A consortium of outstanding Metropolis financiers and oil executives are pumping greater than £65m right into a well-decommissioning specialist in a bid to resolve certainly one of Britain’s most formidable industrial challenges.
Sky Information has learnt that MW&L Capital Companions, a personal funding automobile launched final yr, is to turn out to be a considerable shareholder in Effectively-Secure Options (WSS).
The brand new funding spherical, which additionally consists of cash from Tony Hayward, the previous BP chief govt, will present capital for WSS to speed up the growth of its revolutionary “plug and abandon” (P&A) strategy to decommissioning redundant oil wells.
Analysis means that expenditure on oil business decommissioning within the UK continental shelf in the course of the 2020s is more likely to exceed £15bn, of which just below half will probably be absorbed by the price of making wells secure and eradicating them.
Established in 2017 by a trio of business executives together with Alasdair Locke, who made a fortune from the sale of Abbot, his oil and fuel providers enterprise, WSS has additionally obtained funding from Scottish Enterprise.
Mr Locke’s different enterprise successes embody presiding over the expansion of Motor Gas Group, one of many UK’s petrol station operators.
WSS hopes to use the truth that the UK North Sea has roughly 5000 wells – of which 20% are subsea – which require decommissioning.
Taxpayers shoulder a part of the price of decommissioning actions, making it a major burden on the general public purse.
WSS says its strategy to plugging and abandoning previous wells is extra cost-efficient and safer than standard methods, and needs to create 400 jobs in the course of the subsequent 5 years.
The corporate is known to have secured numerous main P&A contracts, in addition to producing vital revenues from its engineering enterprise.
It has already made its maiden acquisition, which it has renamed the Effectively-Secure Guardian and is upgrading right into a product which could be tailored throughout the oil business.
Mark Patterson, certainly one of WSS’s different co-founders and govt administrators, is claimed to be stepping down following the transaction.
The involvement of MW&L because the lead investor in WSS’s fundraising marks certainly one of its most outstanding offers because it was established final yr.
The automobile’s founders included Julian Metherell and Matthew Westerman, each of whom had lengthy careers as companions at Goldman Sachs, the Wall Road financial institution.
Its third founder, Peter Livanos, is the chairman of the worldwide group Ceres Transport and a member of certainly one of Europe’s oldest procuring dynasties.
MW&L is known to have invested in companies throughout a variety of sectors, together with vitality and renewables, delivery, monetary providers, shopper and retail.
The agency has positioned itself as a supplier of versatile, long-term capital to development corporations, each in debt and fairness, and as a majority or minority investor.
As a part of the funding dedication to WSS, Mr Metherell is predicted to affix the corporate’s board.
After leaving Goldman, he helped to determine an funding automobile with Mr Hayward that acquired Genel, an vitality group with operations in Kurdistan.
MW&L and WSS declined to touch upon Sunday.