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Ensuring better regulation: IADC continues to engage Texas Railroad Commission on Rule 13

RRC Commissioner Christi Craddick (center) meets with Liz Craddock (from left), IADC VP – Policy and Government Affairs; Stephen Colville, IADC President/CEO; Mark Denkowski, IADC Executive VP – Operational Integrity; and Mike Garvin, Senior VP, Operations Support, for Patterson-UTI.

Securing better regulation is a key objective of IADC. Ensuring that any regulation is necessary, operationally appropriate and implementable, fit for purpose, affordable, and appropriate with no unforeseen consequences is key to the strategy of the association’s Policy, Government and Regulatory Affairs (PGRA) division.

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Opportunities, hurdles line industry’s path to making subsea equipment smarter

There are relatively few sensor suppliers in the subsea field, and a need exists for sensors to be developed to meet the demands of the harsh deepwater environment. Such developments take time, can cost significant sums and, if pursued without regard to the benefits of standardization, will lead to multiple solutions of different sizes, using different connectors and implementing different protocols and, thereby, lead to a lack of interchangeability.

To support increases in safety, reliability and operational economics, equipment used in the oil and gas industry must be made smarter. How is this going to be achieved, e.g. how will original equipment manufacturers (OEM) instrument both old and new equipment? Where are the new sensors going to come from? Condition-based monitoring (CBM) and predictive maintenance systems such as Cameron’s Cognition utilize new sensors fitted to subsea systems.

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Applying systematic approach, FMECA during rig design, construction can mitigate risk of costly downtime later on

Figure 2: The FMECA is a bottom-up approach. It emphasizes failure escalation from component to sub-system to system to the entire rig.

Risk assessment process should emphasize preparation, participation, technical content to maximize effectiveness By Wael Abouamin, Energy Risk Consulting Building a deepwater rig that incorporates the latest technical and automation innovations requires planning, coordination and a thorough understanding of the limitations of people and machines. Implementing a risk assessment and management program is an essential part of the rig-building process. Consider some of the challenges in the construction of a sixth-generation ultra-deepwater rig: • Highly complex systems designed and manufactured by multiple vendors; • Integrating complex systems with the shipyard-built systems; • Highly automated systems that require coordination and integration; • Highly automated systems that need to be operated by rig personnel; • Highly automated systems that need to be maintained ...

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Drilling programs give university students hands-on exposure to automation, simulation

The University of Texas at Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering is home to the only drilling real-time operations center (RTOC) in a university setting. Students participating in UT’s RAPID program can use the RTOC to analyze real-time and historical well data to search for potential efficiency gains. Dr Eric van Oort, who leads RAPID, said he believes that preparing students to work with data is important because data is the future of drilling.

A growing number of universities, research institutes and oil and gas industry groups are investing in programs that put students in front of the industry before they graduate. Three such programs are the Rig Automation Performance Improvement in Drilling (RAPID) at the University of Texas at Austin (UT); Drilling Simulator Celle, affiliated with Clausthal University of Technology in Germany; and the Drillbotics competition sponsored by the SPE Drilling Systems Automation Technical Section (DSATS).

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Operational safety, integrity challenges, expectations evolve as global rig fleet ages

Looking at jackup site assessments, one area that requires additional effort is leg foundation fixity. ABS is working with universities – Oxford, Cambridge, University of Western Australia and the National University of Singapore – to interpret and apply their findings to potential solutions. ABS is also upgrading its classification rules to reflect relevant classification criteria based on Load and Resistance Factor Design, recently introduced by ISO 19900.

In addition, jackups that work in cold air temperature environments must be designed to contend with the effect of sea spray, which can freeze instantly and accumulate on the exposed portions of the rig structure. Beyond the immense added weight that may compromise the structural integrity of the rig without consideration of winterization, systems – both operational and safety related – may also be compromised.

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Drilling & Completions News

The steel jacket for the Mariner A platform began its journey to the UK Continental Shelf in August. The Mariner Field is located on the East of Shetland Platform in the UK North Sea, approximately 150 km east of the Shetland Isles. Topsides installation is planned to take place in 2016.

Shell has received the approval of one Application for Permit to Modify (APM) to conduct exploratory drilling activities into potential oil-bearing zones offshore Alaska at one of the wells at the Burger Prospect, Burger J. The company remains limited to the top section of the Burger V well. The announcement came from Brian Salerno, Director of the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), after extensive review.

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