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


Preperation is Key

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In the spring of 2020, the oil & gas industry is enduring unprecedented strain. Weathering the storm of a global pandemic and reacting to the consequences of a drastic commodity downturn – just as some stability was
beginning to return to the market – is scarcely believable, yet here we are.

During this period, it is worth asking ourselves what obligations are certain, and how can we best address them.

Redundant assets compromise the balance sheet, drain cash for poor return and thus impede the viability of premium assets. An operator with an active and productive decommissioning programme is maintaining an efficient and effective asset turnover cycle, and those that are best at it will come out of this turmoil the strongest.

Well-Safe contends that preparation is key through proper data analysis, incorporation of lessons learnt, planning of investigative work (if required), and consideration of required contingencies.

A recent engineering analysis conducted by Well-Safe showed that engineering studies could demonstrably provoke 10% reduction in project cost. The source of the savings in one example was in challenging the barrier philosophy (removing scope from the work) and introducing a rigless phase to improve efficiency (removing risk and therefore contingencies). Preliminary well engineering costs are a small fraction of the overall project costs: two or three percent? If so, about ten percent of costs being driven out is a five-fold return on investment on engineering services.

Well-Safe has a comprehensive and detailed design philosophy which is an integral part of our business processes. The Well Decommissioning Design Process (WDDP) is a gated process bespoke to well abandonment. It is not a well engineering and well design process that has been adjusted to well abandonment; the process has been built to deliver well abandonment as its first order of business, and because of that, it is more efficient and comprehensive than typical gated processes.

Using the WDDP Well-Safe can deliver studies for all forms of well abandonment – having already engaged on all types of well environments; platform, rigless, jack-up, subsea, land, etc. Although Well-Safe does have its own well abandonment asset, the Well-Safe Guardian semi-submersible, it does not preclude us from providing professional services to all sectors of the well abandonment market: our engineers have experience across all environments.

The WDDP has the following gates: FEED, Select, Define, Execute and Close. Using these gates, Well-Safe can deliver a broad array of engineering output; from very early Asset Retirement Obligation (ARO) estimations, technology cost-benefit analysis, and detailed abandonment programmes.

An ARO review conducted by Well-Safe Solutions for a North-Sea operator managed to produce a saving of over £50million, by using accurate data and lessons learned taken from previous decommissioning work conducted in the field. By taking into consideration updates in technology and applying a better understanding of abandonment techniques, Well-Safe enabled the operator to release substantial financial accruals from their balance sheet.

Well-Safe engineers are in a unique position to generate cost estimates with an unusually high degree of precision – which has real-world benefits financially. When an AFE is overestimated, any capital which is locked in, but ultimately unspent, creates tangible financial inefficiencies – with a Cost of Capital of 10% per year, £5million overestimation for a year-long campaign destroys half a million pounds of operator capital.

Our degree of precision is feasible for two reasons. Firstly, with a great deal of experience, lessons learned, and broad vendor engagement, Well-Safe has a tangible appreciation of available technology, its application and cost, even in these turbulent times. Secondly, we have long term contracts with a broad range of suppliers in place today; with over 70 vendors signed up to Master Service Agreements, and multiyear contracts, Well-Safe is in a strong position to provide cost certainty.

Should Well-Safe be contracted to provide operational support to the project, we can also activate a full procurement exercise employing our active subcontracting relationships where further expertise is available.

Estimating a cost is one thing but delivering the project against this cost is quite another. That is why Well-Safe is very active in designing bespoke performance models. This provides clients with the confidence that promises made will be promises kept. These models are constructed to address the clients’ key requirements: cost assurance, delivery performance, schedule obligations, or any combination as required. We are a solution orientated company, and we believe that solutions are not just designs, technology and processes, but also commercial, contractual, and financial. Open, transparent, and constructive dialogue is key.

Ensuring preliminary planning and engineering studies are correctly executed, enables the industry to better prepare for the inevitable increased activity, with significant cost benefits and efficiency for operators.

A Safe, Smart and Efficient Approach to Well Decommissioning

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Well-Safe Solutions have a track record in progressing P&A projects from front end engineering to execution using our proven planning tools and the most experienced P&A team in the business.

Well-Safe were recently engaged on a short start-up P&A project, affording a challenging 3-month period between contract award and the arrival of the MODU on location. It was essential that project resources were aligned, programmes optimised and regulatory permits secured to ensure project delivery. Well-Safe utilised its bespoke Well Decommissioning Delivery Process to ensure that key project milestones were set and achieved, assisting with the smooth progression of the project from SELECT through to DEFINE. These crucial project phases included the submission of key regulatory documents and the generation of detailed well abandonment designs and cost estimates. The depth of experience in the Well-Safe team enabled optimisation of the well abandonment design to be implemented, such as scope removal and new technology implementation which increased overall P&A efficiency. The DEFINE phase also required an extensive procurement exercise to be undertaken, with over 20 contracts evaluated, negotiated, awarded. All of these products and/or services had to be on-boarded, integrated and deployed as part of the Project Readiness Review.

Despite the challenges, the transition from DEFINE to EXECUTE was achieved with all required equipment in place, fully considered and agreed risk assessments, regulatory consents given and well abandonment designs in place. At the Project Readiness evaluation, a “Abandon the Well on Paper” exercise was undertaken with full vendor participation, further examining the risk profiles for each activity and ensuring that the team was well prepared for the scope. This way, Well-Safe were able to further drive project optimisation, working smarter and leverage all lessons learned into the project.

Throughout the EXECUTE phase of the campaign, careful monitoring and control of the project was achieved using unique project reporting tools available to all stakeholders, and a bespoke Management of Change process to implement coordinated updates to the plan. These were key value drivers for the success of the project and they ensured that all project stakeholders were working harmoniously, with a one-team approach, progressing the project to deliver safe and efficient plug and abandonment for the client.


Going The Distance with Well-Safe Solutions

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Well-Safe Team Raises over £2,500 for COVID-19 Fund

Spearheaded by the Well-Safe Guardian rig crew, Well-Safe Solutions banded together during the pandemic to raise money for the Covid-19 Fund created by NHS Grampian Endowment Fund.

Our asset, the Well-Safe Guardian, is currently homed in Invergordon and looked after by our dedicated, hard-working crew. If each member of this crew was to travel home and back again, between them they would cover 1,335 miles.  Passing through Elgin, Inverurie, Altens, Montrose, Fife, Peterborough, Milton Keynes, North Wales and Oban.

The team decided to cover this mileage onboard the rig by rowing, cycling or running in the gym facilities or by racking up the step count around the rig. With further help from our onshore support team, utilising their daily exercise time, we managed to surpass our target mileage in the 20 days, making it virtually around the UK, back to Invergordon and even adding on the extra distance to the Aberdeen, Cove office.

By doing this, the team managed to raise £2,681 towards the incredible Covid-19 Fund set up by the NHS Grampian Endowment Fund.

The local charity has been working tirelessly to support the frontline workers during this current crisis through:

– ‘Comfort boxes’ for the NHS Staff and charities (including essential       toiletries and basic foods)
– Providing hand cream for all workers whose hands are struggling following the rigorous cleaning.
– Providing barrier cream for the workers whose skin is struggling under the PPE face masks.
– Providing 200 iPads for hospitals with patients during end of life care. This allows them to say their goodbyes via video call where possible. It will also go towards care homes for elderly relatives to better stay in touch with family members who are unable to see them.

We hope this donation is able to help the charity continue their work in in the fight against COVID-19.

Five Wells Safely Isolated On Latest Project

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Well-Safe was contracted to execute a multi-well P&A project in the UKCS from SELECT stage planning, DEFINE Engineering and management of the EXECUTION phase. Well-Safe’s value proposition to the operator was in applying detailed industry lessons to the project, reducing HSE risks and reducing the time per well whilst removing the administrative burden on the operator, who maintained a small oversight team.

With the most P&A experience in the industry, the team directly assigned to the project could count over 400 individual wells worth of experience from NNS platforms, CNS subsea campaigns and SNS Normally Unmanned Installation’s (NUI).

With only 3 months to plan from award to rig arrival, all engineering, project management, logistics and supply chain preparation was to be undertaken. Well-Safe not only ensured all timelines were met but also that many of the previous lessons learned by the team were able to be applied to ensure a swift reduction in P&A execution time from the offset.

To date, 9 wells have been suspended and work continues on the primary barrier installations to allow the platform to be called hydrocarbon free, a major step towards reducing risk for the operator. During the execution phase, a further £5.4mm of potential savings has been identified by taking advantage of opportunities through the rest of the campaign.

Fugro secure contract on-board Well-Safe Guardian rig

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Fugro has secured an initial 3-year contract with Well-Safe Solutions (WSS), a UK-based offshore well decommissioning service provider. Fugro will deliver their integrated and bundled marine-based solution onboard the Well-Safe Guardian rig, WSS’s bespoke semi-submersible unit for executing subsea well-decommissioning work.

The contract award gives Fugro responsibility for supplying and supporting remotely operated vehicle (ROV) services, rig positioning and remote operations. Expert support in this area will come from Fugro’s remote operations centre in Aberdeen, Scotland: remote access via the onshore team will reduce the number of Fugro personnel required onboard the Well-Safe Guardian asset to improve efficiency and maximise safety.

Kevin Chambers, Fugro’s ROV Service Line Director, said: “I am delighted to announce this contract award with Well-Safe Solutions. Our teams’ skills and experience in plug and abandonment and decommissioning of offshore wells perfectly complement the expertise of Well-Safe Solutions. We will also add value through our extensive knowledge of marine asset integrity.”

Phil Milton, Well-Safe Solutions’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “Following an extensive tender process we are pleased to award this contract to Fugro for ROV, rig positioning and remote operations. The capabilities of their offering enable Well-Safe to maximise overall operational efficiency and delivery for our clients at a cost-effective rate while maintaining close commercial alignment.”

Well-Safe Solutions Awards Significant Work Scope for Downhole Services

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Well-Safe Solutions has announced the award of a significant work scope to Schlumberger for the provision of Plug and Abandonment Well Services.

The scope includes the supply of cementing service, wireline services, wellbore fluid services and fishing, milling and swarf recovery services.

The appointment of Schlumberger was the result of a highly competitive selection process through which Schlumberger demonstrated a highly attuned and complementary strategy for well decommissioning. The work will be aboard the Well-Safe Guardian; Well-Safe’s flagship decommissioning asset.

Phil Milton, chief executive officer at Well-Safe Solutions said: “We are delighted to award this contract to Schlumberger following an extensive tender process. Achieving this major milestone within the timeframes we committed to, will give us access to the necessary technology and ensure our operational readiness for Q2 2020.”

Donald McKay, Business Development Manager at Schlumberger said: “Schlumberger is pleased to deliver our services for well abandonment to our clients in the North Sea. The appointment of these fully integrated services shall enable significant benefit to the P&A market.”




Local Charities Benefit from Safety Record and Triple Collaboration

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Highland Hospice, MFR Cash for Kids and Raigmore hospital’s Special Care Baby unit are all set to receive a substantial sum from a triple safety collaboration initiative run during the Well-Safe Guardian’s repair and upgrade project at Nigg Energy Park.

The Well-Safe Guardian is currently undergoing a major refurbishment and upgrade project at Nigg Energy Park to become the first dedicated, bespoke well decommissioning asset of its time.

Neil Ferguson, Operations Director at Well-Safe Solutions said: “The initiative, that was led by the crews onboard, has really driven the development of a great culture and working environment throughout this ambitious upgrade project. We are proud that the hard work of everybody involved has paid off, benefitting three great charities.”

As part of an inclusion and engagement initiative run by all 3 companies, the workforce were asked to decide on the safety initiative and then voted on how the funds raised should be allocated.
As a result; Well-Safe Solutions, Global Energy Group & Rigfit7Seas, have each committed to donating £100 for every 10,000 incident-free Man Hours achieved, to the three nominated local Charities.

Ross Thompson, Project Manager for Global Energy Groups, Access & Coatings division commented: “We are delighted with the success of the Well-Safe Guardian project and to be able to donate this money to 3 well-deserving charities. The entire workforce has been behind the safety incentive and the success is a credit to their continued attention to safety and quality, a focus that is the heart of all 3 companies and their values”.

Rigfit7Seas, Project Manager, Ryan Knowles also commented “We are very proud to be a part of this generous act, not only are we coming together to execute this project safely and efficiently, we are giving back to the local community. Everyone involved has done a tremendous job to reach this milestone”.

The 3 companies were delighted to welcome representatives from all 3 charities to Global Energy Group’s, Port of Nigg facility where each charity received a donation of £2000 from some of the team that have been responsible for delivering the project so far.