Doyon Drilling sues Texas engineering firm
Federal lawsuit accuses Loadmaster of slow and subpar work, delaying arrival of Rig 25 on Alaska’s North Slope to work for BP
For Petroleum News
Anchorage-based Doyon Drilling Inc. is suing a Texas engineering and design company, accusing the firm of chronically late and shoddy work on a new rig to serve BP on Alaska’s North Slope.
Doyon filed the suit May 7 in U.S. District Court in Anchorage against Houston-based Loadmaster Engineering Inc.; its president, Roger Barnes; its vice president, Robert Cuddie; and parent company Loadmaster Universal Rigs Inc.
Doyon Drilling is a subsidiary of Doyon Ltd., the Fairbanks-based Native regional corporation for Interior Alaska.
In the 36-page lawsuit, Doyon’s lawyers including Robert Bundy of Anchorage accuse Loadmaster of fraudulently taking a job it knew it couldn’t finish on time, of blowing deadline after deadline, of overbilling for services and of producing work that was so substandard that Doyon ultimately had to farm out much of the job to other firms.
The schedule slipped such that Doyon missed its target of barging the new rig to the North Slope in summer 2009.
And because fabrication of the rig continues, chances of making the 2010 barge season is “at risk,” the suit says.
How it beganLoadmaster had not yet answered the Doyon lawsuit as Petroleum News went to press.
The suit says BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. in 2008 engaged Doyon Drilling to provide a state-of-the-art drilling rig, Rig 25, to operate on the North Slope by December 2009.
Doyon then contacted Loadmaster, Barnes and Cuddie about providing engineering services for the project.
Loadmaster got the job, worth $6.3 million.
The suit says Doyon “emphasized and made clear to Loadmaster that time was of the essence for this project.”
But Loadmaster knew it didn’t have the ability to make Doyon’s schedule, the suit says, and the firm soon began to fall behind on drawings it produced in conjunction with its office in Beijing, China.
Aside from missing deadlines, Loadmaster’s work was “grossly negligent and manifestly deficient,” the suit says.
“Enormous time and resources were spent on needless rework, including the development of work-arounds, the re-cutting and re-fabrication of previously constructed steel components, and substantial reconstruction of electrical, piping, heating and ventilation systems,” the suit says.
In late 2009, it was discovered Rig 25 was far heavier than intended, which “forced a re-design and re-fabrication of certain trailers to sustain the increased loads,” the suit says.
Doyon said it negotiated with BP an extension of the barging date from summer 2009 to summer 2010.
The suit seeks unspecified damages.