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Drilling It Safely

Risk aversion shouldn’t be used as excuse not to innovate

By Linda Hsieh, Managing Editor The drilling industry stands at the doorstep to a vast digital transformation. Yet, in many ways, it remains hesitant to fully cross the threshold. On the other side is Industry 4.0, characterized by things like smart machines, artificial intelligence, data-enabled efficiency and decentralized decision making. To take that great leap, it’s become apparent that leadership commitment to change will be key. So it was exciting when the head of an onshore drilling contractor stood up at a recent IADC conference and delivered a definitive call to action: Let go of old mindsets; don’t be a “smart follower” but an “early adopter.” Not only that, but he also laid out a path forward to Drilling 4.0 ...

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Even amidst recovery, impact of oil price crash reverberates as investors press companies to increase returns by cutting costs

Personnel shortages also being felt at multiple skill levels, with many employees wary of returning to a cyclical industry By Rick Von Flatern, Contributer For nearly two years, the drilling industry has been in a painfully slow recovery mode, and prospects for 2019 appear to be more of the same. In the latter half of 2014, average global oil prices went from a dizzying $100/bbl to just more than $50 by year’s end. By the start of 2017, oil prices had hit a low of about $20/bbl. In the ensuing two years, oil prices have trended up toward $70, where it remains today. In the years leading up to the oil price crash, drilling contractors had invested billions of dollars ...

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BSEE issues safety alert resulting from recent risk-based inspection

The US BSEE has issued a safety alert summarizing its findings and recommendations from a recent risk-based inspection. BSEE’s team of inspectors and engineers developed several recommendations from inspection findings to reduce risks associated with fired vessels. Fired vessels are hydrocarbon-processing vessels on offshore oil and gas facilities with self-contained, natural or forced draft burners.

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Oil Spill Response Limited enhances air freight capability for capping stacks

Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL) completed an air transport test flight of a fully assembled subsea capping stack for the first time. The demonstrated expertise has the potential to significantly reduce capping stack mobilization times, and represents the realization of a key objective for OSRL and all those involved in its Subsea Well Intervention Services (SWIS). “At OSRL, part of our mission is to constantly identify new ways to better support our members and adapt to their changing requirements through new technology, equipment and processes,” Matt Clements, OSRL’s Director of SWIS, said. “From our leading role working with the Subsea Well Response Project (SWRP), to the recent development of our Offset Installation System for subsea wells, to today and the realization of another major achievement, we are continuing to lead and demonstrate the value we ...

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Survey reveals low oil price impacts operational risk and process safety management in hazardous industries

Petrotechnics, the developer of Proscient – the hazardous industries’ first software platform for operational excellence (OE), has released part one of its 2018 Operational Risk and Process Safety Management Report, which explores how far the oil price downturn and knock-on budgetary squeezes are affecting safety performance. Insights from more than 100 senior industry leaders reveal 72% believe oil price has had a moderate or significant impact on process safety risk, characterized by major job cuts, loss of corporate memory, cost-cutting and overall belt-tightening brought on by the downturn. The good news is 83% of survey respondents agree safety is part of their corporate value structures and is supported by the highest levels of management, including the company president or CEO. ...

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Wireless wellsite monitoring system could reduce NPT and tripping hazards

Current wellsite operations may create many types of real-time load and pressure monitoring data, but the transmission of that data from load cells is still primarily done by wireline – and transmission cables are not only a tripping hazard for personnel, but cable breakage is a common cause of NPT. To address these ongoing challenges, Strainstall – a UK-based mechanical and industrial engineering firm – developed Wellsite Monitoring Solutions, a wire and cable less monitoring system. Jim Profit, Business Development Manager for Strainstall, introduced the system on 16 August at the IADC ART Spark Tank, a forum for technology developers to present their innovations to a panel of operators and drilling contractors. Watch DC’s video as Senior Editor Alex Wukman ...

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HSE&T Corner – Renewed focus on dropped object prevention needed as cost pressures, rig reactivations and personnel turnover amplify risks

By Mike Rice, Dropsafe According to industry body DROPS, dropped objects are among the top 10 causes of injury and fatality in oil and gas operations. Yet, dropped objects are also one of the only HSE areas without standardized legislation. This leaves individual project management teams solely responsible for ensuring the integrity of operational sites. This discrepancy has contributed to an increase, in real terms, of dropped object incidents in recent years. While oil and gas activity levels have declined with the fall in oil prices, the numbers of incidents have not decreased accordingly. However, the industry – including drilling contractors – has recently renewed its focus on drops prevention. For example, one major international drilling contractor recently issued a fleetwide ...

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To effectively manage major hazard events, companies must routinely measure key barriers, look beyond corrective actions at the front lines

By Peter Bridle, Pegasus Risk Management The upstream industry must look beyond its traditional focus on personal injury metrics and retool toward a high-reliability organization (HRO) for effective major hazard event (MHE) management. Fact 1: The US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has repeatedly stated that although companies can work many years without a personal safety injury, this provides no guarantee that an MHE is any less likely. Fact 2: On the day that control of the Macondo well was lost in 2010, executives from both the operator and drilling contractor were on the drilling rig congratulating the crews on having worked seven years without a lost-time injury (LTI). Fact 3: Focusing on and reducing the number of minor injuries, such as ...

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2017 IADC ISP data show increases in lost-time incidents, recordables, fatalities amid rise in drilling activity

LTI rate up by 23.1% and recordables rate up by 17.4% over 2016 number; number of fatalities also escalates from 9 in 2016 to 10 in 2017 By Linda Hsieh, Managing Editor The rapid rise in drilling activity in many sectors of the world is reflected in the newest safety numbers from the IADC Incident Statistics Program (ISP). In 2017, the drilling industry’s worldwide lost-time incidence (LTI) rate increased to 0.16 from 2016’s 0.13, which represents a 23.1% rise. The recordable incidence rate also went up, from 0.46 in 2016 to 0.54 in 2017, a 17.4% increase. The industry also lost ground with fatalities, with 10 fatal incidents reported in 2017 versus nine in 2016. Four fatalities each occurred in the ...

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