Home / 2017 / 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


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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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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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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Global land rig demand recovers, offshore still seeking inflection point

Figure 6: The active rig count in Canada rose to 155 in 2017, up from last year’s 91. Utilization improved to 24%.

One year after setting record lows for utilization, the land rig markets in North America have seen a remarkable recovery. In the US, onshore rig demand surged by 105% to 976 active units, compared with 476 in the previous year. In Canada, there were 155 active land rigs during the census period, an increase of 65% over last year’s 94 units. Nevertheless, fleet utilization in both countries remain below normal at 46% (US) and 24% (Canada). Many lower-spec rigs are expected to exit the available fleet next year, as operators continue to give preference to higher-specification pad-capable rigs for development of onshore unconventional resources...

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Perspectives: Roy Mills, Noble Drilling: Training now ensures drilling contractors will have skilled personnel ready when the next upturn comes


For Roy Mills, Subsea Systems Manager for Noble Drilling, offshore drilling is a family business. He grew up in Columbia, a small town outside of Monroe in northwest Louisiana. His father, like many other people in Columbia, built his 40-year career in offshore drilling. Three of his uncles were also in the drilling business. From an early age, Mr Mills knew he would follow in their footsteps. In 1991, on the day he turned 18, he started his first job as a roustabout on the Zapata Concord, a moored semisubmersible, in the Gulf of Mexico...

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