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Well-Safe officially welcomes WilPhoenix rig into fleet

© Supplied by Awilco DrillingWell-Safe WilPhoenix
The Well-Safe Defender oil rig, formerly the WilPhoenix

Well-Safe Solutions has today taken delivery of the WilPhoenix oil rig into its fleet.

The decommissioning specialist struck a deal to acquire the semisubmersible for £12.4 million last month from ailing owner Awilco Drilling.

Well-Safe said the WilPhoenix will now undergo improvements as part of its repurposing as a dedicated P&A (plugging and abandonment) asset.

It will soon be known as the Well-Safe Defender.

The rig joins the Well-Safe Guardian semisub and Well-Safe Protector jack-up rig in the Aberdeen-headquartered firm’s fleet.

Well-Safe said the acquisition would see creation of 100 jobs at the company, in a variety of onshore and offshore roles.

The WilPhoenix has been warm stacked in the Highlands after finishing work for Ithaca Energy on Fotla discovery in the UK North Sea last year.

Awilco’s only other vessel, WilHunter, is in the process of being sold for recycling, leaving the company with no assets.

The WilHunter had lain idle for years in the Cromarty Firth after finishing decommissioning work for Hess in the second quarter of 2015.

Built in 1983, the WilPhoenix has a long track record in the North Sea and was “extensively” refurbished and upgraded in 2016.

Analysts have said that the future remains “very uncertain” for Awilco now that it has agreed to offload its fleet.

However the firm has said it will “closely monitor” investment opportunities.

The WilPhoenix’ addition to Well-Safe’s fleet comes at a time as drilling returns to the industry and rig rates globally are surging.

Some analysts have said the jackup utilisation rate globally is now as high as 89%, with semisubs at 82%, leading to the price increases.

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