Conference includes 18 technical sessions, keynote and plenary sessions, young professionals’ luncheon and drilling automation symposium
By Kelli Ainsworth Robinson, Associate Editor
As oil and gas companies increasingly consider the possibility that low oil prices are the new reality, they’re turning to innovative technologies and practices to drive performance and efficiency. The 2018 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference, to be held 6-8 March in Fort Worth, Texas, will give companies an opportunity to share knowledge, insights and success stories when it comes to improved performance, safety and efficiency, said Shane Marchand, Chairman of the 2018 conference. Mr Marchand also serves as VP of Marketing and Business Development for Helmerich & Payne International Drilling Co.
“The conference will bring various stakeholders from the industry together to share ideas to further our technological advances,” he said. “When that happens, everyone wins.”
On 6 March, the conference will kick off with the presentation of the SPE Drilling Engineer Award, followed by a keynote address by Liam Martin Mallon, President of ExxonMobil Development Company.
This year’s plenary session, “New Frontiers, Plays, Technology and Demand,” will be held on 7 March. It will examine the direction the industry should follow in terms of where and how wells are drilled in a market that has been heavily focused on survival and on fast returns wherever possible. Panelists will share their insights on potential paths forward for the oil and gas industry, including new technologies and business models. The session will be moderated by Mr Marchand.
A total of 18 technical sessions has also been organized. Topics are:
• Casing and completions;
• Deepwater operations;
• Directional drilling and hole placement;
• Well control/kick detection;
• Cementing and zonal isolation;
• Performance drilling;
• Data and automation;
• Drilling dynamics and mechanics;
• Drilling fluids and wellbore strengthening;
• Data analytics;
• Managed pressure drilling; and
• Bits and downhole tools.
In addition to the formal technical sessions, ePoster presentations will be held throughout the conference.
The conference also will give the industry an opportunity to prepare the leaders of the future through the young professional luncheon, to be held on 7 March and moderated by Karen Bashford-Provence, Team Lead-Standards and Assurance for ConocoPhillips, and Riaz R. Israel, Team Lead-Wells Technology at BP.
Mr Marchand noted the importance of events like this and urged the industry’s current leaders to think ahead to the development of next-generation talent. “Equipping the next generation of industry leaders with the skills they need, and instilling a passion for our industry within them, ensures that we will be able to continue supplying energy to the world,” Mr Marchand said. The luncheon will focus on how young professionals can advance their careers in the industry’s competitive environment.
Another event to be held in conjunction with the Drilling Conference is a half-day symposium, being organized under the IADC Advanced Rig Technology Committee and SPE’s Drilling Systems Automation Technical Section. To be held on 5 March, the symposium will examine challenges related to achieving systems interoperability within the oil and gas industry, which still lags behind other industries like healthcare, transportation and telecommunications. Speakers from drilling contractors, service companies and from outside the industry will relate their experiences with driving interoperability within their respective domains. Following the speaker presentations, a panel session will discuss steps the drilling industry should take to reach the level of interoperability and systems integration that other industries have achieved. DC