Well-Safe Solutions announces agreement to add third rig to fleet

Well decommissioning specialists Well-Safe Solutions have today announced that they have reached an agreement with Awilco Drilling to acquire the WilPhoenix semi-submersible rig – Well-Safe Solutions’ third asset acquisition in three years.

Built in 1983, the WilPhoenix is an established presence in the North Sea, having been extensively refurbished and upgraded in 2016. Well-Safe Solutions expect to take delivery of the rig in June 2022 and will carry out optimisation and recertification requirements for future well plug and abandonment (P&A) activity.

The rig acquisition – for an undisclosed sum – is expected to create around 100 jobs in a variety of onshore and offshore roles, in addition to the 231 personnel already employed by Well-Safe Solutions.

Phil Milton, Chief Executive Officer at Well-Safe Solutions, said: “The addition of our second semi-submersible rig, to be known as the Well-Safe Defender, is a landmark achievement for the business.

“Strong demand for our other dedicated P&A semi-submersible rig, the Well-Safe Guardian, demonstrates a clear business case for the need for further specialised assets. We are very pleased to have reached an agreement with Awilco Drilling to integrate this well-regarded asset into our portfolio.

“The addition of a third specialist decommissioning rig enables Well-Safe Solutions to deliver upon our vision of being the industry’s trusted well decommissioning service partner of choice, and is in line with the company’s long-term growth strategy.”

Neil Ferguson, Operations Manager at Well-Safe Solutions, added: “The WilPhoenix has a strong track record and is the right candidate to undergo conversion for well P&A.

“We are dedicated to assisting the global energy sector in the transition to net zero and reconfiguring an existing asset for decommissioning activity enables our clients to take advantage of considerable financial savings and environmental benefits.”

Well-Safe Solutions is the first UK company with its own assets to provide a Tier 1 well decommissioning service focused exclusively on P&A, with the Aberdeen-headquartered company owning and operating the Well-Safe Guardian semi-submersible and Well-Safe Protector jack-up rig.

The WilPhoenix is expected to enter service with its new owners as the Well-Safe Defender in late 2022.