By Scott Wright

NEPTUNE Energy has awarded a $30 million ($26.3m) decommissioning contract for a campaign covering more than 20 wells located across eight Dutch and UK North Sea fields.

The company said the deal is the first multi-region, multi-well decommissioning campaign it has given to a single rig contractor, noting that this will significantly reduce time and costs associated with the work.

Neptune, which operates the giant Cygnus gas field in the North Sea, said Well-Safe Solutions’ Protector jack-up rig will carry out the plug and abandonment of at least four subsea and 17 platform wells located in Dutch and UK waters.

Lex de Groot, managing director of Neptune in the Netherlands, said: “Safely decommissioning assets at the end of their economic producing lives is an important part of our work. We plug and abandon the wells, taking everything with us and leaving the seabed in a clean state. That is our responsibility and we don’t take it lightly.

“Working with a single rig contractor for this extensive, cross-border decommissioning campaign is an innovative way reduce time and costs.”

Duncan Morison, rig manager of the Well-Safe Protector, said: “The Well-Safe Protector boasts a large volume of deck space for tubing, casing and conductor recovery, allowing effective batch operations and will help Neptune Energy realise considerable operational savings.”

Last month, Neptune announced a commercial discovery in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.

The find at the Ofelia well, close to the Gjoa field, was the company’s second in the area in four months.