AN oil services firm has said it expects to create around 100 jobs under a growth push in the North Sea decommissioning market as an independent prepares to start production from a 30 million barrel field.

Well-Safe Solutions said it plans to bring 90 jobs to the North Sea over the coming year after putting itself in a strong position to win work in the market for well decommissioning work.

Well-Safe has acquired a rig that has worked on hundreds of North Sea wells from Diamond Offshore for an undisclosed sum. The company said it will invest around $100 million (£75m) on upgrading the rig so that it can be used for the specialised work of plugging and abandoning wells that have reached the end of their productive lives.

The move reflects its founders’ confidence in the potential for the North Sea decommissioning market to provide a lucrative source of business for services firms.

Well-Safe was founded in 2017 by sector veterans including Alasdair Locke who reckoned there would be strong demand for the services of a plugging and abandonment specialist.

More than 2,400 wells are expected to be plugged and abandoned across the North Sea by 2025 alone.

Chief executive Phil Milton said: “We have had a number of in-depth conversations with potential clients and believe the purchase of this asset will allow us to advance these towards firm commitments to our P&A Club”

The sector regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority, has said firms could reduce the cost of decommissioning by working together to plug and abandon wells in batches.

Well-Safe employs 40 people currently. The 90 jobs it expects to create will include onshore posts in Aberdeen and Dundee and offshore roles.

Meanwhile, Zennor Petroleum has said it is making good progress with plans to develop the Finlaggan field 120 miles north east of Aberdeen.

The private equity-backed firm said it has drilled two production wells on the field which have performed well, with “positive implications for reserves and productivity”.

Managing director Martin Rowe said: “All aspects of the Finlaggan development project are firmly on track to deliver first production in Q4 2020 as planned.”

Finlaggan was one of 13 North Sea field developments approved last year. This was more than the preceding three years combined

The rise in the crude price from late 2016 encouraged firms to invest in the North Sea after many slashed investment in response to the oil price plunge from 2014.

Zennor is one of a number of independents that felt the downturn created opportunities in the North Sea, as the price of assets and support services fell.

It is backed by Kerogen Capital, which has supported Hurricane Energy’s exploration drive West of Shetland.