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September/October

Q&A with Dr. Lee Hunt: Iadc’s Past, Present, Future

Once again, the drilling industry is undergoing major changes. Members are consolidating at the same time they’re expanding. An influx of inexperienced workers has intensified our need for training and competency assurance. Environmental regulations and technical challenges are getting tougher. In an exclusive interview, Drilling Contractor speaks with IADC president Dr Lee Hunt on how the organization has evolved and how it will continue to improve drilling operations in a changing industry. DC: How has the strategic vision of IADC evolved since its founding in 1940? Dr Hunt: The drilling contractor industry has been through an amazing transformation since 1940, from our members’ values and leadership to their needs and resources. As our members changed, so did IADC as we ...

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An operator’s perspective: How can drilling contractors prepare for the next downturn?

Guest Editorial: David Payne, Chevron It is difficult to predict how long the boom the entire oil and gas industry is enjoying right now will last. Some may argue that industry fundamentals have changed enough to keep commodity prices high for a long time. Others will undoubtedly maintain a contrary view. Who’s right or wrong? Only time will tell. With that said, the real question is, what are you going to do to ensure profitability in an uncertain world? The drilling contractor community is a key part of the oil and gas industry that probably suffers more during slow business periods than any other segment — so what will you do today to plan for a potential downturn tomorrow? The ...

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Offshore Energy Center educational initiatives taking the energy industry to the next generation

By Sandra Mourton, Offshore Energy Center The Offshore Energy Center is dedicated to expanding the awareness of the vast energy resources available beneath the world’s oceans and to chronicle the unique heritage and technological accomplishments of an industry that discovers, produces and delivers these resources to mankind in a safe and environmentally responsible way. A ‘STAR’ IS BORN To accomplish this mission, the Offshore Energy Center (OEC) embarked on three initiatives. First, in 1995, thanks donations from companies, organizations and individuals, OEC acquired the Ocean Star, a retired jackup drilling rig. It was completely refurbished, moved to Pier 19 in Galveston and, in 1997, was launched as an international offshore industry educational resource and a major Gulf Coast tourist attraction. ...

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Driver training program steers BJ Services employees to improved safety on the road

By Katie Mazerov, Center for Transportation Safety Increased drilling. Rising rig count. Upward market trends. Expanded pumping capacity. From the oilfields to corporate offices, these are the words that define the nature of the oil and gas industry today — and suggest continued robust growth in the coming years. While the outlook is positive, the industry faces significant challenges. The surge in drilling and well site activity means greater demand for equipment and supplies, newer technology and qualified employees to deliver the product faster and more efficiently. Nowhere is this more evident than behind the wheels of the rigs, trucks and machinery upon which the oil and gas industry so greatly depends. BJ Services knows that well: “Safety training is ...

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Safety culture the Maersk Contractors’ way

By Lisbeth Norup Frømling, Maersk Contractors As Maersk Contractors continues to grow, maintaining high safety standards becomes increasingly important. Two new initiatives – a three-part training package and a global safety campaign – are helping to keep the company’s safety culture prominent in employees’ minds. SAFETY FOCUS Maersk Contractors is undergoing a period of substantial growth. Nine new rigs are being added to the fleet over the next two years, and many new employees are starting, both onshore and offshore. This presents a challenge for the company’s safety culture. Safety is a top priority, and the company is committed to always maintaining a safe working environment. At Maersk Contractors, the goal is simple yet ambitious: to be a company with ...

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Within a culture of safety, the rig’s operational performance should not be a dirty word

Safety and operational performance are not mutually exclusive; they should be synonymous with each other. That’s the message that Alan McLeod, manager of engineering for ENSCO’s Europe and Africa business unit, recently took to the 12th North Sea Offshore Cranes & Lifting Conference in Stavanger, Norway. “If you handle tubulars safely and effectively, you’re also handling them with a high degree of operational efficiency,” he said. “That’s why it was important to go to what was effectively a safety conference and say that operational performance is not a dirty word.” For the broad spectrum of industry professionals in the audience, which included regulators, manufacturers, operators, service companies and drilling contractors, Mr McLeod provided a “driller’s perspective. It’s not often the ...

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Facilitating a change in HSE culture must begin by identifying, understanding existing culture

By Curt Cranford, Grant Prideco and Stacey Greene, Oceaneering International Facilitating a culture change in organizations, both large and small, is a daunting task. The first basic step in this process is to identify the existing culture of the organization. One of the modern technical definitions of culture — “socially patterned human thoughts and behaviors” — shows us that we must identify an organization’s true culture through the behaviors and beliefs of all levels of employees. Being able to correctly assess an organization’s culture is imperative to understanding what changes must occur in order for the entire organization to progress. An organization’s HSE program and its culture share a symbiotic relationship. Culture — employee behaviors and beliefs — initially defines ...

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Drilling contractors deliver safety performance improvements through leadership, cultural change: Competitors take differing approaches to same goal

By Ross Richardson, KCA DEUTAG; John Karish, ENSCO International Inc Safety in the workplace is an issue confronting just about every organisation involved in the potentially hazardous oil and gas industry. So when two of the world’s leading drilling and engineering contractors moved to improve their safety performance, they took the unusual step of sharing their experiences. KCA DEUTAG and ENSCO International realised they could learn from each other to successfully implement leadership and cultural change in their work forces. The key motivator for this unprecedented approach was the fact that both companies independently worked with international safety performance specialists, the Enterprise Development Network (EDN). EDN is an Australian-based consultancy with extensive experience in designing leadership and cultural change programs ...

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Study produces supercement for annular seal and long-term integrity in deep, hot wells

By Fred Sabins, Paul Sonnier, Larry Watters, CSI Tech Exploration for natural gas shifts more and more to deeper reservoirs. Encouraging finds and increased demand reinforce the push for drilling wells with target formations deeper and deeper underground in hotter, higher-pressure conditions. This trend presents many obstacles in drilling, completion and production from these deep wells in high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) environments. Durability of annular seals created using Portland cement ranks high on this list of obstacles. Harsh conditions, huge investment cost of well construction, and high cost of seal remediation in these harsh, remote environments increase the necessity for annular seal durability. Industry authorities estimate that remediation of failed cement seals in deep, hot wells costs the industry more than ...

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Aramco uses swell packers to enable smart open-hole, multilateral completions for EOR

By Drew Hembling, Salam Salamy, Abdullah Qatani, Saudi Aramco; Neale Carter, Easywell; Suresh Jacob, WellDynamics Saudi Aramco has successfully used both horizontal and MRC wells (multilateral with greater than 8 km of reservoir contact) to enhance and maximize hydrocarbon recovery from its reservoirs. In recent years, the integration of both intelligent and passive inflow control completion systems have further enhanced the value of MRC well by providing inflow control, better inflow profiles, and downhole monitoring capabilities. Saudi Aramco’s first intelligent well completions were drilled as 7-in. fullbore wells. A cemented 7-in. liner was placed below the conventional 9 5/8-in. casing, providing lateral isolation and a means to conventionally drill the TAML level two multilateral wells. Standard 3 ½-in. ICVs and ...

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