UK offshore decom specialist attracts $85M investment

Offshore decommissioning specialist Well-Safe has said it has secured an investment of more than £66 million (~USD 84,6 million).

Well-Safe Guardian / Image by Well-Safe
Well-Safe Guardian / Image by Well-Safe

The company, established in 2017, said MW&L Capital Partners has led the new round of investment, bringing together a consortium of private investors to acquire a major stake in the business.

Well-Safe Solutions said it would use the cash to fund the next phase of its journey as “a tier-one well decommissioning company.”

The company recently bought the Ocean Guardian semi-submersible drilling unit as the company’s first asset. In August, Well-Safe awarded contracts for the rig to be converted into a plug and abandonment (P&A) unit, now expected to enter operation in the first half of next year.

Announcing the new investment on Monday, Well-Safe also shared its forecasts on the decommissioning market. It said: “Expenditure on decommissioning in the UK Continental Shelf is forecast to be £15.3 billion in the next decade. Well decommissioning accounts for approximately 49% of total spend, equating to £7.5 billion spend over the next decade. Around 5,000 wells, of which 1,000 are subsea, require to be decommissioned in the North Sea.”

Well-Safe chief executive, Phil Milton, said: “This significant investment marks the beginning of our next phase of planned growth. The initial private funding from our original shareholders has enabled us to build strong foundations. We have amassed the largest concentration of wells decommissioning expertise in the North Sea, secured major plug and abandonment (P&A) contracts, and are generating significant revenues from our engineering business. In addition, we have acquired our first asset, the Well-Safe Guardian which is currently being upgraded and converted into a bespoke P&A asset for the industry.”

“With the backing of MW&L and existing shareholders, we’ll be bringing the Well-Safe Guardian into operation in the first half of 2020 and looking to acquire further assets as planned to accelerate the delivery of our campaign-based approach to the plug and abandonment of wells in the North Sea and Continental Europe.”

Julian Metherell, a founding partner of MW&L commented: “Decommissioning is one of the greatest industrial challenges we face and a sector with massive global potential “Well-Safe, with its wealth of well decommissioning experience, dedicated marine P&A assets, and associated equipment, is the first-of-its-kind tier one company with a complete P&A capability and is ideally placed to capitalize on this opportunity.”

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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