Neptune Energy signs decommissioning contract for wells in North Sea

Neptune Energy Group and Well-Safe Solutions have signed a $30 million contract for the decommissioning of over 20 wells in eight Dutch and UK North Sea gas fields. It is the first time contract for multiple wells in more than one country, awarded by Neptune to a single rig operator.

Well-Safe Solutions’ “Protector” jack-up rig will safely plug and abandon at least four subsea and 17 platform wells in Dutch and UK waters. Neptune evisions having one single rig-operator as making for a more cost-efficient decommissioning. Neptune can also extend the one-year contract with Well-Safe another two years, via eight three-month extensions.

The Protector

Well-Safe Solutions’ “Protector” is a heavy-duty, harsh environment independent leg cantilever design jack-up rig, which can operate in depths of up to 120 metres (394 feet). It will begin operations in the first quarter of 2023, and plug and abandon (P&A) at least four subsea and 21 platform wellsd. Later, Dutch and British wells, (including D18A-A, G14-B, K12-S2, L10-S2 and K9C-A in the Netherlands and the Minke and Orca fields in the UK North Sea), which Neptune operates, will be planned.

Lex de Groot, Managing director of Neptune Energy in the Netherlands, stated: “After fields reach the end of their economic, producing life cycle, we safely shut down the wells. If a platform is present, we remove it in the next phase. In this way, we leave the seabed in its original state. That is our responsibility and we take it seriously. Working with a single rig contractor for this extensive, cross-border decommissioning not only ensures innovation, but also ensures a focus on safety.”

Duncan Morison, Rig Manager of the Well-Safe Protector, said: “With the addition of a further backlog of work to the Well-Safe Protector’s schedule, we are delighted at the level of interest the Well-Safe business model continues to generate in mature fields such as the North Sea. (…) There are clear operational synergies between Well-Safe Solutions and Neptune Energy, and we look forward to collaborating with the Neptune team to effectively and efficiently plug and abandon these fields.”

Stuart Payne, North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) Director of Supply Chain, Decommissioning and HR, added: “We have consistently pressed operators and the supply chain to work in a collaborative way to form well decommissioning campaigns, which are more cost-efficient and help save time and lower emissions. The Well-Safe Protector’s upcoming mobilisation for a multi-operator campaign is the latest encouraging sign that industry has got the message loud and clear. The cross-border element of this work also highlights the potential for exporting the considerable decommissioning expertise of the UK supply chain to other regions.”

Author: Emma Dailey

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