Editorial: Year of change – Multitude of initiatives shows IADC stepping up to challenges

Posted on 30 October 2013

David Williams, Noble Corp chairman, president and CEO

David Williams, Noble Corp chairman, president and CEO

It is more than an understatement to say that 2013 has brought many changes to IADC. Over the course of the past year, we have stepped up to address the industry’s challenges around people, safety and well control against the backdrop of expanding operations around the globe.

The much talked about “Great Crew Change” is under way and, as a result, our industry continues to hire tens of thousands of new employees each year.  The need to bring in new talent in unprecedented numbers is also being driven by higher-than-ever levels of offshore activity and the startling surge in shale drilling onshore. In the past three years at Noble, we have hired more than 3,000 new employees – and I suspect most other drillers are seeing similar hiring needs. The figures are enormous and represent a challenge, as huge growth can lead to growing pains in our ability to ensure our workforces are properly trained.

Properly trained personnel are essential to the success of our industry and our continued license to operate. IADC recognized this challenge and mobilized our membership to work together to develop solutions that will ensure that every person on every rig is equipped with the training and information they need to perform their job safely every day.

We are near the completion of the KSA project. The KSAs set competency benchmarks for virtually every rig position and provide a foundation of information for the industry to demonstrate the qualifications of its personnel.

Additionally, a group of more than 100 subject matter experts embarked on a massive update, to reflect the latest technologies and regulations, of the IADC Drilling Manual, the definitive guide for the drilling industry. Similarly, more than 75 experts have come together for the revitalization of the IADC Deepwater Well Control Guidelines, a project expected to be complete in 2014.

The Workforce Attraction and Development Initiative (WADI) was also kicked off in 2013. WADI aims to unite industry and educational entities to work in tandem to develop coursework to train the next generation of oilfield workers.

Our crowning achievement, and one I’m particularly proud of, is the formation of the Well Control Institute (WCI). The institute will bring together all segments of the industry to develop globally accepted well control training standards. Once complete in mid-2014, the WCI will offer our industry a single recognized standard for well control training under a single administration and single governance. The impact this will have on our industry is far-reaching and showcases IADC’s commitment and willingness to tackle head on the big, critical issues.

These initiatives and others are changing our industry for the better. A competent workforce is critical to ensure the safety of everyone on the rig. IADC recognizes the challenges of ensuring that our workforce is properly trained and competent. IADC is leading the way toward a future of drilling, where competency is defined as more than a test score.

I believe that meeting the world’s enormous energy demands is one of this century’s great challenges. I also believe that IADC and its member companies will be instrumental in answering this challenge.

I am proud to have chaired IADC this past year. Much has been accomplished to steer us in the direction of a successful future.

There is still much to be done. Working together, we will develop the tools the industry needs to be successful for years to come. Spread the word. Your voice is important, and your efforts are essential to the health of this industry. I encourage you to help us communicate the huge advances we are making all across this industry.

We all have a role in our industry’s ability to succeed. I have never been more confident that we are up to the task.

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