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2008

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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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Challenging ultra-deepwater frontiers beckon for well construction, completion technology

By David Walker, Dan Daulton, Percy Lormand, Glenn Baccigalopi, BJ Services When the Jack-2 well test broke production records in 2006, it didn’t just open a valve to drain oil from the Lower Tertiary play: It opened the floodgates for other operators to venture into the ultra-deepwater regions of the Gulf of Mexico. In water depths of 5,000 ft to 10,000 ft and with target formations at 10,000 ft to 30,000 ft below the mudline, Lower Tertiary developments are an enticing new frontier for both operators and service companies. However, these high-value wells need new technologies. Even in less challenging deepwater wells, high bottomhole pressures and temperatures and long pay intervals have sparked development of reliable well construction and completion ...

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Deeper, more deviated wells push development of smart drill stem rotary shouldered connections

By Bruno Lefevre, William Gamisans, VAM Drilling The continuous developments in oil and gas drilling operations have resulted in a significant increase in the application of extended-reach wells and horizontal drilling procedures as well as HPHT downhole conditions. These deeper and more deviated wells require the use of a drill string that has both higher torsional yield strength drill pipe body and greater torque capacity tool joints than is afforded by standard API connections. Also, the combination of complex well profiles with HPHT conditions downhole can lead to even higher stresses on the drill string, therefore requiring greater safety margins in the drill string design. Also, due to the high financial risks associated with drilling operations today, oil and gas ...

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Underbalanced drilling of oil wells in Saudi Arabia: case history and lessons learned

By Muhammad A Muqeem and Clark M Jarrett, Saudi Aramco; Hassan J Abdul, Weatherford CPD&T Underbalanced drilling (UBD) has been accepted as an enabling technology for its various benefits. UBD can avoid or minimize drilling-related issues like stuck pipe and lost circulation and increase rate of penetration. Saudi Aramco has identified the minimization of fluid losses, formation damage and reduction of nonproductive time (NPT) as key well design objectives. Based on these premises, UBD was accepted as an enabling technology to implement in the Ghawar Field (Muqeem, 2006). Oil Well Pilot Project After drilling 15 PWI wells underbalanced, Saudi Aramco extended the UBD campaign to oil wells. Three oil wells were drilled in the Arab D carbonate of the Uthmaniyah ...

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Theme of this year’s conference is ‘Sustainable Strategies for Today’s Realities’

2008 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference looks to the cutting-edge of today, plans for the challenges of tomorrow With hydrocarbon demand soaring, and supplies at a premium, the challenges, opportunities and responsibilities for the global drilling and completion industry have never been greater. Oil and natural gas may not be renewable fuels, but to efficiently and safely drill and produce them, our industry needs sustainable strategies. This is not lost upon Rodney W Eads, chairman of the 2008 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference. Mr Eads, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Pride International, and a topnotch team of drilling and completion professionals have developed an outstanding program for the event, 4-6 March at the Caribe Royale Orlando in Orlando, Fla. This philosophy ...

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Updated ANZI standards require industry to use stronger fall protection equipment

By Jim Graef, Capital Safety The use and enforcement of fall protection equipment on drilling and service rigs has come a long way in the last decade or so. Unfortunately, it has taken several high-profile accidents to spur an increased focus on safety and compliance with established industry standards. Fortunately, however, compliance rates continue to climb. Recently, the American National Standards Institute, with the American Society of Safety Engineers at the helm, published an update to ANSI Z359.1, Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Subsystems and Components. The revised standard contains a significant change that will affect a large number of fall protection equipment in use in the oil and gas industry. What follows is a brief guide to ...

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Innovative casing drive system may help improve safety for crews working from heights

By Warren P Schneider, TESCO Corp Safety statistics indicate that the number of fatalities experienced during drilling and related rig operations doubled from 2002 to 2003. Since then, the number of fatalities has remained near that level. Conversely, that means the number of fatalities has not decreased. Among the most dangerous occupations of the rig crew are derrickmen and floormen. Derrickmen are not only in danger of falling but also of being injured or killed by equipment in the derrick, especially when a top drive drilling system is being used in new rigs with tight clearances in the mast. When casing is being run with conventional technology and a casing crew stabber, the same risks apply. Contractor and casing crews ...

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Baker Oil Tools uses ‘whole-body’ learning to accelerate HSE training, improve retention

By Fiona Grant, Baker Oil Tools Many health, safety and environment (HSE) training programs are seen as low-value, boring and time-consuming – and with retention rates between 9% and 15% one month after program completion. The problem is compounded in international companies, where language barriers impede traditional “chalk and talk” training methods. At Baker Oil Tools, a new “boot camp” program based on the Accelerated Learning (AL) theory is producing not only impressive retention results but also requests from employees to participate. In the process, it actually reduces course preparation and planning times. AL is a systematic, holistic approach that encompasses the student’s emotion, all the senses and personality in “whole body,” active learning rather than passive “head” learning. Rather ...

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