By Jesse Maldonado, associate editor
When Kevin Neveu, chairman of the 2014 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference, speaks about the upcoming event, you can hear the excitement build up in his voice. “This is the industry’s premier technical drilling conference. At the event, attendees will get a chance to be exposed to the industry’s leading-edge technology developments that address many critical challenges we face around the world. The conference will help us stay at the forefront of technology and find ways to apply innovations to improve performance. The sharing of learnings and best practices will help us continue to develop a new generation of talent, a critical component of our industry’s future.”
The conference, to be held 4-6 March in Fort Worth, Texas, will feature 18 technical sessions that highlight topics such as drilling dynamics, bit technologies, fluids and hydraulics, rig solutions and more. “The technical papers will address the challenges of drilling wells faster, cleaner, safer and more efficiently. Not only will the papers address drilling technology, but they will also review and inspect the importance of people in our processes, and how we develop talent to create strong industry professionals. This is a forum that will allow us to shed light on and compare individual practices so we can create a better industry going forward,” said Mr Neveu, president, CEO and a director at Precision Drilling.
He also urged participants to go to the sessions prepared to engage and ask questions. “The technical sessions are generally viewed as an opportunity to listen to the speakers, but often a lot of the learning comes through participation. I encourage all attendees not only to listen to the sessions but also really challenge themselves to ask questions. Challenge the speakers on their technology, their philosophy and their direction to help give us a full understanding of the potential they are presenting,” he added.
On 4 March, Mr Neveu will provide welcoming remarks along with 2014 IADC chairman Jay Minmier, president of Nomac Drilling, and 2014 SPE president Jeff Spath, vice president of industry affairs at Schlumberger. The SPE Drilling Engineering Award will also be presented. Doug Suttles, president and CEO at Encana, will follow with a keynote presentation on “Domestic Energy: The Opportunity for North America.”
“We are on the edge of the next step of drilling technology improvement, including opportunities that could drive significant improvement in drilling safety. For example, closed-loop drilling is probably much closer than we give it credit. That’s just one example, but there are many topics that will be discussed at this conference, which hopefully will bring us to the next step-change in drilling performance. Again, this is our best opportunity bring together representatives from both the drilling industry and the E&P industry— through IADC and SPE — to share best practices and the latest technology across the full scope of the industry,” Mr Neveu said.
On 5 March, the plenary session will explore opportunities and challenges presented through the commercialization of unconventional resources and how the industry should respond to this source of growth. The Program Committee saw unconventionals as a fitting topic due to the conference location – in the Barnett, where the shale revolution began. “We want to elevate unconventional drilling on a global stage. We have senior-level experts in all areas with a strong technical understanding and knowledge,” said Mr Neveu, who will moderate the session. Panelists will be Jeff Flaherty, Helmerich & Payne; Karl Blanchard, Halliburton; and Michael Power, Chevron.
As in recent years, a Young Professionals luncheon will be held for new-generation employees, with the goal of helping them see and plan for a future in the drilling industry. David Reid, chief sales officer & SVP of global accounts at National Oilwell Varco, will speak at the luncheon. “Industry has traditionally been weak at recruiting and retaining young professionals. This event was well attended last year by young professionals in our industry, and it really gives our young professionals a chance to recognize what the long-term potential for their career might be in our industry,” Mr Neveu said.
To register for the 2014 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference, click here.