Well-Safe Solutions takes over the WilPhoenix platform from
British offshore drilling company Awilco Drilling has completed the sale of its semi-submersible drilling rig WilPhoenix to P&A specialist Well-Safe Solutions.
The proposed sale was first announced in early May, when Oslo-listed Awilco Drilling announced the rig would be sold for $15.5 million.
The WilPhoenix is one of two Enhanced Pacesetter semi-submersible drilling rigs from Awilco Drilling. It was built in 1982 and upgraded in 2011. WilHunter, Awilco Drilling’s other semi-submersible, is being sold for recycling.
With these sales, Awilco Drilling will no longer own drill rigs.
Awilco Drilling had signed a short-term shareholder loan with Awilhelmsen Offshore AS and QVT Family Office Fund LP in May, to be used for general working capital purposes.
The loan was for an aggregate amount of up to $4 million, structured as a drawing facility, with an interest rate of 10% per annum on the total principal amount outstanding. In addition, there was an arrangement fee of 2% on the total amount. The maturity date of the loan was July 1, 2022.
With the sale of WilPhoenix, the short-term shareholder loan with Awilhelmsen Offshore AS and QVT Family Office Fund LP was repaid.
Conversion to P&A Unit
As for WilPhoenix’s buyer, Well-Safe Solutions, it will be the second semi-submersible rig in its fleet after the company in 2019 purchased the Ocean Guardian semi-submersible drilling unit from Diamond Offshore. and converted it into a plug and drop platform. .
Well-Safe Solutions has confirmed that the WilPhoenix – which will be renamed Well-Safe Defender – will also be optimized for future plugging and well abandonment (P&A) activities.
According to the offshore well dismantling company, the acquisition of WilPhoenix is expected to create approximately 100 jobs in a variety of onshore and offshore roles, in addition to the 231 people already employed by Well-Safe Solutions.
The WilPhoenix is expected to enter service with Well-Safe Solutions as the Well-Safe Defender in late 2022.
Following the sales agreements for its two rigs, Awilco’s main activity is to continue the arbitration process with the Keppel FELS shipyard.
Awilco Drilling had planned to modernize its fleet with a few 7th generation semi-submarines, Nordic Winter and Nordic Spring, ordered from Keppel in 2018 and 2019, and intended for the Norwegian market.
The orders have since been canceled, and Keppel and Awilco are currently involved in arbitration cases regarding the order cancellations.
Offshore drilling contractor Dolphin Drilling last year secured the marketing rights to two KFELS Moss Maritime CS60 ECO MW semi-submersible drilling rigs originally ordered by Awilco.
In a recently released annual report, Awilco Drilling said: “While the short-term focus will be on arbitrage processes, minimizing costs and thereby maximizing shareholder returns, the company will also continue to evaluate new investment opportunities. If an attractive opportunity arises that complements the Company’s financial and operational aspirations, operations will once again resume.”
Keppel FELS is seeking to buy from Awilco subsidiaries $424.9 million for the first platform and $268.9 million for the second, claims Awilco strongly denies.
“It is anticipated that the final outcome of the arbitration for Awilco Rig 1 Pte Ltd, including any appeal process, will be no earlier than the fourth quarter of 2022. The arbitration process for Awilco Rig 2 Pte Ltd has been initiated six months later and also expected Q4 2022 at the earliest,” Awilco Drilling said recently.
Awilco is asking Keppel for a total amount of $97.7 million.