Jack-up Noble Ed Holt stranded offshore India

Vol 18, PW 20 (04 Jun 15) Exploration & Production

According to Shakespeare, a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.

But a rig by any other name it seems leads to a legal mess. Jack-up Noble Ed Holt is stranded off Mumbai because rig owner Paragon Offshore submitted documents with different rig names through rig manager Jindal Drilling when applying for navy clearance.

Ed Holt finished her five-year ONGC contract on April 15 and is meant to begin her next three-year ONGC contract through Deepwater Drilling. Under the law, before the new contract she must be exported and re-imported.

But because of the mess over the name change, export clearances did not come in by May 15 – the deadline for rigs to mobilise/demobilise before the six-month monsoon season. Ed Holt's troubles began on March 19 when the Navy refused security clearance for the rest of her five-year term as the certificate of registry, tonnage and radio station licence showed her as Paragon L1112 while class, insurance and other documents said Noble Ed Holt.

“The rig is without valid security clearance since February 23, 2015,” the navy wrote to Jindal. Blame Clause 8 of the February 1, 2010 contract between previous rig owner Noble and Jindal which says the rig name will be unchanged over the five-year contract.

But on August 1, 2014, new owner Paragon unilaterally informed Jindal of Ed Holt's name change but did not change the name in all her documents.