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January/February

Gary Casswell, Pride International: In this business, ‘it’s all about the people you work with’

By Linda Hsieh, assistant managing editor While most 14-year-old boys in the ’60s spent their summers riding bikes or reading comic books, Gary Casswell spent his summer vacations on drilling rigs learning how to make hole. Thanks to his father’s job as a rig mechanic, Mr Casswell got an early start on everything from cleaning casing to mixing mud. “I loved it, couldn’t get enough of it,” recalled Mr Casswell, now vice president of Eastern Hemisphere operations for Pride International. By age 21, he had gone into Santa Fe Drilling’s assistant driller training program in Saudi Arabia. Within a couple of years, he had been promoted from assistant driller to driller and was “drilling exploration wells in Rub’ al Khali, ...

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People, Companies & Products

David Williams named Noble chairman, CEO, president Noble Corp announced that its Board of Directors has named David W Williams as chairman of the board, chief executive officer and president of Noble. William A Sears has held these offices on an interim basis since 20 September 2007. Mr Williams joined Noble in September 2006 as senior vice president – business development of Noble Drilling Services, was named senior vice president – operations of Noble Drilling Services in January 2007, and became senior vice president and chief operating officer of Noble Corp in April 2007. Mr Williams has 28 years of energy industry experience and previously served as executive vice president of Diamond Offshore Drilling. He holds a bachelor of business ...

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D&C Tech Digest

Commissioning of BP’s record-setting Atlantis platform completed BP announced it has completed commissioning of the Atlantis semi-submersible platform in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and commenced the export of oil and gas from the deepest moored floating oil and gas production facility in the world. The water depths and reservoir structure make Atlantis among the most technologically challenging developments undertaken by BP,” said Andy Inglis, BP’s chief executive of exploration and production. “Start-up is an important milestone as we grow production from our strong upstream portfolio in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere in the world.” Production began with the commissioning of wells and facilities in October 2007. With gas facilities and export pipelines now fully commissioned, gas sales ...

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D&C News

Diamond Offshore announces new drilling contracts Diamond Offshore Drilling has been awarded four drilling contracts from Petrobras. The commitments for the four semisubmersibles could generate a combined maximum total revenue of about $2.3 billion and represent 22 years of contract drilling backlog. The Ocean Worker received a six-year commitment. It is currently working in Tobago on a six-month contract and is expected to begin work in Brazil in the third quarter of 2008. Three other contract extensions were: • The Ocean Yatzy received a five-year commitment for work expected to continue until the fourth quarter of 2014. • The Ocean Winner received a five-year commitment for work expected to continue until the first quarter of 2015. • The Ocean Alliance ...

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Oil price keeps outlook upbeat, but don’t forget critical challenges

By Linda Hsieh, assistant managing editor TO THE AVERAGE energy consumer, the oil and gas industry probably looks like it’s sitting on top of the world with nary a dark cloud on its horizon. Oil prices are breaking record highs even as energy demand continues to grow. And all we’ve got to do is dig holes, pump out the oil and get it to a gas station. How hard can that be? Very hard, considering the declining production from maturing reservoirs. Even harder than that, considering the harsher environments we’re moving into (deepwater, ultra-deepwater, HPHT, arctic). And extremely hard, if we want to do it all without safety incidents with an increasing number of new and inexperienced personnel. Although oil ...

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News Cuttings

IADC awarded for outstanding international safety leadership The International Regulators Forum (IRF) has named IADC a recipient of the 2007 Carolita Kallaur Award for Outstanding International Safety Leadership. The award recognizes IADC’s latest contribution to improving safety in drilling operations — the IADC Health, Safety and Environmental Case Guideline. The HSE Case Guideline, introduced in October 2006, provides a framework with which companies can develop integrated health, safety and environmental management systems to help reduce risk in drilling operations. According to the award certificate: “This excellent achievement has great potential for enhancing the safety of offshore drilling operations worldwide, and member countries of the International Regulators Forum greatly appreciate the work the International Association of Drilling Contractors has performed in ...

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IADC Board of Directors elects 2008 officers

John Lindsay, Chairman Helmerich & Payne International Drilling Company John Lindsay is executive vice president of US and international operations for Hemlerich & Payne IDC. He assumed his current position in March 2006. Prior to this appointment, Mr Lindsay had served since 1997 as H&P vice president-US land operations. Mr Lindsay joined H&P in 1987. He has since worked as roughneck and driller, drilling engineer; operations manager in Oklahoma City for the company’s mid-continent region; and division manager for all of the company’s US land rigs. Mr Lindsay graduated in 1986 from the University of Tulsa, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in petroleum engineering. Claus Hemmingsen, Vice Chairman Maersk Contractors Claus Hemmingsen is chief executive officer of ...

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Wirelines

IADC to support Noble court appeal IADC has agreed to file an amicus curiae brief at the Texas Supreme Court in support of Noble Drilling Inc. The company is appealing a decision holding that an offshore worker is entitled to Jones Act compensation for injuries allegedly sustained by the company’s failure to follow the operator’s new internal safety guidelines. Noble argues that the standard of care for Jones Act claims isn’t claimed “best practices” but rather providing a safe place to work. Moreover, the company maintains the plaintiff was trained for what, in this case, involved slinging procedures, and that his injury was the result of his own negligence. Working Time Directive hearing ends The Scottish Employment Tribunal sitting in ...

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IADC tackles key challenges of safety, people and environment in these interesting times

By John Lindsay, 2008 IADC Chairman I am honored to serve as 2008 chairman of the International Association of Drilling Contractors. It is all the more exciting to chair IADC in such exciting times for our business. Today’s oil and gas industry operates at a breakneck cycle and represents a long-awaited upturn in our business. But every silver lining has a cloud, so let’s be aware of the issues that confront us – many of them spawned by this very upturn. First and foremost is safety. Improving industry safety is a cornerstone of IADC’s mission, and has been since its founding in 1940. The decision to operate safely is the most important operational decision we make. Everything else is secondary, ...

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Petrobras program a ‘road map’ for optimizing well construction performance

Petrobras’ ambitious PROPOÇO a ‘road map’ for optimizing well construction performance By Wajid Rasheed, contributing editor Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are routinely used by oil companies to measure operational performance. In drilling, for example, a common indicator is a depth vs days curve, in which specific well construction events are plotted against the duration or time taken per event. This highlights “flat-spots” showing the occurrence of downtime or NPT (nonproductive time). Worldwide, the average value for NPT varies between 20%-30% of overall well construction time. Oil companies with the highest performance levels typically exhibit NPT between 10%-15%. Petrobras recently launched the PROPOÇO program, which aims to place the company in the top quartile of well construction performance by improving the ...

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