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HSE&T Corner: From sage on the stage to guide on the side: Flipped classroom approach can turn well control training delivery into a more active learning experience

Speaking at the 2015 IADC Well Control Conference of the Americas on 25 August in Galveston, Texas, Michael Arnold with Intertek Industry Services explained how modern well control training should be designed according to adult learning theory, with the goal of creating a more active learning environment for students.

Traditional well control training has often employed a pedagogical approach in which an expert lectures students on his or her knowledge, creating a passive, rather than active, learning environment. “It places students in a submissive role that requires that students obey teachers, and it’s based on the assumption that students only need to know what the teacher tells them,” Michael Arnold, General Manager of Intertek Industry Services, said at the 2015 IADC Well Control Conference of the Americas in Galveston, Texas, on 25 August.

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Drillers’ Situation Awareness model identifies key cognitive skills needed to be a good driller


“Being a good driller is more than running equipment and drilling a hole. It is also having an accurate picture of what’s going on in the well and on the rig so you are able to make the right decision at the right time.” — Maersk Drilling OIM Considering the complex nature of a driller’s job, it may seem obvious that a good driller needs to have high-level awareness of the well, recognize the indicators of an escalating situation and be confident to take the decision to shut-in. Being a good driller is more than being technically competent. Yet, until recently, these vital thinking skills were not necessarily being trained or assessed across the drilling industry.

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2014 IADC ISP report shows global LTI rate fell by 11.5%, recordables rate down by 7.4%


The global drilling industry saw declines in both its lost-time incidence (LTI) rate and recordable incidence rate last year, according to the 2014 IADC Incident Statistics Program (ISP) annual report. The global LTI rate declined by 11.5% compared with 2013, going from 0.26 to 0.23. The 2014 rate for recordable incidents fell by 7.4% from 0.81 to 0.75. A total of 21 fatalities were reported for 2014, one fewer than the previous year.

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New process automation platform aims to pave path to drilling consistency, efficiency


Demand for automated technology continues to grow throughout the industry despite the decline in oil price and reduction in capital spend across the board. Driven by sub-optimal industry conditions, operators are searching for faster, safer and more consistent wells, leaving drilling contractors the difficult task of optimizing their rigs. Contractors are faced with several challenges to compete in the current market: how to maintain operations with a shrinking workforce, how to enhance their existing fleet, and how to safely manage a multitude of third parties vying to optimize the control of their assets.

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Software change management on modern drilling rigs must go beyond ‘checking the box’


As an industry, managing software has long been a peripheral concern in rig operations. However, as new rigs with increasingly complex control systems are delivered, effective software change management is critical in avoiding downtime. Software is ubiquitous on modern rigs, controlling everything from dynamic positioning to ram activation and drilling automation. Software regression, malware and cyber-attacks are critical issues that cause NPT and could lead to an LTI or an HSE incident.

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Despite challenges, lure of Latin America too strong to ignore

Despite the abundance of potential resources in Latin America, the region has not been immune to the global market downturn. EIA data shows that onshore and offshore rig counts combined have fallen from 398 a year ago to 314 in June. In Brazil specifically, the offshore rig count has fallen from 84 in July 2013 to 52 in July 2015. Argentina has been more stable than some of its neighbors – its rig count has only decreased by two, from 107 to 105, according to EIA data.

In 2014, an investigation by the Brazilian federal police, dubbed Operation Car Wash, raised suspicions that several politically appointed Petrobras executives had been accepting bribes in exchange for offering construction and engineering companies inflated contracts. Portions of these ill-gotten gains were allegedly paid to politicians and their political campaigns.

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Rig injury spurs collaborative development of elevator strap for pipe laydown operations


The oil and gas industry has a history of collaboration between organizations, including operators, contractors, manufacturers and distributors, in efforts to continuously improve efficiency and safety. Incidents are often triggers that lead to this type of collaboration. This article highlights an example where an incident led to a drilling contractor, manufacturer and distributor to work together to design, produce and put in place a tool that will greatly reduce the chances of similar incidents reoccurring and, thus, improve safety on the job. The incident occurred in April on a Sidewinder Drilling rig in Oklahoma during a routine operation. It was 9:30 p.m., and the crews were pulling out of the hole and laying down drill pipe at the end of the well. The drill pipe elevators were fitted with a piece of rope approximately 3 ft in length for the purpose of tripping the elevators open. There were scattered thunderstorms at the time with gusty winds and occasional rain and hail. The rig is equipped with a top drive with a link tilt system and a hydraulic catwalk machine.

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A seismic shift in the subsurface

Technology developed by MicroSeismic Inc uses microseismic data to determine what proportion of the total stimulated reservoir (or rock) volume (SRV) has been propped and will likely be productive. It shows operators where the proppant went during fracturing. This microseismic-based discrete fracture network analysis shows SRV in red and productive SRV in blue/purple. The red areas are those that were fractured but have no proppant. The blue and purple sections are areas where fractures have been created and have proppant.

In the 15 or so years since the unconventional oil and gas boom began, the industry has learned that unlocking the secrets of the subsurface is the key to tapping additional resources. Operators now know that the complexity, heterogeneity and unpredictability of unconventional plays and tight oil and gas formations require a deeper characterization of the geology and an understanding of the effects of hydraulic fracturing on the rock. Today, models can provide a 3D view of the formation and simulate hydraulic fractures, with the capability of making real-time adjustments. They have become essential in designing completion strategies that enhance production. A pivotal piece of that process involves listening to the rock and detecting subsurface stress – microseismic monitoring.

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