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2016

US sanction regimes continue to evolve for Russia, Iran, Cuba

Business prospects must be balanced with careful risk management, understanding of local challenges and well-drafted contracts By Jennifer Bickley, Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry Since early 2014, the US has seen a significant number of changes to the sanctions imposed by the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC). These changes have, or may have in the future, a meaningful impact on the oil and gas industry. Generally, OFAC’s purpose in imposing sanctions is to support the US’ foreign policy and national security goals through sanctions that are imposed on (i) individuals/entities through a published list of those persons with whom US persons/entities cannot do business (SDN List); (ii) targeted trade areas (sectoral sanctions) and targeted individuals ...

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Energy insurance industry nears tipping point heading into 2017

In the past decade, the upstream energy insurance market has been a safe port of call for investment capital looking for a home. Upstream energy companies have been the beneficiaries of the flood of capital that entered the insurance market. “Laissez les bon temps roulez” may have been the silent battle cry for the past several years. However, energy professionals long enough in the tooth know – perhaps better than anyone – that good times never last forever.

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3 classes for PDC bits of the future: fit for purpose, special application, part of automated drilling system

Historically, periods of significant downturn and economic strain on the industry have yielded innovative improvements in polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) cutter or bit technology. These events and the resulting technological developments were reported in the July/August 2015 issue of Drilling Contractor and in an IADC eBook.

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Dayrates down, but rig demand remains stable in Middle East

While drilling markets remain depressed around the world, the Middle East still stands as a growth market. In this region, demand for drilling rigs appear to be relatively stable and is likely to continue growing in 2017 and beyond. “Few rigs have come off contract without going back to work,” said Niels Espeland, President, International at Grey Wolf Oilfield Services. “The Middle East has been stable throughout the cycles. Due to its unique drivers, there’s always been growth regardless of the global market cycles.”

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Kuwait Oil develops roadmap for fast-track new-hire development, competency model for drilling

National Oil Companies (NOCs) are facing unprecedented technical challenges and paucity of capable technical manpower due to the Big Crew Change. This is especially affecting drilling activities as more rigs are added and more rigs are required to sustain and achieve the production targets under the 2030 strategy of Kuwait Oil Company (KOC). Drilling plays an important role, especially in terms of drilling more directional/horizontal wells in increasingly challenging oilfield environments, such as deep gas fields, carbonate reservoirs, high-pressure, high-temperature zones and very shallow horizontal drilling for heavy oil exploration and exploitation.

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BSEE, industry continue efforts to prevent bolt, connector failures on safety-critical subsea equipment

Beginning with a safety alert issued in February, the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has continued to place increasing attention on subsea bolt and connector failures in safety-critical subsea equipment. The regulator formed an Interagency Bolt Action team in July, then held a forum on 29 August in Washington, DC, dedicated to the issue. Through these and other investigative efforts, BSEE Director Brian Salerno said, the regulator hopes to gain a better understanding of the causes of bolt failures, how they might be related and how they can be prevented. “This is an issue that we have to understand and make sure that whatever corrective measures are identified are put in place,” Director Salerno told DC. “No one wants to run the risk of a catastrophic failure, and this is something we can get ahead of.”

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Editorial: Through tough times, IADC advocated admirably on behalf of members in 2016

At the beginning of the year, I talked about the importance of continuing to invest in our workforce, with a focus on safety and training, along with a commitment for this association to deliver value to you, our members. This year was a difficult one for the industry. Market forces were decidedly against us, and the downturn did not discriminate. Companies have been forced to restructure, and the rig count is dismal. It has been hard to find good news amidst all of the negative press. But as we round out 2016 and I look back over a difficult year, it is with pride that I reflect on IADC’s accomplishments. The association has had a strong response to the downturn, and I am particularly proud to have served as IADC Chairman this year.

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Steadfast commitment to member service as IADC heads into 2017

When I stepped into the role of President of IADC in March, I announced that my focus, and the focus of the IADC staff, would be on member service. After more than 20 years with IADC, I have a profound appreciation for the work our members do to make our industry better. And I strongly believe that an association that represents and advocates for drilling contractor interests plays a vital role in this industry.

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