CATEGORIZED | 2012, Features, January/February

Critical Issues in Drilling & Completions – Exclusive Q&A’s with industry leaders

Posted on 01 February 2012

By Linda Hsieh, managing editor

Image courtesy of CNPC

The drilling industry is built on people, and we’re running short. Despite ongoing recruitment efforts around the world, as well as accelerated training programs in place, we know we can’t undo a couple decades of neglect overnight. “You can’t accelerate experience,” said David Payne, Chevron’s VP of drilling and completion. Real-time operations centers that leverage the experience of industry veterans appear to be helping, however, as is simulator-based training.

On the technology side, industry leaders see gaps in areas such as subsea BOP control systems and water use/disposal related to fracturing. Most also agree that higher levels of drilling automation are on the way. However, perspectives on the value proposition of automation differ across segments of the business, and a shift in the business model may be needed to incentivize the next step.

Further, a shake-up in the way that operators, contractors and equipment manufacturers interact with one another could be on the horizon. “We have to find a way to change the model, to find a way to apply technologies that will actually give a better result,” said David Reid, National Oilwell Varco senior VP of global accounts and chief sales officer.

Finally, everything still comes back to safety. The industry remains focused on incident prevention and safety leadership, whether by engineering hazards out of rig designs or building in redundancies to enhance equipment reliability. There’s no silver bullet, however.

“It’s hard work. It’s repetitive work,” said Claus V. Hemmingsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling. “You have to keep working on that message, making sure you grow and motivate your people to think safety all the time.”

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