Blackford Dolphin

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Blackford Dolphin

Blackford refit, 05/08

The Blackford Dolphin is an Aker H3.2 semisubmerisble drill rig currently owned by Fred Olsen. It was built in 1974 by Aker Verdal AS. It was originally known as Norjarl (1974-1982) and OCEAN LIBERATOR (1982-2002) before its' current moniker.

The Blackford Dolphin is currently drilling for Reliance Industries Ltd. off the coast of India[1].


2006 Upgrade

The deepwater upgrade extends the life of the rig by an estimated 20 years, and increased maximum drilling depth from 183 m to over 2100 m, at a cost around $400 million. The rig gains additional outboard columns (2/side), as well as additional columns with sponsons and deck extensions to either end of its length[2].

2006 Upgrade Dispute

On the 24th of February, 2006, a contract was signed for Blackford Dolphin to begin a deepwater upgrade program at Keppel Verolme, at an original contract price of $177 million[3]. Delays and cost-overruns were not resolved until 2008[4], with the contract price having reached $239.5 million, and the delivery date moved from June 2007 to February 2008. There are reports that the cause of the dispute is the costing of engineering change orders[5].



  • DNV Entry [6]
  • Fred Olsen Description [7]
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