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Drilling It Safely

IADC operations push forward with focus on improving drilling efficiency worldwide

It’s been another exciting and challenging year as IADC strives to fulfill the needs of an intensely demanding and always-evolving industry. In government affairs, for example, we continue to provide critical input on the EU’s Working Time Directive and critical court appeals that will impact day-to-day drilling operations. Our accreditation & certification department is further expanding its portfolio of services as the wider industry works to ensure the competency of our workers. Regulatory issues – such as the emerging biofouling challenge in Australia – have been closely monitored so that members won’t be caught short by unfair or unreasonable rules. We’re also pushing ahead with vital initiatives such as Career Connection, the Environmental Policy Advisory Panel and the newly set-up ...

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Coloring book takes safety message home to employees’ families

While workplace safety is a priority for drilling companies, as it should be, MB Century has identified one often-forgotten area where safety messages and efforts should be targeted – the home front. MB Century (formerly Century Resources), which provides drilling rigs to the Australian and Asia Pacific regions, has implemented several best practice safety systems and programs in recent years, such as bahavior-based safety observations, hazard identification cards and Step Back 5×5. Now, the company has developed a safety initiative that goes beyond traditional drilling company safety programs and takes safety home to the families of rig workers. According to MB Century, experience has shown that injuries to employees’ families – particularly their children – have a significant impact on ...

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Developing a mature safety culture: Everyone must step up to be a safety leader champion

By Ron Clem, Executive Training International Safety leadership has been the “buzz” phrase and a major focus for most companies over the last few years. Organizations strive to improve HSE performance by adopting new strategies, training initiatives and slogans to reach “Goal Zero” where “no one gets hurt.” Historically, the worldwide oil and gas community, focused and pro-active, has held sacred its positive safety and HSE performance. Safety is truly No.1 on most corporate agendas, and this should be applauded. So, with effort, resources, time and money clearly directed toward safety, why are people still getting hurt? Why are safety performance data for companies with offices around the world so varied? Corporate and local safety goals are the same and ...

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IADC ASP Report: Industry achieved record-low LTI rate in 2007

The drilling industry set another record with the lowest ever lost-time incidence (LTI) rate of 0.53 in 2007, a 5% improvement over 0.56 in 2006. The number of fatalities decreased as well, from 29 in 2006 to 23 in 2007. These are worthy achievements in an industry where rig demand continues to increase, as do pressure on personnel. Still, 23 lives lost is 23 too many, and every incident remains a cause for concern and a reason for improvement. Data in this report were provided voluntarily by drilling contractors for the IADC ASP Program, which has tracked safety and accident information for the drilling industry since 1962. During 2007, 111 contractors representing approximately 78% of the worldwide oil and gas ...

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What does it take to be environmentally responsible in this industry?

By Ian Hudson, Transocean We have come a long way in the drilling industry over the last few years in both technology and HSE performance. As pressure mounts to find more petroleum and to open up new areas for exploration drilling worldwide, our industry is experiencing an unprecedented period of growth, with many newbuild offshore drilling rigs set to start work in the coming three years. During such periods, it is important to focus on all aspects of the offshore drilling business, and a key area at the forefront of new exploration is environmental protection. Changing Views One major improvement area in our environmental performance is best summed up by the fact that containment losses have been dramatically reduced from ...

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Life extension for mobile offshore unites: How old is too old?

By Gerhard Ersdal, Arne Kvitrud, Petroleum Safety Authority Norway; Wayne Jones, Malcolm Birkinshaw, UK Health and Safety Executive Editor’s note: This article is the second in a series of articles that will focus on the critical issue of asset integrity. The International Regulators Forum kicked off the series in the May/June 2008 issue, presenting findings from a three-year inspection programme. In this issue, UK’s HSE and PSA Norway detail how they are approaching the evaluation of offshore units operated beyond their original design life. In upcoming issues, Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority and the Netherlands’ State Supervision of Mines will provide their perspectives on how industry can improve asset integrity. A large number of mobile units in the North ...

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New Drillers Course provides required training in period of rapid promotions for drilling crews

Murchison Drilling Schools (MDS) recently introduced its new five-day Drillers Course, which aims to equip assistant drillers (AD) with the technical tools needed to become an effective driller, and to ensure that drillers have the technical knowledge necessary to be proficient in his current position and to excel as a toolpusher in the future. The class will be taught as an in-house course. “We were looking at why employees on the contractors side weren’t coming to our (10-day Operations Course), whereas 10-15 years ago probably 50% of the class were from the contractors,” said Bill Murchison Jr, an instructor at MDS. Sam Sirman, who joined MDS in February this year as a lead instructor and has 27 years of experience ...

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Gulf of Thailand drilling/completion both high tech and high volume, with HSE as core value

By Mike Killalea, Editor & Publisher Drilling in the Gulf of Thailand (GOT) is not only high-volume work, but presents considerable technical drilling-and-completion challenges. Chevron, the major operator in the GOT, drills some 40% of its global footage there – that’s right, 40%. In 2007, that constituted 3.7 million ft and 310 wells, and the previous year, 4.4 million ft. Chevron’s preeminence in the region more than doubled following the 2005 merger with Unocal. Chevron’s drilling program will extend through the next decade and beyond, explained Mike Haas, drilling & completions manager for the Asia South Business Unit, Chevron Thailand Exploration and Production Ltd. “It’s good for us because it allows us to contract long term,” he said, “and it ...

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Permanent magnet motors lead way to better power efficiency, safety on cranes, winches

By Hege Kverneland, National Oilwell Varco Recognized around the world as a leader in technology-driven drilling solutions, National Oilwell Varco (NOV) has kept its focus on commercializing permanent magnet motor technology and developing innovative applications for its use. The Lifting and Handling Group’s latest technological development is the new all-electric King Post Crane using permanent magnet motor (PM motor) technology with a new type of permanent magnet motor winch (PMW). PM motor Technology The technology of the PM motor differs from the traditional squirrel cage AC asynchronous motor in that it uses permanent magnets to generate the magnetic flux to turn the motor, versus excitation by copper or energizing large copper winding in the rotor. The benefits of the PM ...

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Lifting Safety: Inexperienced employees, deepwater/subsea projects push lifting challenges to new

“The challenges have shifted,” said Mike Brasic, who retired from BP in May 2008 as lifting adviser and as HSE manager for BP Sakhalin. First, there’s the people problem. “The level of experience among employees has gone down as the level of activity has gone up. That’s presenting challenges with competency that the industry must address.” Second, the move into deepwater and subsea operations has brought its own set of technological and safety challenges – including lifting challenges. “It’s a new phase to the lifting game,” he said. Lifting performance Mr Brasic believes the industry has seen a decrease in lifting fatalities and serious incidents in recent years, and several factors have contributed to that. “There’s more focus on near-miss ...

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