Drilling

Our specialist team has considerable experience advising on drilling contractors, rig building and refurbishment contracts, drilling contracts and associated disputes.

Our expertise includes:
 

  • Advising oil companies and drilling contractors on drilling contracts.
     
  • Advising on disputes arising under drilling contracts, including disputes relating to payment, the condition of the rig, failure of equipment, performance of the rig, safety and delays to drilling operations. 
     
  • Advising on contracts for the sale and purchase of rigs and disputes arising out of such contracts.
     
  • Advising on contracts for operations ancillary to offshore drilling operations such as contracts for the hire of tugs for rig moves, contracts for the hire of ROVs and contracts for vessels supplying the rigs with equipment and materials.
     
  • Advising on casualties relating to offshore drilling including total losses and groundings.
     
  • Advising on contracts for the construction of rigs and disputes in relation to such contracts.
     
  • Advising on projects for the conversion of jack-up rigs to production platforms.
     
  • Conducting litigation and international arbitrations.

 

Our experience includes:
 

  • Advised a NOC on a high value dispute relating to the condition and performance of a rig operating in South America under a long term drilling contract. 
     
  • Advised an independent oil company on a dispute arising under a drilling contract which concerned the safety of the rig and the legitimacy of instructions given by the oil company to suspend performance. 
     
  • Advised on the contractual terms and conditions and insurance arrangements for a change in the delivery of a rig from the shipyard in China to Holland. 
     
  • Advised on a dispute concerning the ownership of a drilling rig. 
     
  • Advised on a dispute concerning unpaid debts and the arrest of a drilling rig. 
     
  • Advised on disputes arising out of the sale and purchase of drilling rigs.
     
  • Advised in relation to the design, construction and sale of a series of four semi-submersible drilling rigs; and represented in an arbitration, in which the client claimed liquidated damages of US$179 million alongside a request for repayment of damages of US$22 million. 
     
  • Advised a client in relation to contracts for the construction and delivery of drillships to Angolese buyers, including delays and potential cancellation scenarios. Expected value US$200-300 million.  
     
  • Advised a shipyard in $300 million+ arbitration in respect of major cost overruns and delay following defective design for a series of four bespoke semi-submersible drilling rigs, including working closely with technical experts on design issues. 
     
  • Advised and supported on various issues to Owner of a 6th generation drillship built for operation in Brazil, including advice on termination and assignment. 
     
  • Assistance with successful challenge to English court jurisdiction for rig owners in respect of a jack-up rig upgrade project (Kaefer Aislamientos SA de CV -v- AMS Drilling Mexico SA & Ors [2017] EWHC 2598 (Comm) and then on appeal as [2019] EWCA Civ 10). 
     
  • Represented a drilling contractor against an oil and gas company in an LCIA arbitration in relation to whether demobilisation could be undertaken during the term of the contract, and if so, what demobilisation fees and early termination fees were applicable.
     
  • Represented an oil and gas company in the English Commercial Court in relation to rig idle costs and breach of the joint venture agreement.
     
  • Represented a drilling contractor against an oil and gas company in an AAA arbitration in relation to whether the increased costs associated with new tax legislation were for contractor's or employer's account.
     
  • Represented an oil and gas company in an ICC arbitration regarding its rights to take and sell gas from joint gas fields in Argentina.
     
  • Represented a drilling contractor in an ICC arbitration in a dispute in relation to the non-payment of invoices for additional services carried out during the drilling campaign.
     
  • Advised Cyprus-based Dynamic Offshore Drilling Limited, on the vessel construction and delivery of its new 350 foot KFELS B Class jack-up rig “Dynamic Vision” constructed at Keppel FELS shipyard in Singapore. Advised on the equity raising by way of private placement and subsequent shareholder arrangements, as well as the chartering and the senior and mezzanine debt financing.
     
  • Advised Oro Negro as issuer of the largest high yield bond ever issued in the Norwegian market to refinance the acquisition of five jack-up drilling rigs operated in Mexico. Norwegian Bond Deal of the Year Award, 2015. Marine Money Offshore.
     
  • Advised a buyer on the acquisition of a group of companies and a drillship out of receivership.
     
  • Advised an equity investor on the sale and leaseback of a jack-up drilling rig to be operated offshore Mexico.
     
  • Advised a drilling contractor on its operation and financing of a fleet of semi-submersible drilling rigs.
     
  • Advised a shipyard in a dispute arising out of the construction of two ultra deepwater drill ships for a US contractor, involving a claim of approximately US$220 million and a counterclaim for the costs of completing the second vessel. The dispute, in which we were successful in the Court of Appeal, also involved the design responsibilities of the parties under the construction contract.
     
  • Advised on the terms of 5 year charter of US$700 million newbuild drilling unit on behalf of drilling contractor, together with drilling services management contract.
     
  • Advised on contracts for construction of two sixth-generation drilling units, including acquisition of hulls & OFE, and completion at UK facility. 
     
  • Successful claim in London arbitration for unpaid hire and repair costs relating to operation of drilling-rig offshore India on behalf of US drilling contractor.
     
  • Advised a Norwegian drilling contractor in successful claim before English High Court in dispute concerning repeated wash-outs caused by down-hole conditions.

 

Global reach

From our offices in the UK, China, Dubai, Paris, Singapore and South Korea, we have extensive experience in offshore oil and gas projects and resolving international disputes. 

United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Acting for a shipyard in a dispute arising out of the construction of two ultra deepwater drill ships for a US contractor, involving a claim of approximately US$220 million and a counterclaim for the costs of completing the second vessel.  The dispute, in which we were successful in the Court of Appeal, also involved the design responsibilities of the parties under the construction contract.

Negotiating contracts for construction of two sixth-generation drilling units, including acquisition of hulls & OFE, and completion at UK facility.

Acting on behalf of Norwegian drilling contractor in successful claim before English High Court in dispute concerning repeated wash-outs caused by down-hole conditions.

Advised in relation to the design, construction and sale of a series of four semi-submersible drilling rigs; and represented in an arbitration, in which the client claimed liquidated damages of US$179 million alongside a request for repayment of damages of US$22 million.

Acting for the client in relation to contracts for the construction and delivery of drillships to Angolese buyers, including delays and potential cancellation scenarios. Expected value US$200-300 million.

Brazil

Brazil

Negotiating terms of 5 year charter of US$700 million newbuild drilling unit on behalf of drilling contractor, together with drilling services management contract.

Advice and support on various issues to Owner of a 6th generation drillship built for operation in Brazil, including advice on termination and assignment (2014-2016).

India

India

Successful claim in London arbitration for unpaid hire and repair costs relating to operation of drilling-rig offshore India on behalf of US drilling contractor. 

Korea

Korea

Acting for shipyard in $300 million+ arbitration in respect of major cost overruns and delay following defective design for a series of four bespoke semi-submersible drilling rigs, including working closely with technical experts on design issues (2014-2016).  

Norway

Norway

Acting for shipyard in $300 million+ arbitration in respect of major cost overruns and delay following defective design for a series of four bespoke semi-submersible drilling rigs, including working closely with technical experts on design issues (2014-2016).

Advised in relation to the design, construction and sale of a series of four semi-submersible drilling rigs; and represented in an arbitration, in which the client claimed liquidated damages of US$179 million alongside a request for repayment of damages of US$22 million.

 

South Korea

South Korea

Advised in relation to the design, construction and sale of a series of four semi-submersible drilling rigs; and represented in an arbitration, in which the client claimed liquidated damages of US$179 million alongside a request for repayment of damages of US$22 million.

Acting for the client in relation to contracts for the construction and delivery of drillships to Angolese buyers, including delays and potential cancellation scenarios. Expected value US$200-300 million.

Angola

Angola

Acting for the client in relation to contracts for the construction and delivery of drillships to Angolese buyers, including delays and potential cancellation scenarios. Expected value US$200-300 million.

Represented a drilling contractor against an oil and gas company in a LCIA arbitration in relation to whether demobilisation could be undertaken during the term of the contract, and if so, what demobilisation fees and early termination fees were applicable.

Venezuela

Venezuela

Advising a NOC on a high value dispute relating to the condition, performance and rates of a drilling rig operating in South America under a long term drilling contract.

Cameroon

Cameroon

Advising an independent oil company on a dispute arising under a drilling contract which concerned the safety of the rig and the legitimacy of instructions given by the oil company to suspend performance.

China

China

Advising on the contractual terms and conditions and insurance arrangements for a change in the delivery of a rig from the shipyard in China to Holland.

Netherlands

Netherlands

Advising on the contractual terms and conditions and insurance arrangements for a change in the delivery of a rig from the shipyard in China to Holland.

Ecuador

Ecuador

Advising on a dispute concerning the ownership of a drilling rig.

Advising on a dispute concerning uppaid debts and the arrest of a drilling rig.

Ghana

Ghana

Represented a drilling contractor in an ICC arbitration in a dispute in relation to the non-payment of invoices for additional services carried out during the drilling campaign.

Argentina

Argentina

Represented an oil and gas company in an ICC arbitration regarding its rights to take and sell gas from joint gas fields in Argentina.

Gulf of Mexico

Gulf of Mexico

Represented a drilling contractor against an oil and gas company in an AAA arbitration in relation to whether the increased costs associated with new tax legislation were for contractor's or employer's account.

North Sea

North Sea

Represented an oil and gas company in the English Commercial Court in relation to rig idle costs and breach of the joint venture agreement.

South America

South America

Drilling rig dispute – UNCITRAL arbitration

Advised a large South American state-owned oil and gas company in a high value dispute relating to an ongoing drilling contract.

  • Angola

    Acting for the client in relation to contracts for the construction and delivery of drillships to Angolese buyers, including delays and potential cancellation scenarios. Expected value US$200-300 million.

    Represented a drilling contractor against an oil and gas company in a LCIA arbitration in relation to whether demobilisation could be undertaken during the term of the contract, and if so, what demobilisation fees and early termination fees were applicable.

    Close
  • Argentina

    Represented an oil and gas company in an ICC arbitration regarding its rights to take and sell gas from joint gas fields in Argentina.

    Close
  • Brazil

    Negotiating terms of 5 year charter of US$700 million newbuild drilling unit on behalf of drilling contractor, together with drilling services management contract.

    Advice and support on various issues to Owner of a 6th generation drillship built for operation in Brazil, including advice on termination and assignment (2014-2016).

    Close
  • Cameroon

    Advising an independent oil company on a dispute arising under a drilling contract which concerned the safety of the rig and the legitimacy of instructions given by the oil company to suspend performance.

    Close
  • China

    Advising on the contractual terms and conditions and insurance arrangements for a change in the delivery of a rig from the shipyard in China to Holland.

    Close
  • Ecuador

    Advising on a dispute concerning the ownership of a drilling rig.

    Advising on a dispute concerning uppaid debts and the arrest of a drilling rig.

    Close
  • Ghana

    Represented a drilling contractor in an ICC arbitration in a dispute in relation to the non-payment of invoices for additional services carried out during the drilling campaign.

    Close
  • Gulf of Mexico

    Represented a drilling contractor against an oil and gas company in an AAA arbitration in relation to whether the increased costs associated with new tax legislation were for contractor's or employer's account.

    Close
  • India

    Successful claim in London arbitration for unpaid hire and repair costs relating to operation of drilling-rig offshore India on behalf of US drilling contractor. 

    Close
  • Korea

    Acting for shipyard in $300 million+ arbitration in respect of major cost overruns and delay following defective design for a series of four bespoke semi-submersible drilling rigs, including working closely with technical experts on design issues (2014-2016).  

    Close
  • Netherlands

    Advising on the contractual terms and conditions and insurance arrangements for a change in the delivery of a rig from the shipyard in China to Holland.

    Close
  • North Sea

    Represented an oil and gas company in the English Commercial Court in relation to rig idle costs and breach of the joint venture agreement.

    Close
  • Norway

    Acting for shipyard in $300 million+ arbitration in respect of major cost overruns and delay following defective design for a series of four bespoke semi-submersible drilling rigs, including working closely with technical experts on design issues (2014-2016).

    Advised in relation to the design, construction and sale of a series of four semi-submersible drilling rigs; and represented in an arbitration, in which the client claimed liquidated damages of US$179 million alongside a request for repayment of damages of US$22 million.

     

    Close
  • South America

    Drilling rig dispute – UNCITRAL arbitration

    Advised a large South American state-owned oil and gas company in a high value dispute relating to an ongoing drilling contract.

    Close
  • South Korea

    Advised in relation to the design, construction and sale of a series of four semi-submersible drilling rigs; and represented in an arbitration, in which the client claimed liquidated damages of US$179 million alongside a request for repayment of damages of US$22 million.

    Acting for the client in relation to contracts for the construction and delivery of drillships to Angolese buyers, including delays and potential cancellation scenarios. Expected value US$200-300 million.

    Close
  • United Kingdom

    Acting for a shipyard in a dispute arising out of the construction of two ultra deepwater drill ships for a US contractor, involving a claim of approximately US$220 million and a counterclaim for the costs of completing the second vessel.  The dispute, in which we were successful in the Court of Appeal, also involved the design responsibilities of the parties under the construction contract.

    Negotiating contracts for construction of two sixth-generation drilling units, including acquisition of hulls & OFE, and completion at UK facility.

    Acting on behalf of Norwegian drilling contractor in successful claim before English High Court in dispute concerning repeated wash-outs caused by down-hole conditions.

    Advised in relation to the design, construction and sale of a series of four semi-submersible drilling rigs; and represented in an arbitration, in which the client claimed liquidated damages of US$179 million alongside a request for repayment of damages of US$22 million.

    Acting for the client in relation to contracts for the construction and delivery of drillships to Angolese buyers, including delays and potential cancellation scenarios. Expected value US$200-300 million.

    Close
  • Venezuela

    Advising a NOC on a high value dispute relating to the condition, performance and rates of a drilling rig operating in South America under a long term drilling contract.

    Close
Contact
Contact

For more information, please contact us on

offshoreenergylaw@shlegal.com