Photo: Well-Safe Guardian; Source: Repsol Sinopec

WATCH: Well-Safe cheers ‘momentous landmark’ as decommissioning rig heads to North Sea

Aberdeen-based offshore decommissioning specialist Well-Safe Solutions has reached a major milestone with the mobilisation of its Well-Safe Guardian rig for its first job in the UK North Sea.

Well-Safe Solutions informed through its social media channels on Wednesday that the Well-Safe Guardian had been mobilised.

Well-Safe bought the semi-submersible rig Ocean Guardian from Diamond Offshore back in 2019 with plans to convert it into a bespoke plug and abandonment (P&A) unit, renaming it into Well-Safe Guardian. In the years that followed, the rig was modernised, refurbished, and reconfigured exclusively for P&A scopes.

As informed by the well specialist, the Well-Safe Guardian will soon be on-site in the Hannay field, undertaking well decommissioning activities as part of the company’s fully integrated well decommissioning offering.

Well-Safe was awarded a contract by Repsol Sinopec for the decommissioning of 14 subsea wells in Hannay and Buchan fields back in September 2021. It was considered to be the first fully-inclusive well decommissioning contract of its kind.

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The Well-Safe Guardian, designed for decommissioning of subsea wells, will be used for offshore well decommissioning activities. It was said at the time that Well-Safe’s Dive System and Subsea Modular Decommissioning Riser Technology (SMART) system would be deployed for the first time onboard the semi-submersible unit.

Decommissioning in the Buchan and Hannay fields started in 2017 with the off-station and onshore recycling of the Buchan Alpha platform, which was completed at Dales Voe in Lerwick Shetland, after ceasing production as planned in 2017 – after 36 years and almost 150mm barrels of oil produced. The decommissioning and recycling of the Buchan and Hannay subsea infrastructure started with pre-works in 2019 and the final completion of this scope was expected to finish by 4Q 2021.

Ahead of the rig’s upcoming decommissioning campaigns in the UK North Sea – including another 14-well decommissioning job the company was awarded by CNR International in October 2021 – Vysus Group’s ModuSpec was chosen last December to verify whether the Well-Safe Guardian and its upgrades were fit-for-purpose to complete the upcoming campaigns.

ModuSpec’s inspection programme was in charge of reporting on the condition of the unit’s equipment and maintenance management system as well as the provision of independent verification that it is fit-for-purpose, in compliance with recognised industry standards.