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November/December

Caspian Drilling, Keppel overcome myriad challenges to construct Heydar Aliyev semi in Azerbaijan

Caspian Drilling Company took delivery of the Heydar Aliyev semisubmersible in May 2017. The rig will work on the Absheron gas and condensate field in the Caspian Sea, which is operated by TOTAL in partnership with SOCAR. Work is expected to begin by year-end. The rig is equipped with a dual-gradient riserless mud recovery system and BOP handling equipment rated to 20,000 psi. A knuckle boom-type crane was also included to deal with high winds.

Getting an offshore rig into the landlocked Caspian Sea is no small feat. The only method of entry is through the narrow Volga-Don canal, which cannot accommodate any vessels greater than 54 ft wide. This means drilling rigs must be shipped in small pieces, requiring multiple time-consuming and costly trips, before being assembled at a local shipyard...

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Unsynced time measurements can lead to data aggregation challenges

Figure 1 shows a comparison of data from three data aggregation systems over an identical time interval. Even small differences create problems in determining the sequence of events when comparing one data set with another.

Oil and gas drillers have long recognized the importance of measuring, observing and recording critical loads and pressures while drilling wells. Records of drilling measurements and other information collected at the rig preserve decisions and events impacting the safety, quality, delivery and cost of each well. Today, these measurements usually come from a digital data system. Unfortunately, the accuracy and trustworthiness of the data aren’t easy to verify promptly when a safety-critical decision must be made quickly. The Operators’ Group for Data Quality (OGDQ) is addressing this issue by providing data quality guidance, such as a contract addendum for rig contractors and other vendors...

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Guest Editorial: Texas oil, gas production disrupting global energy landscape, requires new mindset

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Earlier this year, Hurricane Harvey left more than 12 million people in Texas and Louisiana without homes. The devastation of this storm was more far-reaching than anyone imagined. My neighborhood in southeast Houston received more than 56 inches of rain. Although the hurricane has passed, my thoughts and prayers are still with all those working to rebuild their lives....

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Drilling Ahead: In planning for the future, don’t overlook human capital

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The drilling industry stands at a critical juncture. There is growing acceptance that the days of $100 oil are behind us for good, and companies must redefine how they manage their business within the new reality of $40-50 oil. At the same time, the digital evolution is finally picking up pace within the oil and gas space, as companies learn that they must leverage the power of automation and data analytics in order to stay competitive. Amid these changes, it is more important than ever that the industry also address issues around human capital...

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Workforce outlook: Industry must consider new strategies to attract, retain next-generation employees

Comparing the perceptions of oil and gas executives with those of young people, it can be seen that there are some disconnects. On-the-job happiness, for example, was cited by 37% of young people to be among their top three job considerations, but only 18% of executives think young people prioritize it. Graphics Courtesy of EY.

The oil and gas workforce has shrunken considerably as a result of the global downturn. An April 2017 Rystad Energy report found that the top 50 oilfield service companies, including drilling contractors, had eliminated 300,000 upstream jobs worldwide since 2014. This represented a devastating 35% of the total workforce at these 50 companies...

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People, Companies & Products

The Cat Marine Advanced Variable Drive provides flexibility so the speed of the vessel’s engines can be modulated and optimized independently from the speed of the fixed pitch propellers. The speed of the propellers can be varied continuously throughout their full speed range.

Shell and Petrobras have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to establish a long-term mutual collaboration in developing pre-salt fields in Brazil. Shell will benefit from technical solutions, contract management expertise and cost-efficiency initiatives that Petrobras applies to Brazil’s pre- and post-salt projects. Shell will share with Petrobras its global deepwater experience, especially on cost-efficiency efforts and use of technology. The MOU also involves sharing best practices and learnings on safety and governance management, technical and operational solutions, contract management, logistics, wells construction and air transportation safety. The MOU was signed by Shell CEO Ben van Beurden and Petrobras CEO Pedro Parente during a visit by Petrobras’ executives to Shell’s headquarters in The Hague, The Netherlands...

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Resilient Middle East holds its ground in face of low oil prices

Saudi Aramco and Rowan Companies signed a landmark JV agreement last year to create a national champion for offshore drilling in Saudi Arabia. As part of the agreement, Rowan will initially contribute three jackups — the Bob Keller (pictured), the Gilbert Rowe and the J.P. Bussell — to the new company, ARO Drilling. The JV is also expected to build 20 new jackups in Saudi Arabia over the next 10 years.

The Middle East continues to defy the global oil downturn, with E&P activities sustaining at healthy levels compared with all other regions of the world. “The region has remained quite robust in terms of the drilling market. They are continuing to drill across the board,” said Jessica Brewer, Principal Analyst for Middle East Upstream Research at Wood Mackenzie. In Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, activities have even grown during the past few years. “They’re trying to take advantage of the lower cost base they’ve been able to get over the last few years,” she said...

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2017 in review: IADC advances member interests through worldwide advocacy and engagement, accreditation programs, technical resources

Six petroleum engineering students from the IADC student chapter at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL) received their helicopter underwater egress training (HUET) certifications on 5 October from the school’s Marine Survival Training Center. The IADC student chapter program was successfully launched this year and will likely be expanded in 2018. Besides the chapter at ULL, there are also student chapters at Texas A&M University and the Missouri University for Science and Technology.

The Advocacy Division is responsible for advocacy activities and intervention on behalf of the drilling industry. The team proactively engages with US and global regulatory and legislative bodies, policymakers, oil and gas producers and the media to influence policies, provide input on standards making and pursue better regulation...

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