Well-Safe Solutions has acquired the West Epsilon jack-up rig from Seadrill on Sept. 14 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 program, ready to deploy the unit specifically for enhanced plug and abandonment projects in early 2021.
“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 focused and committed to our strategy and are delighted to have reached this agreement with Seadrill,” Phil Milton, Well-Safe Solutions CEO, said.
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 U.K. company providing a full, Tier 1, P&A specialist service from both a bespoke decommissioning semi-submersible and jackup drilling rig, offering substantial cost savings and environmental benefits to our customers.
With the industry’s number of drilling units—both semisubmersible and jackup’s—in the UKCS in decline through both retirement and cold stacking, Well-Safe is bucking the trend by investing heavily in its fleet. Providing warm assets with a full five-year SPS ready to undertake multioperator, multiwell 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.
“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,” Milton added.
The combined company is expected to generate annual synergies of $1.2 billion and will operate as Cenovus Energy Inc with headquarters in Alberta.
Laredo Petroleum remains “focused on executing similar, reasonably-priced bolt-on acquisitions around our core position in Howard County,” CEO Jason Pigott says.
Cracks have begun to show in the traditional performance metrics for executive compensation in the oil and gas industry, and there’s a growing push to reconsider them in the new environment.