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Drilling It Safely

Proactively using annular friction can enable safer, more efficient well control

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Historically, the effects of annular friction have largely been ignored in conventional well control operations, Paul Sonnemann, Vice President of Technology for SafeKick, said at the 2016 IADC Well Control Europe Conference in Copenhagen. However, new technologies, including real-time hydraulic flow models, make it possible to make use of annular friction to make well control operations more safe and efficient. In this video from the conference on 19 October, Mr Sonnemann explains why friction has largely been ignored to date and how annular friction can be utilized with conventional well control equipment to circulate out a kick. He also discusses the newly formed IADC Well Control Practices Subcommittee.

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Atwood’s Saltiel: Human factors often define success, failure in drilling industry

While often overlooked, human factors are critical to safe and successful execution of offshore drilling operations, Rob Saltiel, President and CEO of Atwood Oceanics, said at the 2016 IADC Human Factors Conference in Galveston, Texas, on 5 October.

Human factors have traditionally been overlooked in the drilling industry, but recognition is growing that human factors are critical to ensuring that employees complete their tasks safely and efficiently. “Clearly, our industry depends greatly on deep understanding of technical knowledge and rigorous adherence to operation procedures. Yet, more often than not, it is the human factors that define our success or failure in this industry,” Rob Saltiel, President and CEO, Atwood Oceanics, said at the 2016 IADC Human Factors Conference in Galveston, Texas, on 5 October.

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Norwegian Oil and Gas Association focuses on sharing experiences, maintaining regulator relationships

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Norwegian oil and gas regulations require the industry to continuously improve, and the best way to accomplish this is through sharing and collaboration, said Sam Samuelsen, Drilling Manager for Norwegian oil and company Lotos Norway. Mr Samuelsen also serves as Chairman of the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association’s Drilling Managers Forum (DMF). In his keynote presentation at the 2016 IADC Well Control Europe Conference in Copenhagen, Mr Samuelsen outlined steps the DMF has taken to share knowledge and develop a common language around well control events. Watch DC’s video from the conference on 20 October as Mr Samuelsen describes the DMF’s Sharing to be Better initiative, as well as its work with Norwegian regulators.

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Sleep enhancement strategies targets better sleep for night-shift workers

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By Kelli Ainsworth, Editorial Coordinator The reduced concentration, slower reaction time and impaired decision making that result from insufficient sleep can have serious repercussions for process safety, Koos Meijer, a Human Factors Consultant with KM Human Factors Engineering, said at the 2016 IADC Human Factors Conference in Galveston, Texas. Because the brain produces hormones to make us feel alert or tired based on light, night-shift workers – who can be found on every working drilling rig – are particularly vulnerable to poor-quality sleep. “Our body finds it hard to completely adapt to night work schedules because of these inconsistent light cues,” Mr Meijer said in his presentation on 4 October. KM Human Factors Engineering took its cue from NASA, which ...

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Flin: Understanding drillers’ situation awareness critical to safety, efficiency

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In order to complete drilling operations safely, drillers need to be able to constantly anticipate potential problems and the meaning of diagnostic signals from the well. Drillers must also have a high-level understanding of the well state at any point during the drilling process. These factors are considered drillers’ situation awareness. Dr Rhona Flin, Professor of Industrial Psychology at Robert Gordon University, facilitated a study with PhD candidates to create a model for drillers’ situation awareness. The model aims to help the industry improve situation awareness and decision-making. Watch DC’s video with Dr Flin from the 2016 IADC Human Factors Conference in Galveston, Texas, on 5 October to learn more.

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Drilling industry continues to push evolution of crew resource management

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Training for rig crews continues to evolve, with more programs now focusing on giving employees the skills needed to handle unexpected situations where split-second decisions and teamwork make all the difference. Crew resource management training can now be found in many of the industry’s training programs, and some are also beginning to integrate it with technical education and simulation-based training. To learn more about the evolution of crew resource management, watch DC’s video with Maersk Training Crew Resource Management Lead Instructor Evelyn Baldwin from the 2016 IADC Human Factors Conference in Galveston on 5 October.

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CSB: Non-technical skills can help employees find their way through complex situations

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In its investigation of Macondo, the US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) found that future incidents could potentially be prevented if employees are equipped with non-technical skills. Such skills could help them navigate the complex situations that can occur on a drilling rig, where a great deal of information may be thrown at them at once. In this video from the 2016 IADC Human Factors Conference on 4 October in Galveston, Texas, Cheryl Mackenzie, CSB Investigations Team Lead, explains some of the CSB’s findings from its investigation. She also discussed recommendations the CSB made to API, the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the Ocean Energy Safety Institute.

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Noble: Human factors training must be embedded into technical training, not added as afterthought

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On a drilling rig, employees are regularly challenged to apply both their technical knowledge and non-technical human factors skills at the same time. Therefore, it is important that human factors training be integrated into technical training from the very beginning. At the 2016 IADC Human Factors Conference in Galveston on 4 October, Tony Willis, Director of Leadership and Talent Management at Noble Drilling, said the contractor has built human factors into training for all employees, from new-hires to leadership. In this video from the conference, Mr Willis explains how Noble is embedding human factors into its technical training. He also explains the importance of ensuring all employees, no matter how long they have been on the job, are trained on human factors.

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Alternative safety pyramid allows ExxonMobil to focus on low-probability, high-consequence events

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A shift in strategy toward safety was implemented at ExxonMobil when the company realized that it wasn’t giving enough focus to the critical events that have a combination of low probability and high consequence. “We’ve done a really good job at reducing overall injury rates, but we also noticed that our incident rates were still not at zero. We’re still not at the bottom point,” Paul Schuberth, Upstream Safety, Security, Health and Environment Manager for ExxonMobil, said at the 2016 IADC Drilling HSET Europe Conference in Amsterdam on 22 September. “More importantly, the life-altering events and fatalities were still occurring.”

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