Standard ETC Buys 25% Stake in Dolphin Drilling

Borgland Dolphin drilling rig. Photo: Dolphin Drilling
Borgland Dolphin drilling rig. Photo: Dolphin Drilling

Standard ETC, an Oslo-listed company previously known as Standard Drilling, has acquired 25% in offshore drilling operator Dolphin Drilling for USD 10 million through an equity issue.

Martin Nes, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Standard ETC said: "We´re pleased to announce our investment in Dolphin Drilling, a company with deep industrial roots dating back to 1965 as one of the first drilling companies to operate in the North Sea. Today, the company owns and operates three energy efficient moored semi-submersible rigs and employs approximately 350 people. The current market provides opportunities for debt-free drilling contractors with ready to drill assets, and we look forward to work with the Dolphin team to realize the potential of the current fleet and future rig management operations“

Standard ETC on Friday acquired 25% of Dolphin Drilling through an equity issue for a cash consideration of $10 million with warrants to invest an additional $5 million, bringing the total ownership up to 32.5 %. Dolphin Drilling has no interest-bearing debt.

Formerly known as Fred Olsen Energy, Dolphin Drilling owns and operates a fleet of 5th and 6th generation enhanced Aker H3 units. The company has approximately 350 employees at operational bases in Aberdeen, Scotland, Stavanger, Norway, in addition to offshore personnel. In October 2021, Dolphin Drilling also secured marketing rights for the 7th generation KFELS Moss Maritime CS60 ECO MW semi-submersible drilling rigs.

Øystein Stray Spetalen and Martin Nes will join the Board of Directors of Dolphin Drilling, with Nes proposed as Chairman.

Bjørnar Iversen,  CEO of Dolphin Drilling, said: "We are pleased to have secured further investment into Dolphin Drilling from an oil and gas industry specialist, S.D. Standard ETC Plc. This investment represents a significant show of support and belief in the operating capabilities of Dolphin Drilling and the opportunity that the company represents.

"SVP Global remains the majority shareholder in the company, which now has a debt-free balance sheet following a complete recapitalization. This would not have been possible without the continuing commitment and hard work of the people in the company and the support of our stakeholders. We believe we are at the beginning of an extremely active period in the industry and look forward to the role that Dolphin Drilling will play in the future."

As per the end of March 2022, Standard ETC held cash and marketable securities of approximately USD 80 million.

Also, Standard ETC owns a fleet of seven platform supply vessels (PSV) of which two fully-owned large-sized PSVs with 1050 M2 clear deck area. Standard Viking operates on a day rate of GBP 11,000 until January 2023, while the Standard Supplier currently operates on day rate of Euro 15,000. The company holds 28% of five mid-sized PSVs. Presently, spot rates are between GBP 15-20,000 for PSVs.

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