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Well-Safe makes first acquisition

Written by  OE Staff Wednesday, 09 August 2017 03:06

New North Sea well abandonment firm Well-Safe Solutions has made its first acquisition - Intervention Project Management (IPM) for an undisclosed sum.

IPM’s founder and managing director, Phil Milton, has been appointed CEO of Well-Safe Solutions, which was set up to capitalize on the significant decommissioning opportunity in the North Sea by providing a new approach to subsea well abandonment.

Formed in 2007, IPM provides independent engineering, project management and consultancy services. Specializing in well intervention, including plug and abandonment, and production optimization, IPM has worked with clients including CNR International, TAQA Brattani, Repsol-Sinopec ConocoPhillips, Chevron, Halliburton, and Schlumberger.

Well-Safe Solutions aims to attract US$263 million (£200 million) in investment and create 400 new jobs.

Set up by Mark Patterson, Alasdair Locke and Paul Warwick, the firm is looking to acquire assets, including vessels and a jackup, to become the first-of-its-kind tier one company with a complete P&A capability from front-end engineering and design to project execution.

Milton has more than 26 years’ experience in well engineering in the global oil and gas industry, including the safe and efficient delivery of well services, workovers and well abandonment operations in the North Sea and beyond for CNR, Shell, BP, BG and Conoco. This includes work on the Murchison P&A project and the Hutton TLP abandonment project.

Milton said: “The shift towards prioritizing decommissioning activity, along with the number of shut-in wells, more incentives and current lower costs, makes P&A activity much more attractive. It’s the right time for Well-Safe to enter the market with a very compelling proposition that will deliver the complete package of collaboration, efficiency, safety and savings.”

By combining competitive asset day rates with long-term service and support contracts at a fixed day rate, Well-Safe says it will offer higher efficiency and utilization at lower cost.

Corporate finance advisers to the energy sector, Simmons & Co, is acting for Well-Safe. Managing director of Simmons & Co, Mike Beveridge, commented: “The launch of Well-Safe Solutions is great news for Aberdeen and the UKCS. The basin evolves continuously and new business models are always necessary to address changing market dynamics. Well-Safe has foreseen the emerging trends in well decommissioning and has built a business dedicated to servicing the new needs of operators.

“The company can quickly become established as a centre of excellence for well abandonment and emerge as an important new employer in the North East. There’s a huge well stock in the North Sea that needs this know-how and experience to decommission wells safely and efficiently. I would expect Well-Safe to take this model to other well decommissioning programs worldwide – further strengthening the UK’s position as a proving ground for new ideas and business practices which can be adopted elsewhere around the globe.”

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