Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Decommissioning firm Well-Safe Solutions snaps up second rig

Well-Safe Protector
Well-Safe acquired the rig, formerly known as the West Epsilon, from Seadrill

Oil and gas decommissioning firm Well-Safe Solutions has acquired a second rig in a move it claims will spark the creation of about 100 new jobs.

The Aberdeen-headquartered company has bought the West Epsilon jack-up rig, built in 1993, from Seadrill and renamed it “Well-Safe Protector”.

The fee was not disclosed, but the firm said the purchase and subsequent upgrade work would run into tens of millions of pounds.

Costs will be covered using “existing funds within the business”.

Well-Safe bought its first asset, the Well-Safe Guardian semi-submersible, from Diamond Offshore in April 2019.

Chief executive Phil Milton said the addition of the second rig meant the company would be able to plug and abandon (P&A) a greater number and variety of wells.

Mr Milton also said the creation of around 100 new jobs would come as “welcome news” to the industry at a time of “great uncertainty”.

Eighty of the new jobs will be based offshore, while most of the 20 new onshore positions will be in Aberdeen.

Some of the upgrade work on Well-Safe Protector will take place in Norway.

The process will be completed in the UK at a location which has yet to be determined.

The firm’s first rig, Well-Safe Guardian, was taken to Global Energy Group’s Nigg Energy Park for a refurbishment programme which has been delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, Well-Safe expects both of its units to be ready for deployment early next year.

Mr Milton said that by investing heavily in its fleet the business was bucking the current industry trend for retiring and cold-staking rigs.

Well-Safe was launched in mid-2017 by a trio of oil and gas industry stalwarts – Mark Patterson, Alasdair Locke and Paul Warwick.

Scottish Enterprise and Well-Safe’s major shareholders provided funding to get the business up and running.

The company has continued to attract investment. Last October a consortium led by MW&L Capital Partners – launched in 2018 by leading City bankers Matthew Westerman and Julian Metherell – pumped in £66 million to fund the next growth phase.

At the time of its launch, the firm announced ambitious plans to invest £200m in assets and grow its headcount to 400 in three years.

It currently has 80 employees, of whom 50 are in Aberdeen and 30 are offshore.

Well-Safe has yet to clinch a first P&A contract for Well-Safe Guardian, but Mr Milton is “confident” of securing work soon.

He said 2021 would bring some “great opportunities” for both Well-Safe Guardian and Well-Safe Protector, and that 2022 and beyond is “looking even busier, with a significant increase in activity forecast”.

Last month, Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) said forecasts for North Sea decommissioning spend in 2020 and 2021 had been cut by about half a billion pounds due to the Covid-19 outbreak and crude price slump, which have led to project deferrals and reduced budgets.

But OGUK said expenditure would still exceed £1 billion in both years, with an uptick expected in 2022.

The Oil and Gas Authority and trade body Decom North Sea are both trying to convince the UK Government to support proposals aimed at providing financial stimuli for well P&A work.

Recommended for you

More from Energy Voice

Latest Posts