Decommissioning specialist Well-Safe Solutions is set to acquire Diamond Offshore’s Ocean Guardian semi-submersible drilling unit.

The drilling unit entered service in 1985 and has been used to drill hundreds of wells in the North Sea.

Well-Safe Solutions executive director Mark Patterson said: “This is a major milestone in Well-Safe’s journey and one that is in-line with our strategy.

“It’s great to have The Ocean Guardian, which has a great reputation on which we will build, as our first asset.”

The acquisition is expected to create 90 jobs in Well-Safe Solutions over the course of 2019, bolstering the company’s current strength of 40 employees.

“It’s great to have The Ocean Guardian, which has a great reputation on which we will build, as our first asset.”


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Once delivered, Well-Safe Solutions will invest around $100m to upgrade the semi-submersible unit into a plug and abandonment (P&A) unit. The upgrades will include installation of a dive system and the capability to deploy a subsea intervention lubricator (SIL). The refurbished P&A unit will be renamed ‘Well-Safe Guardian’.

Well-Safe Solutions CEO Phil Milton said: “We have stayed totally focused and committed to our original strategy and are delighted to have reached this agreement with Diamond Offshore for the acquisition of our first asset, which will allow us to deliver the complete P&A solution.”

Launched in August 2017, Well-Safe Solutions aims to capitalise on the growing market of decommissioning services as more than 33,000 wells are expected to be decommissioned over the next 20 years.

The company also said that it is working to procure its second semi-submersible which will be followed by a Jack-Up, Mono-hull vessel and Land-based P&A units.