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The Offshore Frontier

Burke: Positive indicators point to potential recovery first for shales; offshore must wait longer

The drilling industry is seeing some positive signals. One is that CAPEX reductions, a leading indicator for the industry, are starting to slow down, 
Thomas Burke, President and CEO of Rowan Companies and 2016 IADC Chairman, said at the IADC Houston Chapter Luncheon on 11 October.

In hindsight, the indicators of an impending downturn were clear back in 2014 or even earlier. Still, when it hit, the downturn caught most of the industry by surprise. This has caused massive disruptions as companies realized that their assumptions and projects were flat wrong, Thomas Burke, President and CEO of Rowan Companies, said at an IADC Houston Chapter luncheon on 11 October. Further, Mr Burke, who also serves as 2016 IADC Chairman, pointed to the difficulties that drilling contractors face in planning for their business. “When you have to make investments in expensive assets that are going to last a long time, it takes a lot of capital, and you have to make assumptions about what’s going to happen,” he said. “We have to make long-term decisions based on short-term oil prices.”

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Maersk’s Durkin: Step-changes in safety do not require big spending


The offshore drilling market remains in turmoil, but the industry’s efforts to improve safety performance are carrying on without disruption. “We cannot and we will not allow market conditions to dictate how we care about our people or the environment,” Angela Durkin, COO of Maersk Drilling, said in a keynote address at the 2016 IADC Drilling HSET Europe Conference. “We will continue to work together and learn from each other and learn from other industries to avoid making the mistakes from the past,” she said to conference attendees in Amsterdam on 21 September.

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NOGEPA keeps simplicity in mind while preparing for Offshore Safety Directive implementation

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The Netherlands Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Association (NOGEGA) has been working to prepare for the implementation of the Offshore Safety Directive, with old NOGEPA guidelines now transformed to NOGEGA standards. New standards have also been created on well control and integrity and verification, Gert-Jan Windhorst, Secretary Operations Health & Safety/Deputy Secretary General for NOGEPA, said at the 2016 IADC Drilling HSET Europe Conference in Amsterdam on 21 September. In this video from the conference, Mr Windhorst speaks with DC Managing Editor Linda Hsieh about challenges related to the directive’s implementation process. Watch the video for more information.

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Early planning, effective communication crucial to five-year SPS’s

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Applying best practices – including early coordination between the drilling contractor and OEM, constant communication and contingency plans for unplanned work – can help drive down the cost of five-year special periodic surveys for drilling rigs. In a presentation at the 2016 IADC Asset Integrity and Reliability Conference in Houston, Trey Walker, Fleet Care Manager for National Oilwell Varco (NOV), presented examples of successful in-yard and in-field surveys completed ahead of time and within budget. In this video from the conference on 31 August, Mr Walker explains how early planning helped NOV preform these surveys successfully. He also discusses how applying best practices helped the company to complete the in-field survey several days ahead of time despite unexpected changes to the project’s scope.

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OESI panel encourages more engineering, training for alarm management

From left are Evelyn Baldwin, Human Factors Lead Instructor at Maersk Training; Jarvis Outlaw, Petroleum Engineer at the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE); Trent Martin, Senior Manager – Technical Support Service at Transocean; Mike Fairburn, Operations Manager at Shell; and Eddie Habibi, Founder and CEO of PAS. The panelists participated in the Ocean Energy Safety Institute forum, “Focusing on Alarm Management for Safer Offshore Operations,” held on 24 August in Houston. Bob Blank (right), Vice President Operational Excellence at Noble Drilling, moderated the panel discussion on alarm management at the forum.

By Alex Endress, Editorial Coordinator Today’s offshore drilling rigs are highly complex and equipped with numerous digitized and interconnected systems. To monitor the functionality of these systems, rigs have also been equipped with numerous alarms – some that are safety- and mission-critical, and some that aren’t. Deciphering which alarms are critical and reacting accordingly is a matter of proper engineering and training, both of which were discussed at an Ocean Energy Safety Institute (OESI) forum, “Focusing on Alarm Management for Safer Offshore Operations,” held on 24 August in Houston. “Alarm fatigue or alert fatigue occurs when one is exposed to a large number of frequent alarms and consequently becomes desensitized to them,” Bob Blank, Vice President Operational Excellence at Noble ...

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Barclays survey: 2017 spending poised to grow 3% to 8% at current prices

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A mid-year survey of more than 200 companies shows that global upstream spending is poised to grow in 2017 after consecutive years of declines. The Barclays Upstream Spending Survey estimated that spending will increase by approximately 3% to 8% at current oil prices. Large-cap E&P companies are expected to increase North American CAPEX by as much as 50% next year, although international oil companies (IOCs) – particularly those in the offshore sector – will still be very cautious in their spending.

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Mediterranean Maritime Hub introduces rig pit stop concept in Malta


Malta-based Mediterranean Maritime Hub (MMH) has launched a concept called “Rig Pit Stop” that aims to allow companies to cut costs without cutting capability. “The ‘Pit Stop’ principle is that a rig can come in and offload, for example, a BOP whole and bring on a new BOP that’s sitting there,” Steve Colville, MMH CEO and former CEO/President of IADC, said. “The old one is refurbished once the rig has left, so the rig does not have to wait while the equipment is refurbished. We think it’s possible to reduce yard costs by at least 15%.”

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