Awilco Drilling's Rig on Zero Day Rate after Equipment Failure

December 15, 2020

WilPhoenix - Credit: Ronnie Robertson - CC BY-SA 2.0
WilPhoenix - Credit: Ronnie Robertson - CC BY-SA 2.0

Awilco Drilling said Tuesday its WilPhoenix offshore drilling rig - on contract with Serica in the North Sea - had incurred technical downtime in November, and is currently on a zero day rate.

"The WilPhoenix incurred technical downtime on Monday 16th November whilst operating for Serica Energy (UK) Limited on the Rhum R3 Intervention Project," Awilco Drilling said.

According to the rig owner, repairs to the failed equipment have been completed but the rig remains on zero rate awaiting weather conditions to allow the work to continue. 

"Operations are expected to resume on or about 17th December but as a consequence of the downtime and weather delays, WilPhoenix is expected to remain at Rhum until late January 2021," said the company. It's worth noting, WilPhoenix is Awilco's only rig on a contract.

The UK-based, Oslo-listed company owns two 1980s built drilling rigs, the WilPhoenix and the WilHunter. The WilHunter has been cold-stacked since 2016 without employment prospects.

Also, the company had until recently had two new semi-submersible rigs on order with Singapore's Keppel, targeted for the Norwegian market. 

However, Awilco in June terminated a newbuild rig order with Keppel for Nordic Winter rig ordered in 2018, citing Keppel’s alleged breach of contract, and seeking a full refund of paid installments of $54,7 million. After Awilco's move, Keppel also terminated the contract and filed for arbitration.

Also, on December 4, Keppel sent a termination notice for the second rig - the Nordic Spring - and served Awilco with another notice of arbitration, citing Awilco's inability to pay for an upcoming installment.

Awilco denied the allegations by Keppel FELS and said that it considered the Nordic Spring rig construction contract to be intact.

Indeed, in a statement on Tuesday, regarding the WilPhoenix update, Awilco said it had one new build rig on order of Moss CS60 ECO MW design equipped for drilling in harsh environments, meaning that it still considers the contract for the Nordic Spring to be valid.




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