By Linda Hsieh, managing editor
IADC recognized three longtime association supporters and industry veterans – Goran Andersson with Chevron, Don Hannegan with Weatherford, and Zuhair Al Hussain with Saudi Aramco – with Exemplary Service Awards at the 2012 IADC Annual General Meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., last week. Accepting his award, Mr Andersson urged the industry to take a long-term view on training, particularly when it comes to the critical area of well control. “Training is not a cost. It is an investment. It is actually necessary to survive in this business. It needs to be part of the plan,” he said.
Mr Andersson, drilling and completions manager for Chevron, has led the Chevron drilling and completion training center in Houston, including the company’s global well control training program and related technical support services. There he initiated development of a competency assurance program that allowed drilling and completion professionals to demonstrate well control competency regardless of location using advanced simulator equipment. Mr Andersson was recognized by IADC for his leadership of the IADC Well Control Committee and the WellCAP Curriculum Subcommittee, making significant implementations to strengthen the WellCAP curriculum.
“When I first started in this well control business … I sensed that there was a sentiment that we could do better. But as historically with all training, it was a cost matter. Rather than looked as an investment, most people seem to look at training as a cost, and if there was any budget cut, it started with the training budget,” Mr Andersson recalled.
In 2009, IADC began reviewing its WellCAP curriculum, and Mr Andersson remembers getting in touch with a training manager with a US nuclear plant to compare training for both high-risk industries. “The amount of training the control room supervisors at a nuclear plant receives per year absolutely amazed me,” he said. Further, he came to find a consistent observation among training schools was that 50% of students who went back for recertification after two years could not circulate a kick out on the first morning of class – a worrying revelation, Mr Andersson said.
He believes there is a lot that can be learned, for example, from the airline industry. Further, in order to be effective, training cannot continue to be a visit to the classroom once every two years. “Would anyone here want to be a passenger on a flight with a pilot who only trained in emergency situations once every two years?”
The second IADC Exemplary Service Award went to Mr Hannegan, Weatherford strategic technology development manager for MPD, who called IADC “the finest jewel of the industry when it comes to networking, communication, teaching, exposure of new ideas by the Drilling Contractor magazine, by the various committees and subcommittees… Someone may have a root concept, but it’s in this environment that’s made possible by IADC to put some meat on those bones and make them happen.”
Mr Hannegan was recognized by IADC for his leadership in the Underbalanced Operations and Managed Pressure Drilling Committee, a group of which he is also a charter member. He is author of numerous technical papers and recognized as a prolific inventor of enabling equipment and methods that reduce the loss of well control when drilling challenging wells.
In accepting his award, Mr Hannegan referred to a recent industry survey in which 40% of key decision makers in the drilling community responded that they believe 40% of offshore wells will be using some aspect of MPD within five years. “Personally I don’t think that’s possible … but it does show you the vision and the promise the technology has. That would not be the case today had it not been for IADC,” he said, adding that many association staffers played key roles in the technology gaining the acceptance level it sees today.
“There’s no way I could’ve made the impact that I think I’ve made without the support of the IADC staff, all of the programs, the venues, the committee meetings, the Drilling Contractor magazine,” he commented.
The third Exemplary Service Award at the Annual General Meeting was given to Mr Al-Hussain, who oversees Saudi Aramco’s drilling and workover engineering and operational activities covering exploratory development, delineation and injection gas, oil and water wells both onshore and offshore. He chaired and was a founder of the IADC Northern Arabian Gulf Chapter and served on the IADC Executive Committee for several years.
Because Mr Al-Hussain was unable to attend the Scottsdale conference as planned, he asked his longtime friend and colleague Ken Fischer, IADC vice president of international development, to accept the award on his behalf. “One of the slogans we have at IADC is, ‘company membership, individual leadership,’ and nobody personifies that slogan better than Zuhair,” Mr Fischer said. “He has been nothing but supportive of IADC activities and programs and their implementation at Saudi Aramco, as well as in the contractor community.”
Mr Fischer continued: “One of the things that I find interesting about Zuhair’s approach to things like that is, before he asks the contractor community to implement programs, he implements those within Saudi Aramco himself first. An example is that Saudi Aramco has implemented every one of IADC’s accreditation programs, from Rig Pass to WellCAP to the Competence Assurance Program, and they’ve implemented those programs in the interest of improving their own personnel’s performance before asking their contractors to do the same.”