Norways Dolphin Group Files for Bankruptcy

Dolphin Group ASA, which conducts offshore seismic surveys for oil and gas companies, filed for bankruptcy Monday in Oslo, Norway to wind down its operations.

The company was forced into bankruptcy “because of the market has further deteriorated and that the expected timeline for an uplift in the market conditions has been further extended,” according to a press release.

“Due to the continued deterioration in the oil-service market Dolphin has had to make the decision to file for bankruptcy. It is a difficult decision, but in light of the unpredictability of the oil price and subsequent spending cuts of our customers, it has become impossible to have the visibility needed to continue our business,” company Chairman Tim Wells and Chief Executive Atle Jacobsen said in a statement.

Chief Financial Officer Erik Hokholt confirmed that Dolphin Group had entered its petition with the bankruptcy court in Oslo Monday. He said the company has no plans to file a chapter 15 petition in the U.S., which is often used by foreign companies with U.S. creditors.

Last week, Dolphin announced it was working with stakeholders to try to reach terms on a restructuring deal. On Monday, Dolphin said those talks hadn’t been successful. Unlike chapter 11 in the U.S., which is typically used for a company to restructure, a bankruptcy filing in Norway is usually used to liquidate a company.

Geoscience providers have been hurt by the past year’s tumble in oil prices, which has forced energy producers that contract drilling equipment and services to cut spending. Other service providers, such as rig operators Hercules Offshore Inc. and Vantage Drilling Co. filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year.

GC Rieber Shipping, a Norwegian company that owns three ships operated by Dolphin, said it has immediately begun looking for new contracts for the fleet. The company is owed $20 million by Dolphin, according to a statement by GC Rieber.

Dolphin trades on the stock exchange in Oslo under the ticker DOLP, but trading has been halted according to the press release. During the third quarter of 2015, Dolphin posted $78.7 million in net operating revenue, resulting in a $31.1 million net loss for the quarter. For the same quarter of 2014, the company had $128.5 million in revenue and $12.2 million in net income.

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