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Well-Safe Solutions secures £66 million investment to advance decommissioning work

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Aberdeen, Scotland-headquartered Well-Safe Solutions has secured £66 million (€76.4 million) in new investment to fund its plans to become a tier one well decommissioning company.

The new round of investment has been led by MW&L Capital Partners, and brings together a consortium of private investors to acquire a major stake in the company.

“This significant investment marks the beginning of our next phase of planned growth,” commented Phil Milton, CEO of Well-Safe. “The initial private funding from our original shareholders has enabled us to build strong foundations. We have amassed the largest concentration of well decommissioning expertise in the North Sea, secured major plug and abandonment (P&A) contracts, and are generating significant revenues from our engineering business.

“In addition, we have acquired our first asset, the Well-Safe Guardian which is currently being upgraded and converted into a bespoke P&A asset for the industry. With the backing of MW&L and existing shareholders, we’ll be bringing the Well-Safe Guardian into operation in the first half of 2020 and looking to acquire further assets as planned to accelerate the delivery of our campaign-based approach to the plug and abandonment of wells in the North Sea and Continental Europe.”

MW&L is a private investment business providing flexible, long-term capital to growth companies. Julian Metherell, a founding partner of the investment firm, added: “Decommissioning is one of the greatest industrial challenges we face and a sector with massive global potential.

“Well-Safe, with its wealth of well decommissioning experience, dedicated marine P&A assets and associated equipment, is the first-of-its-kind tier one company with a complete P&A capability, and is ideally placed to capitalise on this opportunity.”

Well-Safe was launched in 2017 to provide a new approach to safe and cost-efficient decommissioning. The specialist well decommissioning company, which now employs 70 staff and around 20 contractors, allows operators to meet the challenges and regulatory requirements around decommissioning while reducing costs.

According to Well-Safe, expenditure on decommissioning in the UK Continental Shelf is expected to reach £15.3 billion (€17.1 billion) in the next decade. The decommissioning of wells accounts for around 49% of the total spend, with around 5,000 wells earmarked for decommissioning in the North Sea in the next 10 years.