Court rules against Transocean in Ireland rig costs dispute

Offshore staff

DUBLIN, IrelandProvidence Resources confirms that a judgment was handed down by the Hon. Mr. Justice Popplewell on Friday, Dec. 19, in the Commercial Court in London concerning costs claimed by Transocean.

These relate to the use of the semisubmersible Arctic III in 2011/12 for drilling on Providence’s Barryroe oilfield offshore southern Ireland. The total claim amounted to roughly $19 million. Providence then issued a counter claim against Transocean.

The ruling found that Transocean was in breach of contract for failing to maintain various parts of its subsea equipment and was therefore not entitled to the amount claimed against Providence. Additionally, the ruling supported Providence’s position that it was entitled to set off certain spread costs against Transocean’s claim.

Providence says the way is now open for both parties to settle the matter, including legal fees, which Providence will apply to recover. 

CEO Tony O’Reilly said: “Whilst we never wanted to go to court in the first instance, this ruling clearly vindicates our decision to defend ourselves against Transocean’s claim. The judgment confirmed our original position that we should not have to pay Transocean for those periods when the rig was not fit for purpose, due to breaches of contract arising from Transocean’s failure to carry out maintenance on safety critical parts of its subsea equipment...

“In addition to finding Transocean in breach of contract, the ruling was critical of Transocean’s conduct and testimony, which included the deliberate doctoring of reports and deception by Transocean’s senior management.”



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