By Kelli Ainsworth, Editorial Coordinator
Cost reduction may be a priority for many companies now, but the industry must not overlook important opportunities for innovation and idea sharing such as the 2015 SPE/IADC Drilling Conference, to be held 17-19 March in London. “I can see a tendency to retract and become inward-looking in these economically challenging times, but I really encourage people not to do that,” Conference Chairman Jan Brakel said. Rather than see conferences as an expense, company leaders should focus on the long term and use the activity slowdown to expose employees to new processes, technologies and systems that can improve their operations. “Attending a major industry event like the Drilling Conference is a relatively modest investment but a potentially significant return,” he added.
A total of 18 technical sessions have been planned, covering a broad range of topics: well operations planning, human factors, managed pressure drilling, drill bits, drilling automation, deepwater technologies, downhole tools, well control and tubulars.
In addition, the Program Committee has devoted significant attention to making the plenary session, “Successfully Delivering Wells in a Changing World,” more energetic and engaging, Mr Brakel said. For example, for the first time, the session will be led by a professional presenter, Eithne Treanor. Ms Treanor has worked as a financial reporter for international networks, including the BBC, Sky News and ABC News. “She’s really going to focus on enhancing audience participation to get a lively discussion going, and hopefully help the participants with some conclusions that people can take away after the plenary session.”
Industry leaders to be featured at the plenary are: Gary Jones, Head of Global Wells Organization, BP; Arne Lyngholm, Chief Engineer of Drilling Technology in TPD D&W, Statoil; Khaled Al Mogharbel, President of the Drilling Group, Schlumberger; Ivan Tan, Vice President of Well HSE, Shell International E&P; and Jack Winton, Vice President, Operations Division, KCA Deutag.
Although this year’s conference theme – managing escalating costs – was established before oil prices fell, it is particularly relevant now, said Mr Brakel, who also serves as Senior Manager of Well Engineering for Shell. “This conference is a great opportunity to learn and see how others are weathering the storm and bring back valuable information to your own company,” he said.
Mr Brakel also highlighted the addition of a half-day program aimed specifically at young professionals in the industry. “As an industry, we need to step up to the plate and do more to develop the young professionals,” Mr Brakel said. The program, scheduled for 18 March, will include poster sessions for young professionals and students to present their work, as well as presentations on chartership and career soft skills. This will be followed by a networking luncheon featuring a keynote speech by Catherine MacGregor, President of Europe and Africa at Schlumberger.
For more information or to register for the 2015 SPE/IADC Drilling Conference, please click here.