Well-Safe Protector

Ithaca hires UK decom specialist to carry out P&A ops in North Sea

Oil and gas company Ithaca Energy, owned by Israeli Delek Group, has picked Well-Safe Solutions, an Aberdeen-based decommissioning services provider, to undertake well decommissioning operations in the North Sea.

Well-Safe Protector; Source: Well-Safe

Well-Safe Solutions revealed on Tuesday that it was contracted by Ithaca Energy to plug and abandon (P&A) six wells on the Anglia platform in the Southern North Sea, approximately 55km from the UK mainland.

Anglia platfrom Source Ithaca Energy
Anglia platform; Source: Ithaca Energy

Matt Jenkins, Chief Operating Officer at Well-Safe Solutions, remarked: “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.”

While the value of the contract has not been disclosed, the decommissioning specialist explains that it will provide project management, well engineering and all managed delivery services for this project with its Well-Safe Protector rig.

As a reminder, after acquiring the West Epsilon jack-up rig from Seadrill in September 2020, Well-Safe Solutions renamed it Well-Safe Protector and invested in an upgrade and recertification programme, including a full five-year Special Periodic Survey (SPS).

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Jane Eddie, Well-Safe Solutions’ Bid Manager, commented: “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.”

According to Well-Safe Solutions, an option to P&A an additional three subsea wells is also available during 2023.

When it comes to the decommissioning programme for the Anglia gas field, Delek’s Ithaca received approval from the UK regulator for the environment and decommissioning in August 2020. Production ceased in 2015 and the activities outlined within the proposal included the removal of a normally unmanned platform and various platform/subsea wells.

Ricky Thomson, OEUK Decommissioning Manager, stated: “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.”

The Well-Safe Protector harsh environment jack-up rig is nearing the end of extensive technical preparations and will mobilise to the field in late summer 2022, based on the UK specialist’s statement.

The new deal with Ithaca comes on the heels of Well-Safe Solutions’ purchase of the WilPhoenix semi-submersible rig from Awilco Drilling.

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The latest addition to the commissioning provider’s fleet of rigs will now undergo conversion for well P&A activity and has been renamed the Well-Safe Defender.