Well-Safe Defender rig; Source: Well-Safe Solutions (video)

Well-Safe Solutions rig winds down decom ops at one North Sea field and moves to another

Aberdeen-based decommissioning services provider Well-Safe Solutions has revealed that one of its semi-submersible rigs wrapped up its decommissioning assignment on one of the fields on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) and started work at the next field on its list with Spirit Energy.

Well-Safe Defender rig; Source: Well-Safe Solutions (video)

Well-Safe Solutions secured a deal in July 2022 to plug and abandon (P&A) 14 wells on the UKCS, as the first job secured for the Well-Safe Defender – previously known as WilPhoenix – semi-submersible rig, which was purchased in June 2022 from Awilco Drilling.

This contract was secured with Spirit Energy for the decommissioning work on the Trees and Chestnut fields. The rig was expected to mobilise in March 2023 for approximately 250 days of work. According to Well-Safe Solutions, the first phase of the Chestnut field’s well decommissioning has been completed by the Well-Safe Defender rig.

Nicholas Riley, Well Operations Manager at Spirit Energy, commented: “The Chestnut campaign has been delivered with exemplary safety and operational performance. When we set out to select our partners for the CNS abandonment campaign, this was the ultimate aim. With this first milestone achieved, we look forward to the remainder of the campaign.”

Spirit Energy started the first phase of preparing to decommission this field in August 2021, more than a decade after it was first expected to be shut in. The field, which is located in the UK North Sea, exceeded its expected life sevenfold since it started production in 2008. Spirit Energy and Well-Safe Solutions removed the last Christmas tree from the field in early July 2023, bringing to an end the 15-year story of Chestnut.
Matt Jenkins, Chief Operating Officer at Well-Safe Solutions, said: “We are delighted to mark this safe and efficient well plug and abandonment milestone alongside Spirit Energy with what has been an exceptional start-up of the Well-Safe Defender rig and crew. This is an important milestone for both organisations and is a testament to the collaborative and agile ways of working which our teams have championed from the start, including during the rig readiness and mobilisation phases.
“A very special thanks is due to the team aboard the Well-Safe Defender for their hard work and commitment to realising Well-Safe Solutions’ vision of being the trusted well decommissioning service partner of choice and rightly justifying Spirit Energy’s decision to select the Well-Safe Defender.”

The Well-Safe Defender rig has now moved to the Trees field in blocks 16/12a and 16/7 of the Central North Sea for the next phase of decommissioning operations. The field’s production started in 1995, with three separate oil accumulations – Birch, Larch, and Sycamore – making up the field.

Located in the Central North Sea, at a water depth of 125 metres, the Trees field is a multi-production and injection well subsea development over three separate oil accumulations tied back to the Brae Alpha platform.

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