Top Channel 4 series ‘SAS: Who Dares Wins’ films rig-based task for its latest series on Well-Safe Guardian

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Melding two distinctly different operating cultures on a remote operating environment for a SAS task is not without its challenges and is certainly not for the faint-hearted. That said, with attention to detail, perfect planning, and adherence to the highest standards, it was a task that showcased the Oil & Gas sector’s finest safety culture.

Aberdeen based decommissioning company, Well-Safe Solutions, took part in filming for the upcoming Channel 4 series last summer with strict covid procedures in place.

The company’s semi-submersible rig, the Well-Safe Guardian, currently located in the Port of Cromarty Firth, was the location for the task, with crew onboard ensuring a smooth delivery of operations and the safety of all involved.

Well-Safe, who are members of the industries Step Change in Safety, reached out to Executive Director, Steve Rae, to provide a third-party review of the risk assessments required to undertake these activities with a mindset of “no incidents, no harm to personnel, the environment, or the asset”.

Steve Rae said: “From the onset it was obvious that all the organisations involved had a genuine willingness to engage, collaborate and share their experience for the greater good.  The bringing together of like-minded individuals with the required knowledge, experience, and competence, combined with the common object of delivering the filming of these activities safely, set us up for success.”

With collaboration at the core of the project, Well-Safe carried out rigorous assessment exercises alongside Step Change in Safety, Minnow Films and Remote Trauma to ensure all major accident hazard risks were identified and mitigated. A large admiration was held for the production’s standard of qualifications in health and safety, offshore qualifications and risk assessment capability.

Alex Bohanna, Director of Operations at Remote Trauma, an independent health and safety consultancy agency working alongside Minnow Films, said: “Often working in remote and inhospitable environments for our shoots, it is our job to ensure we keep our people safe from harm. The Well-Safe personnel complemented our belief in safety and exceeded our expectations.”

“The planning process that Well-Safe instigated leading up to the shoot day followed clear and structured procedures. Time was taken to understand the risk involved in the task and apply barriers and mitigation to enable the activities to be carried out safely.”

Due to air in May, the show sees civilians put through military training exercises to test their physical and mental strength. Ex-special forces and show star Jason Fox said: “Gaining access to the Well-Safe Guardian and working closely with their team for our task enabled a rare filming opportunity like this to be possible.”

Not only was this exercise outwith the industry “norm”, but the organisation process through the digital work-from-home age saw ropes teams, ex-military advisors and high-level corporate bosses dialling in from their respective locations.

Benjamin Leigh, the Executive Producer for the series, said: “We understood through the planning process there were several hoops to jump through before we could gain access to a location such as the Well-Safe Guardian.”

“The communication and planning that Well-Safe instigated throughout the entire project displayed professionalism, diversity and courage, giving us the chance to film an epic task in an incredible location.”

“Even during the pandemic, all safety measures were made clear and communicated effectively, showcasing a fantastic one-team culture.”

With the task set-up from the top down using open communication between all parties and seniority levels involved, Well-Safe implemented their ONETEAM ethos working together to deliver exceptional results, showcasing the industries safety standard to a wider audience in a unique way.



Well-Safe’s D300 Diving System Arrives on Scottish Shores

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A fantastic start to the week yesterday seeing the long-awaited arrival of our D300 Diving System to Scottish shores.

The journey from Singapore has taken six weeks and thanks to the hard work and dedication of the team, they ensured the unit’s safe arrival this morning. This has been no mean feat, with operations being managed from the UK by Well-Safe Solutions along with the support of Orca Oceanic Systems Ltd. Throughout this project, the team have adjusted their working hours to match that of the team in Singapore and now with its arrival in the UK are excited to start their new journey.

The unit will undergo a full refurbishment, and major enhancements to the system, including the addition of a bespoke Bell handling system and twin Self Propelled Hyperbaric Lifeboats (SPHL’s). This will enable the execution of saturation diving operations from the Well-Safe Guardian asset when required by clients.



Well-Safe completes the Well-Safe Protector’s intake ahead of schedule, with zero injuries and no COVID cases.

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Since purchasing the Well-Safe Protector in September of 2020, our team and our partners have been working extremely hard to achieve the milestones set out as part of our ambitious rig readiness and onboarding programs.

Following an intense shipyard stay in Norway, under ever-tightening COVID protocols, and a December cross-North Sea rig move, the Well-Safe Protector arrived in Invergordon. It has since undergone a complete Special Periodic Survey, and all operational equipment has been fully re-activated & tested. Our Well-Safe crew are now focusing on integrating all our processes and systems by taking lessons from our Well-Safe Guardian experience in preparation for rig acceptance audits in the coming weeks.

One of our key milestones was achieving the HSE Safety Case, which was completed, submitted, and approved by the regulator ahead of the planned schedule and is now in place. Thanks to our team’s dedication onshore and offshore, along with the support of Marex, for delivering this result.

With all technical documentation in place and the completion of the drilling equipment, our 7-month project involving over 105,000 manhours of work, incident-free, is now complete.

This kind of performance was only delivered because the teams and subcontractors worked as #ONETEAM and worked through every challenge they faced. They should be very proud of this achievement.


‘The Bigger Picture’ a Well-Safe Approach

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Last week Well-Safe Solutions took part in the 2021 virtual ICoTA week, with our Chief Operating Officer, Matt Jenkins, giving the keynote speech, followed by Steve Chalmers, one of our Senior Well Abandonment Engineers, presenting on ‘Optimisating Well Suspension through Light Intervention from a Moored Semi-Submersible.’ Here, Steve Chalmers talks more about the bigger picture in well decommissioning and furthering cost reduction, reducing risk and decreasing the carbon footprint of a project.

Well-Safe Solutions have completed multiple FEED/SELECT decommissioning studies for various operators within the UK. These studies cover all phases of well decommissioning; from initial well suspension to wellhead removal, identifying key risks associated with each phase and providing solutions to reduce risk and costs.

The approach outlined last week during the ICoTA presentation focussed on the initial Well Suspension Phase, comparing a more common approach utilising a Light Well Intervention Vessel (LWIV) to our bespoke “One MODU” vessel; the Well-Safe Guardian.

Beyond the initial Well Suspension Phase, additional risk and cost reductions can be achieved when taking a more holistic view of the overall field decommissioning campaign.

Comparing the same well suspension operations but considering it as part of an overall decommissioning campaign found that, in most scenarios, a moored semi-submersible is required during the remaining abandonment phases. Therefore, any risk associated with mooring a semi-submersible is still present even if the initial suspension work is completed without a rig. In addition, utilising an additional vessel (e.g. LWIV) to complete the well suspension phase increases the overall operational risk and cost to the decommissioning campaign through additional mobilisations, as well as managing multiple vessel scopes and contracts.

The Well-Safe “One MODU” Solution to Field Decommissioning minimises the number of vessels required to complete the scope of work, provides a decreased carbon footprint, provides a reduction in project risk exposure, and ensures more cost certainty for our customers.

In the near future, Well-Safe Solutions plans to announce updated news on our intervention system that will become a valuable addition to the Well-Safe Guardian.

Well-Safe Solutions Supply Chain Success

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Since its inception in 2017, Well-Safe Solutions has focused heavily upon establishing relationships with a variety of organisations at every level of the supply chain. To date, over 125 Master Services Agreement (MSA) documents have been executed covering a variety of activities both on and offshore.

This extensive suite of contracts enables Well-Safe Solutions to provide a full, Tier 1, P&A specialist service from both its bespoke decommissioning semi-submersible and jack-up rigs. Agreements put in place have been used operationally to great success in support of Well-Safe’s clients, and to facilitate upgrade & modification tasks on the Well-Safe Guardian and Protector assets.

Well-Safe Solutions has focused on building a collaborative culture of vendor engagement across every level of its operations. Specifically, this has involved fostering clear, concise and transparent relationships with its subcontractors in line with Well-Safe’s company philosophy.

Well-Safe Solutions believes that the formation of these relationships will provide the foundation for undertaking multi-operator, multi-well campaigns as part of the ‘P&A Club’ offering, delivering utmost commercial efficiency alongside industry-leading service performance.

Decommissioning – We’re ready. Are you?

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Our vision is to be the trusted well decommissioning service partner of choice.

As part of that journey, not only have we invested by growing our fleet, we understand that our people are equally important.

By bolstering our onshore team and investing heavily in our offshore teams, we have attracted some of the most experienced P&A crew available in the market, bringing together their experience and lessons learned to further develop our Well-Safe Culture.

By overhauling areas that will see heavy usage, adding adaptations for decommissioning operations, and combing our alliance with our downhole service company to help us integrate the services to reduce POB numbers, we are working hard to truly optimise P&A campaigns.



Well-Safe Solutions secures major investment following the acquisition of their second asset

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Following the recent acquisition of their second asset, Well-Safe Solutions has secured a significant £26 million investment to fund the next phase of its growth plan.

The further investment into the decommissioning company was led by MW&L Capital Partners, following their initial investment of £66 million to the company back in October 2019.

Phil Milton, Chief Executive Officer at Well-Safe Solutions, said: “This significant investment will help the company continue to deliver the growth and vision of the business in becoming a globally recognised Tier 1 well decommissioning company.”

“With the continued support of MW&L and existing shareholders, including the direct investment clients of Stonehage Fleming, we’ll be bringing the Well-Safe Guardian and Well-Safe Protector into operation in the spring of 2021 and aim to add further assets to our growing fleet – supporting our campaign-based approach to decommissioning.”

MW&L is a private investment vehicle providing flexible, long term capital to growth businesses. Julian Metherell, Partner at MW&L and Non-Exec Director at Well-Safe Solutions, commented: “Our initial investment with Well-Safe aimed to capitalise on the opportunity of an experienced team with dedicated decommissioning capability willing to tackle one of the industry’s greatest challenges with massive global potential.”

“With their recent purchase of the jack-up drilling unit, the Well-Safe Protector, the acquisition in 2019 of the semi-sub, the Well-Safe Guardian and a complete P&A capability, they are poised to tackle the industry challenge head-on.”

Well-Safe was launched in 2017 to provide a ground-breaking approach to safe and cost-efficient decommissioning and currently employs 80 staff with 50 based in Aberdeen and 30 offshore. As a specialist well decommissioning company it allows operators to meet the challenges and regulatory requirements around decommissioning, while significantly reducing costs.

Industry stalwart Alasdair Locke, Chairman and majority shareholder in Well-Safe Solutions said: “Well-Safe Solutions has the delivery model and capability that will revolutionise how we approach well decommissioning. It is committed to providing a world-class offering and has the skills, tools and experience to become a market leader in this exciting yet pivotal phase of our industry.”

Providing bespoke assets following significant investment and upgrade, Well-Safe says they are ready to undertake multi-operator, multi-well campaigns as part of their ‘P&A Club’ model, prepared to deliver the cost-savings that the operators and regulators desire.

Well-Safe Solutions goes from strength to strength as it acquires jack-up rig to bolster their bespoke decommissioning fleet

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Well-Safe Solutions is today delighted to announce the acquisition of the West Epsilon jack-up rig from Seadrill sparking another job boost for the company.

Built in 1993, the asset is a heavy-duty, harsh environment jack-up with an extensive and enviable operational history in the North Sea.

The news comes following the company’s acquisition of the Well-Safe Guardian in April 2019 and adds to their growing portfolio of bespoke decommissioning assets.

Well-Safe will start work immediately on the newly renamed ‘Well-Safe Protector’ to undertake an upgrade and modification programme, ready to deploy the unit specifically for enhanced plug and abandonment projects in early 2021.

Phil Milton, CEO, Well-Safe Solutions said: “The acquisition of this asset allows us to continue to deliver our vision and the business model that we set out to deliver to the industry, giving us the ability to cover both subsea wells and multiple platform projects. We have remained focussed and committed to our strategy and are delighted to have reached this agreement with Seadrill.

This further investment into the business not only strengthens our offering but will drive further recruitment with the creation of around 100 new jobs, which, during these times of great uncertainty within the industry, is welcome news.”

Operations on the upgrade and SPS renewal of the company’s first rig, the Well-Safe Guardian, were paused earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with operations now restarting and the addition of the ‘Well-Safe Protector’, Well-Safe is poised to be the first UK company providing a full, Tier 1, P&A specialist service from both a bespoke decommissioning semi-submersible and jack-up drilling rig, offering substantial cost savings and environmental benefits to our customers.

With the industry’s number of drilling units (both semi-submersible and jack-up’s) in the UKCS in decline through both retirement and cold stacking, Well-Safe is bucking the trend by investing heavily in their fleet. Providing warm assets with a full 5-year SPS ready to undertake multi-operator, multi-well campaigns as part of their ‘P&A Club’ offering, delivering the cost-savings that the industry and regulators desire.

The acquisition – for an undisclosed sum – will see Well-Safe’s staffing levels rise both onshore and offshore ­as the company continues preparations to deploy both the Well-Safe Guardian and the Well-Safe Protector in early 2021.

Well-Safe awards MSA for the provision of dive system support & engineering services to Orca Oceanic Systems Ltd

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Well-Safe Solutions is delighted to announce the award to Oceanic Systems Ltd (OOS) for the provision of Dive System Support and Engineering Services onboard the Well-Safe Guardian semi-submersible decommissioning rig.

Mike Masson, OOS’s Managing Director: “We’re delighted to finally secure the Master Service Agreement (MSA) with Well-Safe Solutions.  We have been working with Well-Safe extensively over the past 8 months assisting in securing a saturation system and associated equipment and now to continue to get the opportunity to install and commission the system is a further endorsement of the professionalism and capabilities of the Orca Oceanic Systems team.”

Our dedicated project team is already deployed, and the preparation phase has begun with arrangements being made to complete the shipping of the system from Singapore as soon as the COVID-19 Situation allows.”

Phil Milton, CEO, Well-Safe Solutions: “Executing this MSA with Orca Oceanic Systems will ensure the continued delivery of our bespoke plug and abandonment asset, the Well-Safe Guardian, giving our customers the best-in-class service from a single unit.”.

Orca Oceanic Systems Ltd (OOS) is an equipment and dive system services company with headquarters in Portlethen, Aberdeen with regional offices in London and Singapore. OOS are on track to treble its workforce with a mixture of full-time staff and contractors in the coming months to support their tier one clients, in both the commercial diving and asset management/equipment servicing sector.


Utilising Innovative Digital Solutions

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Optimising Project Performance

Well-Safe Solutions’ adoption of Apriside’s Oilfield OS Operations Management System is a key example of how we use innovative digital solutions to optimise project performance and develop partnerships with our clients.

Oilfield OS provides us with a collaborative platform in which multi-functional teams can work together to optimise the planning, execution, and analysis of well decommissioning projects.

This cloud-based workspace avoids common project risks such as poor communication and ensures all aspects of the project are integrated towards common objectives.

Clients benefit from such an approach by accessing vital project information through an easy to use portal, in which we can demonstrate in a transparent and concise manner, project performance and financial scrutiny.

This system has been used to deliver the previous 14 well decommissioning projects at Well-Safe Solutions, with data analysis and lessons learned currently being used to optimise future campaign planning and execution.

To find out more about Oilfield OS and it’s capabilities, check out their website using the link below:
Oilfield OS