Maintenance was scheduled to finish by October, which would push drilling into the winter season.
“Accordingly, the operator has advised that the contract with Dolphin (Drilling) for the Blackford Dolphin has been terminated and tendering for another rig to carry out the planned well operations in 2015 has commenced,” the company said.
Instead, a large 3D seismic acquisition programme is set to go ahead during the summer months over blocks 35/15, 35/14, 35/18 and 35/19 and PEL 1/14.
The well will be drilled off the coast of Ireland in water depths of up to 400 metres.
Cairn holds 38% interest and is the operator of the licences, along with Providence which holds 32%, Chrysaor E&P which holds 26% and Sosina Exploration, which holds 4%.