Well-Safe Solutions has won a contract with operator Ithaca Energy to plug and abandon (P&A) a handful of southern North Sea wells.
To complete the job on the Anglia platform, the Aberdeen-headquartered decommissioning firm will use the Well-Safe Protector rig.
It is the first time the jack-up, formerly called the West Epsilon, will have been mobilised since Well-Safe bought it from Seadrill in 2020.
Since then it has undergone extensive upgrades at Invergordon to make it ready for work in the decommissioning market.
The Well-Safe Protector will mobilise to Ithaca’s Anglia gas field in late summer, where it will P&A six wells.
A ‘handful’ of new jobs
A specific value for the contract – which covers project management, well engineering and all managed delivery services – wasn’t given, but Well-Safe did say it was a multi-million pound deal.
It will directly support about 90 people offshore, as well as a further 10 people onshore, including non-Well-Safe staff.
A “handful of new roles” will also be created.
Matt Jenkins, chief operating officer at Well-Safe, said: “This full-service contract is further vindication of our operating model and allows Ithaca to realise the benefits of Well-Safe’s extensive experience in the Southern North Sea.
“Well-Safe delivers environmentally-friendly and cost-effective well decommissioning operations, unlocking key learnings over multi-well, multi-operator campaigns.
“We are thrilled to have reached this agreement with the team behind Ithaca Energy, who have entrusted Well-Safe with this important project, allowing them to maintain resources on their production delivery workscopes and significant capital projects.”
Scope for more wells in 2023
An option to P&A an additional three subsea wells on the field, which stopped production in 2015, is also available next year
A decommissioning plan for the Anglia platform, around 34 miles off the Norfolk coast, was lodged in 2019 and approved the following year.
Jane Eddie, Well-Safe’s bid manager, added: “We have worked closely with Ithaca Energy to design a contract which meets their needs and – crucially – those of Offshore Energies UK, the North Sea Transition Authority and other industry stakeholders.”
“Our team is uniquely positioned to support Ithaca Energy with their decommissioning obligations, as we are the first UK-based company with owner-operated rigs to exclusively perform well P&A operations.”
A ‘vitally important’ project
The latter, which used to be called the WilPhoenix, was recently acquired for £12.4 million from troubled contractor Awilco Drilling.
It is currently undergoing conversion for well P&A activity.
Ricky Thomson, decommissioning manager at trade body Offshore Energies UK (OEUK), said: “Decommissioning has a crucial role to play in helping the UK deliver its net zero ambitions, as outlined in the North Sea Transition Deal. The UK’s decommissioning industry has an incredibly exciting future ahead, and projects like this will be vitally important to realising those ambitions.
“We welcome today’s announcement by Well-Safe Solutions. We wish the project the very best of success moving forward.”