By Joanne Liou, associate editor
Emphasizing initiatives to improve technology, HSE and training, along with the exchange of technical knowledge, 2013 IADC chairman David Williams kicked off the SPE/IADC Drilling Conference & Exhibition at the opening session in Amsterdam on 5 March. “Technology has enabled this industry to achieve the incredible. We drill wells in water that is miles deep. We have turned the conventional wisdom on its ear by transforming the US from a nation heavily dependent on imported oil to one that will soon be among the ranks of energy exporters,” Mr Williams, who also serves as chairman, president and CEO of Noble Corp, said.
For the oil and gas industry to take its rightful place as one of the world’s most respected industries, “we must demonstrate that our commitment to safety goes beyond mere words,” he stressed. Referring to IADC safety statistics, he noted that accident frequency reflects a downward trend; still, one accident or one fatality is unacceptable, which is the driving force behind IADC’s revitalized strategy to catalyze improved performance for the entire drilling community.
Under IADC president and CEO Stephen Colville’s leadership, the association is bringing “together all stakeholders in a collaborative effort to reduce operational downtime, improve safety and environmental risk. We will accomplish this by focusing on our most critical issues – people, processes, equipment, and through championing sensible legislation and regulation.”
Key IADC programs include:
- Revamp of the IADC Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSA) guidelines. The KSAs set forth competency benchmarks for virtually every rig position and identify the elements an individual must possess to perform his or her duties, Mr Williams explained.
- Launch of the Workforce Attraction and Development Initiative (WADI). IADC is proactively approaching the industry’s expected growth through the establishment of WADI, under which the association will first partner with US community colleges on a global outreach program. “We will provide education on industry benefits and opportunities to high school students and veterans. This initiative will also offer continuous learning and development opportunities for our current employees,” Mr Williams said.
- Overhaul of the IADC Drilling Manual. Working with a team of 60 drilling experts, the association is updating and enhancing the operational drilling guide. The new IADC Drilling Manual is expected to be completed in 2014.
These initiatives are largely driven by “the needs that you, our members, have told us are critical for the future,” Mr Williams stated. “We have an extraordinary opportunity to define what the drilling industry will look like. It’s incumbent upon all of us to make decisions that will ensure that our teams are prepared, trained and able to work safely wherever our rigs are deployed around the world.”