Chris Hay promoted to Chief Commercial Officer at Well-Safe Solutions

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Energy transition specialists Well-Safe Solutions have promoted Chris Hay from the position of Strategy and Commercial Director to the role of Chief Commercial Officer, effective from 1 April 2024.

The change comes in recognition of Chris’ exceptional leadership, strategic thinking and deep understanding of the Well-Safe Solutions offering.

Since joining the company in November 2021 as Director of Strategy and Business Development, Chris has grown the company’s Business Development, Commercial, Corporate Sustainability, Marketing and Tendering teams based at the company’s global headquarters in Aberdeen, UK.

Chris continues to be responsible for these departments in his new position, with Well-Safe Solutions Pty Ltd – the company’s Asia-Pacific entity based in Perth, Western Australia – also reporting into him.

In recognition of his new role, Chris said: “I’ve been fortunate to be a part of the Well-Safe Solutions team as it has undergone considerable change and organic growth over the past three years.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to take on this leadership role at such an important time for the business. There’s still so much for Well-Safe Solutions to achieve through our international commercial strategy, and we are well-positioned for growth into a number of new markets.”

Phil Milton, Chief Executive Officer at Well-Safe Solutions, added: “With his dedication and commitment to driving growth, I am confident that Chris will excel in this new role and continue to contribute significantly to our company’s ongoing success.”

Catriona Walzak has also been promoted to Strategic Business Analyst from the position of Executive Assistant. She will work closely with the CEO, CFO and CCO to provide strategic support to Well-Safe Solutions’ international growth ambitions.

Well-Safe Solutions’ CEO Phil Milton joins OEUK Board

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International energy transition and well decommissioning specialists Well-Safe Solutions have announced the nomination of Chief Executive Officer Phil Milton to the Board of trade body Offshore Energies UK (OEUK).

With over three decades of experience in the international energy sector and extensive technical knowledge in all aspects of the well lifecycle, Phil joins the Board as a Non-Executive Director for a minimum of two years.

In this role, Phil will work alongside OEUK to provide perspective on the experiences, opportunities and challenges facing the global well decommissioning sector and its role on the journey to net zero.

Speaking on his appointment, Phil said: “I am honoured to be able to support OEUK during what is a pivotal time for the energy sector within the UK.

“I look forward to working closely with OEUK, its members and the wider board, to assist in showcasing the vital role that the UK’s energy supply chain has to play in delivering a just and sustainable energy transition while we strive toward the goal of net zero carbon emissions.”

Steve Bowyer, General Manager, North Sea at EnQuest and Steve Nicol, Executive President of Operations at Wood have also been appointed with immediate effect to the Board of OEUK.

They will help OEUK continue to set the strategic agenda for the UK’s offshore energy industry and its stakeholders.

David Whitehouse, CEO of Offshore Energies UK, commented: “We’re delighted to welcome Steve Bowyer, Phil Milton and Steve Nicol to our Board. They bring experience and skills that will benefit our members and our industry as we build a low carbon future across the UK to safeguard jobs, deliver energy security and unlock economic growth.

“Each of our new Board members brings the kind of practical business and engineering know-how we need to build a globally competitive investment environment and offshore energy future. I look forward to working with them as we continue to champion our sector and show how it can create long-term economic growth across the UK.”

Under Phil’s leadership, Well-Safe Solutions has grown from a company of six employees at inception in 2017 to an international, multi-discipline business with over 430 staff today. It has acquired and converted three offshore drilling rigs into specialist well decommissioning assets, expanded internationally into the Asia-Pacific market, and increased revenue generation with year-on-year growth.

Phil’s appointment comes in a general election year in which OEUK is championing a homegrown transition built on the UK’s offshore energy heritage. If the nation can create a globally competitive investment environment, this future offers huge opportunities for the UK’s firms, their supply chains and skilled people.

Read and download the OEUK 2024 Industry Manifesto free of charge at

Well-Safe Solutions appoints first-ever Chief Financial Officer to fuel continued growth

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Well-Safe Solutions has appointed its first-ever Chief Financial Officer as it continues to deliver its strategic growth plans throughout Asia-Pacific and Europe.

Alan McQuade assumed the CFO position in March, bringing with him nearly two decades of experience in a variety of senior and management positions in financial services and engineering sector roles.

Alan most recently spent five years with ICR Integrity Group as the company’s CFO, Chief Financial and Strategy Officer, and latterly the Group’s Managing Director.

Prior to ICR, he served as CFO for two of Acteon Group’s operating companies, with £100m+ combined revenue.

Earlier in his career, he was involved in financial due diligence, fundraising and financial restructuring exercises in support of international clients as part of the Transaction Services team at PwC.

Commenting on his new role, Alan said: “Watching Well-Safe Solutions go from strength to strength over the past few years has been inspiring and I’m thrilled to be joining the Well-Safe Solutions team at such a crucial time for its strategic growth.

“I am very much looking forward to working closely with the senior management team, investors and our stakeholders to ensure Well-Safe Solutions continues to capitalise on opportunities in the international energy transition sector.”

In his role as CFO, Alan McQuade will spearhead investor relations while helping to secure new funding and support the continued growth of the company.

Phil Milton, Chief Executive Officer at Well-Safe Solutions, said: “Alan’s considerable corporate finance and energy sector supply chain experience will be invaluable in delivering our international growth ambitions.

“Our commitment to international expansion is a key aspect of the business’ strategic five-year growth plan. Alan’s appointment is a pivotal moment in our journey to strengthen our position as a decommissioning market leader.”

As well as being a Chartered Accountant, Alan holds a BCom in Business Studies with Accounting from the University of Edinburgh.

He joins a growing team at Well-Safe Solutions, with energy financial specialist Derek Leith being appointed to the Well-Safe Solutions board as Non-Executive Director in February 2024.

Well-Safe Solutions announces new Board level appointment

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International energy transition specialists Well-Safe Solutions have announced the appointment of energy financial specialist Derek Leith to the Board as Non-Executive Director.

Derek, based in Aberdeen, UK, brings over 35 years of financial experience to Well-Safe Solutions, with nearly three decades in various executive and management roles at EY, including as Global Oil & Gas Tax Leader.

Speaking on his appointment, Derek said: “It has been fascinating to see Well-Safe Solutions’ progress over the past few years, particularly in the development of its sustainability policies and growth into the Asia-Pacific region.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the Board and wider team to continue Well-Safe Solutions’ growth and influence within the energy transition sector.”

Phil Milton, Chief Executive Officer at Well-Safe Solutions, said: “Derek’s experience is wide-ranging and attracting someone with his deep energy sector and energy transition experience is a credit to the company’s ambitions.”

“His experience in influencing and steering the Scottish Government’s Energy Strategy, Aberdeen City and Shire City Deal and the establishment of economic consultancy Opportunity North East will be invaluable as we navigate the complexities of the energy transition sector and continue our international growth trajectory.”

Derek was a senior reviewing partner for the UK Government’s North Sea Transition Deal in 2021. He is also a regular media commentator, conference speaker and industry tax participator on topics relating to the energy transition, enabling businesses to position themselves effectively in regards to these regulatory challenges.

In addition to being a Chartered Tax Advisor, Derek is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants, and holds an MA in Politics and Philosophy from the University of Aberdeen.

This latest development follows a busy year of growth for Well-Safe Solutions in 2023, having most recently agreed a global master decommissioning services agreement with bp until at least September 2026.

Well-Safe Solutions ink bp global master agreement for well engineering and decommissioning support services

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Global well plug and abandonment specialists Well-Safe Solutions has agreed a global master agreement with bp lasting until at least September 2026, with two one-year contract extension options available.

The agreement will see the well decommissioning specialists provide bp with project management, well engineering, engineering design and well decommissioning services.

Matt Jenkins, Chief Operating Officer at Well-Safe Solutions, said: “Following on from our work with bp decommissioning wells in the North Sea’s Kate field earlier this year, we are delighted to have been awarded this agreement.

“This multi-year contract will see us deploy our Well Decommissioning Delivery Process (WDDP), which guides operators through the well plug and abandonment process efficiently and safely.

“Our commitment to safe, smart and efficient decommissioning will enable us to deliver bespoke solutions tailored to bp’s well stock, including the possibility of utilising the Well-Safe Guardian, Well-Safe Protector or Well-Safe Defender plug and abandonment rigs.”

This contract announcement is the latest in a busy year for Well-Safe Solutions, which recently announced the creation of the Well-Safe Resources service line in August 2023 and the appointment of Steve Combe as Consultancy Manager.

Well-Safe Defender adds Appleton well to Spirit Energy scope

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Well decommissioning specialists Well-Safe Solutions have signed an agreement with Spirit Energy to add a well from the Appleton field to the existing scope of the Well-Safe Defender semi-submersible rig.

This project will add approximately one month of work to the backlog of the Well-Safe Defender, which mobilised in March 2023 to plug and abandon (P&A) 14 wells on the UK continental shelf for Spirit Energy.

The addition of the Appleton well, for an undisclosed value, follows the successful decommissioning of wells in the Chestnut and Trees fields, with the latter currently ongoing.

Chris Hay, Director of Strategy and Commercial at Well-Safe Solutions, said: “From the earliest days of Well-Safe Solutions over six years ago, we have fostered collaborative working throughout the industry to realise safe, smart and efficient well decommissioning operations.

“Spirit Energy’s decision to grant Well-Safe Solutions this contract extension is an endorsement of the excellent performance of the Well-Safe Defender and its crew.

“Our excellent HSE and operational track record throughout the ongoing campaign has provided Spirit Energy with the assurance and encouragement they needed to award us this scope extension.

“We are proud to continue our relationship with Spirit Energy and look forward to continuing our world-class decommissioning operations later this year.”

Head of Wells for Spirit Energy, Nicky Riley, said: “Well-Safe’s continued strong performance has allowed us to collaborate further with the team – accelerating the decommissioning of the Appleton well, aligning us further with our strategic pillar of meeting and de-risking our decommissioning operations.”

The Appleton field, 160 miles east of Dundee, was originally discovered in 1997 by Amoco and Amerada Hess.

This contract win is the latest during a summer of international expansion for Well-Safe Solutions, who recently announced an expansion into CCUS projects and the appointment of Alexa Duncan as the company’s first-ever Energy Transition Manager.

The Well-Safe Defender mobilising for Spirit Energy in April 2023.

Well-Safe Solutions targets CCUS projects with Energy Transition Manager

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Well decommissioning experts Well-Safe Solutions are adding carbon capture and storage (CCUS) and geothermal project capabilities to their offering with the appointment of Alexa Duncan as the company’s first Energy Transition Manager.

Alexa – who has over a decade and a half of experience in project management and well engineering roles for international operators – will be pivotal in the delivery of these energy transition business streams, expanding upon the company’s existing well plug and abandonment offering.

Speaking on her new role, Alexa said: “Well-Safe Solutions is at the forefront of the well plug and abandonment industry and working closely with clients to reduce their carbon footprint.

“With the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) estimating CO2 storage capacity of 78 billion tonnes on the UK continental shelf alone, there is a clear opportunity for Well-Safe Solutions to apply its considerable expertise when assisting our clients on the journey to net zero carbon emissions.[1]

“In addition, extensive growth is also predicted within the geothermal market. I’m passionate about the energy transition and very much looking forward to collaborating with our highly experienced well engineering and subsurface teams on upcoming projects internationally.”

CCUS refers to the technologies which enable CO2 to be reduced or removed from the atmosphere. It is typically captured, transported and stored (or used) to reduce its effect on the environment. COcan then be injected into geological formations and permanently locked away in a suitable storage reservoir such as a deep saline aquifer or depleted oil or gas field.

Geothermal projects typically involve the harnessing of thermal energy within the Earth’s crust to provide heat and/or electricity generation.

James Richards, Well Abandonment Director at Well-Safe Solutions, added: “Recruiting a professional of Alexa’s calibre to our team is a clear endorsement of our ambition in this sector.

“Our own market research and client feedback indicates an opportunity for us to apply the lessons learned and collaborative working practices we deliver in well plug and abandonment to these fields.”

Development of a CCUS and geothermal project capability is part of a wider strategy to expand the business with new service lines offered internationally.

During the summer, the Aberdeen-headquartered company announced the Well-Safe Resources service line and the opening of Well-Safe Solutions Pty Ltd in Perth, Western Australia, in addition to further appointments within their Commercial team.

[1] Source: North Sea Transition Authority, Carbon Capture and Storage

Well-Safe Solutions expands Commercial team with Business Development Manager

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International well plug and abandonment specialists Well-Safe Solutions have strengthened their commercial team with the hiring of Paul Simpson as Business Development Manager.

Paul, who is based at Well-Safe Solutions’ global headquarters in Aberdeen, brings over 25 years of experience in global well intervention management, business development and operations to the role.

Making his start at Well-Safe Solutions at the end of September, Paul said: “I’ve watched with interest the continuing growth of Well-Safe Solutions over the past few years, with the creation of Well-Safe Solutions Pty and the Well-Safe Resources service line underlining the company’s continued expansion this year.

“Throughout my career, I’ve prided myself on successfully integrating service lines to boost efficiency and answer specific challenges facing clients, building mutually-beneficial relationships in the process.

“I’m looking forward to contributing to the company’s continued growth as we target clients across the land and offshore well decommissioning markets in a number of geographies worldwide.”

Paul previously spent nearly two decades working for energy services provider Expro, progressing from well engineering roles into client and contractual roles before developing into operations and service delivery positions.

Prior to this, Paul was part of a multi-skilled well abandonment team tasked with delivering the safe abandonment of bp’s North West Hutton project in the North Sea.

Chris Hay, Director of Strategy and Commercial, added: “I’m delighted to welcome someone of Paul’s calibre to Well-Safe. Paul’s arrival comes at an exciting time for the business, as we continue the implementation of our international growth strategy as well as strengthening our position in the North Sea market.

“Building on his considerable experience and skills in client management, Paul will work closely with our customer base to identify new opportunities and develop solutions for safe and efficient well decommissioning.”

Well-Safe Solutions introduces Well-Safe Resources and consultancy manager

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International well plug and abandonment specialists Well-Safe Solutions have announced Well-Safe Resources; a new business function focusing on deploying market-leading well engineering and project management talent worldwide.

The newly-formed Well-Safe Resources service offering will be headed by Steve Combe; an experienced team leader and recruitment advisor with over 15 years of experience in North Sea, Falklands and West African operations.

Well-Safe Solutions will assist clients with outsourced engineering scopes, embedding specialist Well-Safe Solutions personnel with operator teams and providing bespoke plug and abandonment decommissioning assets where appropriate.

Commenting on his new role, Steve said: “I’m delighted to be joining the team at such an important period of development for the business.

“Well plug and abandonment activity is a specialist field with unique challenges, requiring the right mix of technical expertise, talent and ingenuity.

“A company’s greatest asset is its people and I’m confident that we can build upon the solid foundations established to date to continue to recruit, retain and deploy some of the industry’s brightest minds on rewarding well plug and decommissioning projects worldwide.

Chris Hay, Director of Strategy and Commercial at Well-Safe Solutions, added: “Steve’s appointment is a key aspect of our vision to be the industry’s trusted well decommissioning service partner of choice.

“Well-Safe Resources will bolster our existing ability to provide clients with flexible, collaborative project management and engineering support as required.

“Our expansion into this space has followed client feedback and market research, which demonstrates clear demand for a Tier 1 well decommissioning provider to step into this sector.”

This announcement comes during a sustained period of growth for the UK-based well decommissioning specialist as it eyes international growth in several key markets worldwide.

Earlier in the summer, Well-Safe Solutions announced the creation of Well-Safe Solutions Pty Ltd, with industry stalwart Massimo Delia heading operations from its Perth, Western Australia office.

Well-Safe Solutions announces Australasia expansion with new General Manager

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International well plug and abandonment specialists Well-Safe Solutions are expanding into the Asia Pacific region with the appointment of Massimo Delia as General Manager of newly-created Well-Safe Solutions Pty Ltd.

Massimo, based in Perth, Western Australia, joins Well-Safe Solutions with over 20 years of subsea commercial and engineering experience in a variety of strategic and managerial positions.

In their initial assessment of Australia’s offshore oil and gas decommissioning liability, industry body Centre of Decommissioning Australia (CODA) has identified more than USD$50bn of work ahead – with well plug and abandonment and pipeline removal the majority of estimated spend.1

This includes the abandonment of over 1,000 offshore wells, in addition to a significant onshore decommissioning market.

Commenting on his appointment, Massimo said: “I have watched Well-Safe Solutions go from strength to strength in Europe, with the growth of its Subsurface and Well Engineering team capabilities and the mobilisation of all three well plug and abandonment assets for the first time in the company’s history just some of the recent highlights.

“I am eager to play my part in the next chapter of the company’s growth and look forward to collaborating with my colleagues, clients and stakeholders in the UK and Australia.”

Phil Milton, Chief Executive Officer of Well-Safe Solutions, added: “Working in tandem with the wider Well-Safe Solutions team, Massimo will be instrumental in leveraging our capabilities and track record to partner with operators and stakeholders throughout Australia and Asia.

“We’re looking forward to undertaking offshore and onshore well decommissioning projects with the input of the highly experienced engineering sector and supply chain already present within the region.

“Massimo’s appointment is a reflection of Well-Safe Solutions’ ambitious growth strategy. Well-Safe Solutions is the first Tier 1 company to offer the complete well plug and abandonment capability under one roof – from front-end engineering and design, through to project delivery, specialist engineering support and close out.”

With over 400 wells worldwide featuring Well-Safe Solutions’ engineering expertise and 70+ wells either decommissioned or to be decommissioned by the business in the North Sea alone, the company is well-placed to deliver on its mission to provide safe, efficient and collaborative well plug and abandonment operations.

Earlier in 2023, Well-Safe Solutions announced that all three well P&A assets – the Well-Safe Guardian, Well-Safe Protector and Well-Safe Defender – were all committed to firm contracts before options until at least mid-2024.

The portfolio includes the Well-Safe Guardian; the market’s first single-asset well decommissioning solution, with saturation diving and lightweight well intervention system capabilities installed this summer.

1 Source: Centre of Decommissioning Australia (CODA), A Baseline Assessment of Australia’s Offshore Oil and Gas Decommissioning Liability, p.3