Well-Safe Solutions has secured a £66 million funding injection as it looks to tap into the multi-billion-pound decommissioning market.
The Aberdeen-headquartered group said MW&L Capital Partners had led the new round of investment, bringing together a consortium of private investors to acquire a major stake in the business.
Well-Safe was launched in 2017 to provide a “ground-breaking” approach to safe and cost-efficient decommissioning and now employs 70 staff and some 20 contractors. It was established by industry stalwarts Alasdair Locke, Mark Patterson, and Paul Warwick.
Funding from Scottish Enterprise, including investment from the Scottish Investment Bank and a regional selective assistance grant, helped bolster the initial private financing provided by the major shareholders.
Well-Safe chief executive Phil Milton said: “This significant investment marks the beginning of our next phase of planned growth. 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.”
He added: “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.”
Expenditure on decommissioning in the UK Continental Shelf is forecast to be in excess of £15 billion in the next decade. Well decommissioning accounts for almost half of total spend, equating to some £7.5bn spend over the next decade. About 5,000 wells, of which 1,000 are subsea, require to be decommissioned in the North Sea.
Locke and Warwick remain as chairman and non-executive director respectively. Julian Metherell of MW&L joins the board which also comprises Well-Safe’s senior management and Scottish Enterprise. Founding executive director Patterson will be stepping down following the deal.