Oil and gas decommissioning firm Well-Safe Solutions said yesterday it had secured a £26 million investment to fund the next phase of its growth plan.
It comes less than two months after the fledgling Aberdeen company announced it had acquired its second asset, a jack-up rig previously known as West Epsilon and now called Well-Safe Protector, from Seadrill in a move it claimed would spark the creation of about 100 jobs.
The firm bought its first asset, the Well-Safe Guardian semi-submersible, from Diamond Offshore in April last year.
London-based MW&L Capital Partners pumped £66m into Well-Safe last October and has now reaffirmed its faith in the business by leading the latest substantial cash injection.
Well-Safe chief executive Phil Milton said: “This significant investment will help the company continue to deliver the growth and vision of the business in becoming a globally recognised, tier one well decommissioning company.
“With the continued support of MW&L and existing shareholders, including the direct investment clients of Stonehage Fleming (London-based wealth manager), we’ll be bringing the Well-Safe Guardian and Well-Safe Protector into operation in the spring of 2021 and aim to add further assets to our growing fleet – supporting our campaign-based approach to decommissioning.”
MW&L specialises in flexible, long-term capital for growth businesses. It was launched in 2018 by former senior Goldman Sachs investment bankers Matthew Westerman and Julian Metherell, alongside Greek shipping magnate Peter Livanos.
Mr Metherell, now also a non-executive director at Well-Safe, said: “Our initial investment… aimed to capitalise on the opportunity of an experienced team with dedicated decommissioning capability willing to tackle one of the industry’s greatest challenges with massive global potential.
“With their recent purchase of the jack-up drilling unit, the Well-Safe Protector, the acquisition in 2019 of semi-sub the Well-Safe Guardian and a complete P&A (plug and abandon) capability, they are poised to tackle the industry challenge head-on.”
Well-Safe was founded in 2017 by oil and gas industry stalwarts Mark Patterson, Alasdair Locke and Paul Warwick.
Mr Patterson has since left the business but Mr Locke and Mr Warwick remain as chairman and non-executive director respectively.
The company aims to offer a complete well P&A service, from front-end engineering and design to project execution, helping oil and gas operators save money by removing the need to hire multiple suppliers.
It employs 80 people, with 50 based in its Gateway Business Park headquarters and a further 30 offshore.
Mr Locke, who was once executive chairman of Aberdeen-based Abbot Group – now drilling giant KCA Deutag – and collected nearly £120m from a deal to take it private, said: “Well-Safe Solutions has the delivery model and capability that will revolutionise how we approach well decommissioning.
“It is committed to providing a world-class offering and has the skills, tools and experience to become a market leader in this exciting yet pivotal phase of our industry.”