Well-Safe rig refurbishment to create scores of new jobs

About 100 new jobs will be created across two North of Scotland energy service companies after they were awarded multi-million pound deals to refurbish a rig.

Inverness-based Global Energy Group (GEG) said around 80 people would be needed to upgrade the Well-Safe Guardian semi-submersible vessel.

Rigfit7Seas, headquartered in Dyce, said its contract win would keep roughly 25 existing employees occupied – and that a further 25 recruits would be required over the coming months.

The contracts were awarded by Well-Safe Solutions, an Aberdeen-based decommissioning business founded in 2017.

GEG will provide a range of quayside and painting services during the Well-Safe Guardian rig’s stay at Nigg Energy Park.

The deal covers scaffold access, blast and paint services, provision of rope access workers, cranes, plant and labour, workboats and onsite facilities.

Rigfit7Seas – a subsidiary of Envoy & Partners, which recently demerged from GEG – will upgrade the rig’s accommodation facilities.

Stuart Paterson, managing director for GEG, Access & Coatings, said: “We are thrilled to have been awarded this contract to bring the flagship semi-submersible up to standard.

“We expect to have in the region of 80 personnel engaged on various work scopes until the end of the year.”

Rigfit7Seas managing director Brian Knowles said: “As the leading contractor in the market for accommodation upgrade services, this award will see us execute another project destined for operation in the North Sea.”

Well-Safe bought the rig, previously known as Ocean Guardian, from Diamond Offshore earlier this summer. More than £75 million has been budgeted for modifications.

As part of the upgrade, a dive system and equipment for deploying a subsea intervention lubricator will be installed.

The vessel should be ready to start plug and abandonment (P&A) work on oil wells in spring 2020.

Well-Safe says it can lower costs by lining up and decommissioning large numbers of wells for multiple clients, with specific types of rig assigned to individual campaigns.

Chief executive Phil Milton said: “We believe we are now a key part of helping the industry achieve its 35% decommissioning cost reduction target. Joint well P&A campaigns using our club approach will not only be more cost efficient, but also help build UK supply chain expertise in decommissioning.”

The firm recently won a contract to decommission up to 21 wells on UK southern North Sea fields operated by a subsidiary of Norwegian business DNO. The Ensco 100 rig will be used for that job.

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