in the Halten Bank area of the Norwegian Sea since it escaped from a tow at 07.30 today, 22 November. This unit was on its way to plug a well on Statoil’s Mikkel field. All 71 crew on board are in good condition, and the position is not considered critical. Weather in the area is reportedly poor, with snow flurries and high seas. Waves have a significant height of 7.7 metres. The rig has its own propulsion machinery, and is moving under control at a speed of 1.3 knots between the Draugen and Njord platforms. Its course does not present any risk of collision with nearby installations. The first priority is to get new towlines on board the rig. Anchorhandlers Northern Chaser and Pacific Banner are shadowing it. In addition, anchorhandler Northern Crusader is on its way from Kristiansund in mid-Norway. Several other vessels and helicopters are also standing by. A search and rescue (SAR) helicopter normally stationed on Statoil’s Heidrun platform is ready to take off at short notice from the Ørland airfield. The joint rescue coordination centre for southern Norway has mobilised a Sea King helicopter from Ørland to Shell’s Draugen platform. Standby ships are also available in the area, with Strihauk near Byford Dolphin and Ocean Sky between Draugen and Njord. Skandi Stord is between Heidrun and Åsgard.

22 Nov 2001

Rig still adrift

Efforts to get a new towline aboard the Byford Dolphin drilling rig, adrift in the Norwegian Sea, will start early tomorrow morning, 23 November, or as soon as the weather permits. Weather conditions in the Halten Bank area, where the rig lost its tow at 07.30 today, should have improved by then. Byford Dolphin is still drifting southwards under its own limited engine power. It has passed the Draugen and Njord fields, well clear of their installations. “The 54 crew on board are all fine,” reports Harald Mortensen, Statoil's drilling superintendent. “They’re sleeping, working and eating normally, and their mood is good.” There have been snow flurries and high seas in the area today. But weather forecasters say the wind is likely to slacken in the morning hours. Anchorhandlers Northern Chaser and Pacific Banner are shadowing the rig, and a third ship – Northern Crusader – is due to arrive around midnight. Additional vessels and helicopters are on standby. Byford Dolphin had 71 people on board when it lost the tow this morning. Seventeen have since flown ashore by helicopter as part of the regular crew change, but no new personnel replaced them. The rig was on its way to Statoil’s Mikkel field to plug a well.

2 Oct 2001

Dry well in Skuld

Operator Statoil has completed an exploration well in the Skuld prospect in production licence 265 in the North Sea without finding oil or gas. Production licence 265 with blocks 16/2 and 16/3 was awarded to Statoil and the partners in last year’s North Sea licensing round. The blocks lie directly south of the Balder and Grane fields, which are operated by ExxonMobil and Norsk Hydro respectively. The purpose of well 16/2-2 was to test the hydrocarbon potential of the Tertiary rocks in the Skuld prospect. The well was drilled to a depth of 1855 metres below sea level with the drilling rig Byford Dolphin. Water depth in the area is 120 metres. Morten Sola, acting sector manager for the North Sea, reports that the licensees in licence 265 are committed to drilling two wells. The results from the first well will be evaluated before it is decided where to locate the next, he says. One well has been drilled earlier in block 16/2 – in 1967 in production licence 001. Exxon was operator at the time, and traces of hydrocarbons were found. Statoil has a 30 per cent stake in the production licence. The state’s direct financial interest has 30 per cent, ExxonMobil has 25 per cent and Enterprise Oil has 15 per cent.

18 Sep 2001

Drilling on Skuld

Statoil has commenced drilling exploration well 16/2-2 in the North Sea with the Byford Dolphin rig. The purpose is to determine whether there is oil or gas in the Skuld prospect. Skuld lies directly south of the Balder and Grane fields, which are operated by ExxonMobil and Norsk Hydro respectively. The well will be drilled in tertiary layers to a total depth of 1,900 metres. Drilling will take three to four weeks, reports Morten Sola, acting sector manager for the North Sea. The Skuld well is being drilled in production licence 265, which was awarded to Statoil and its partners in last year’s North Sea licensing round. Operator Statoil has a 30 per cent stake in the licence. The other partners are the state’s direct financial interest (30 per cent), ExxonMobil (25 per cent) and Enterprise Oil (15 per cent). Byford Dolphin recently finished drilling an exploration well for Statoil in the B prospect near the Sleipner area in the North Sea.

18 Sep 2001

Duster in the B prospect

Statoil has finished drilling exploration well 24/12-4 near the Sleipner area in the North Sea without finding oil or gas. The B prospect lies in block 24/12 of production licence 204, which was awarded in 1996. One well has previously been drilled in the block. On that occasion small amounts of oil were proven. Morten Sola, acting sector manager in the unit new areas North Sea reports that the well has provided useful information about the area: “We will now consider further activity in light of the results from this well and the find that was made in the previous one.” Licence 204, which consists of blocks 24/9, 11 and 12, lies halfway between the Statoil-operated Sleipner fields and TotalFinaElf’s Frigg field on the border with the British continental shelf. Operator Statoil has a 35 per cent stake. The state’s direct financial interest has 30 per cent, whilst the other licensees are Amerada Hess (20 per cent) and Enterprise Oil (15 per cent).

31 Aug 2001

Byford drills the B prospect

The drilling rig Byford Dolphin has commenced drilling an appraisal well near the Sleipner area of the North Sea. The purpose of the well is to test the hydrocarbon potential in the B prospect in block 24/12. “We hope to make a large enough oil find that can be developed later,” reports sector manager Øivind A Dahl-Stamnes in the new areas, North Sea unit. The well is being drilled in production licence 204. The licence, which consists of blocks 24/9 and 24/12, was awarded in the 15th licensing round in 1996. The blocks lie half-way between the Statoil-operated Sleipner fields and TotalFinaElf’s Frigg field on the border with the UK continental shelf. A well was previously drilled in the licence, 24/12-3S. A small oil find was made there, but the proven reserves were not large enough to warrant a development. The well currently being drilled, 24/12-4, will test Palaeolithic sandstone layers. It will be drilled to a total depth of around 2,300 metres and is expected to be finished in the middle of September. Statoil is operator for the licence with a 35 per cent stake. The other partners are Petoro (30 per cent), Amerada Hess (20 per cent) and Enterprise Oil (15 per cent).

10 Apr 2001

Parallel drilling on Glitne

Time and money have been saved on Statoil’s Glitne development in the North Sea by completing the wells in parallel rather than sequentially. When working on four producers and an injector on the field, Byford Dolphin departed from the normal one-at-a-time approach by drilling all the upper parts first and then the lower sections. “The licensees have probably saved NOK 30-35 million with this procedure,” says Gunnar Sund, manager for drilling and well operations on Glitne. The wells have now been completed and are being readied for production. Testing of the producers started this weekend. Production ship Petrojarl 1 will bring the field on stream in July, with an expected producing life of roughly 30 months. Once Byford Dolphin has completed its work, anchors for Petrojarl 1 will be set and flexible risers prepared for retrieval from the seabed and connection once the ship is in place.

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