New Drillers Course provides required training in period of rapid promotions for drilling crews

Posted on 30 October 2009

Murchison Drilling Schools (MDS) recently introduced its new five-day Drillers Course, which aims to equip assistant drillers (AD) with the technical tools needed to become an effective driller, and to ensure that drillers have the technical knowledge necessary to be proficient in his current position and to excel as a toolpusher in the future. The class will be taught as an in-house course.

“We were looking at why employees on the contractors side weren’t coming to our (10-day Operations Course), whereas 10-15 years ago probably 50% of the class were from the contractors,” said Bill Murchison Jr, an instructor at MDS.

Sam Sirman, who joined MDS in February this year as a lead instructor and has 27 years of experience working for drilling contractors, pointed out that it’s simply too difficult for contractors – drillers and ADs – to get away for 10 days. Scheduling two weeks away from work is tough even under normal circumstances, but during these times of high rig activity and personnel shortage, a 10-day course often becomes unworkable. Therefore the five-day course was created.

According to Mr Murchison, MDS expects to hold its first Drillers Course in the coming months, likely in Singapore. They plan to have 12-15 students in each class, though they can fit in 20-25.

Underscoring the need for more driller/AD training is the fact that rapid promotions are becoming more common with drilling crews, he noted, with some employees going into drillers positions within a year.

It’s been reported that the average kick size in the Gulf of Mexico is 50 bbl, he said. “That’s extremely large. And who is responsible for catching those kicks? The driller.” Inexperienced crews can lead to serious problems on rigs, and rather than having micromanagement from corporate offices, it’s better to train employees well and put qualified people onto the rigs.

Topics covered in the Drillers Course include drill string design, stuck pipe, freeing techniques, hydraulics, shallow gas, tripping practices, well control red flags and transition zone indicators, mud solids, trends, casing and cementing, lost circulation and associated problems, abnormal pressure, shales, and gas cap drilling. Students who go through the course will have “a better understanding of the whole drilling process and will be able to handle problems much more effectively,” Mr Murchison said.

An optional sixth day can be added to the course to cover topics such as BOP equipment or pre-spud meetings.

Earlier this year MDS began offering its WellCAP-certified five-day Supervisory-Level Well Control Course. A new well control center also has been added to its training facility in Albuquerque, N.M.

Additionally, Mr Murchison noted that MDS is planning to offer new courses on deepwater drilling and dynamic positioning operations. The need is there for this kind of training, he said, especially with the newbuilds already starting to come out and those still under construction.

Leave a Reply

*

FEATURED MICROSITES


Recent Drilling News

  • 31 March 2015

    ExxonMobil begins production at Hadrian South in Gulf of Mexico

    ExxonMobil has begun production in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico (GOM) at Hadrian South, with facilities tied back to the nearby Lucius project. Daily gross production...

  • 31 March 2015

    Active risk assessment, global sharing at core of Nabors safety intervention program

    Gagan Singhal, Area Manager at Nabors Drilling International, outlined a new safety intervention system that helps the company...

  • 30 March 2015

    National Petroleum Council: US can safely tap Arctic resources to secure energy needs

    Prudently developing US Arctic oil and natural gas resources would enhance America’s position as a global leader in energy production for the next 35 years...

  • 30 March 2015

    Joint safety improvement plan aligns HSE objectives, “language” for Shell, Halliburton

    Speaking at a joint presentation with Halliburton at the 2015 IADC HSE&T Asia Pacific Conference in Kuala Lumpur on 12 March, Alain Moonen...

  • 27 March 2015

    Gravity-deployed carbon composite cable completes first commercial deployment offshore Norway

    Ziebel, a Stavanger-based provider of specialist well intervention services for the oil and gas industry, announced that its Z-Line gravity-deployed...

  • Read more news