Olso-listed shipowner SD Standard ETC is investing in oil and gas exploration company Dolphin Drilling, despite its avowed switch into renewables.

The Cyprus-based investor in platform supply vessels (PSVs) said it is taking a 25% stake in the Aberdeen-based rig owner through a $10m share issue.

The company, backed by tycoon Oystein Stray Spetalen, also has warrants to invest an additional $5m for a total stake of 32.5%.

SD ETC changed its name from SD Standard Drilling in January to reflect a focus on renewables.

But it still sees a revived oil and gas sector as providing opportunities for debt-free drilling contractors with ready-to-drill assets, according to chairman Martin Nes.

“We look forward to working with the Dolphin team to realise the potential of the current fleet and future rig management operations,” he added,

Dolphin owns and operates three energy-efficient semi-submersible rigs and employs about 350 people, with no interest-bearing debt.

The company was formerly known as Fred Olsen Energy.

Spetalen and Nes will join the board, with Nes proposed as chairman.

Deep North Sea roots

SD ETC described the drilling company as having deep industrial roots dating back to 1965 as one of the first such firms to operate in the North Sea.

At the end of March, SD ETC held cash and marketable securities worth $80m.

It has a fleet of seven PSVs, two of which are 100% owned.

The owner said spot rates for these ships are between £15,000 ($18,500) and £20,000 per day currently.