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SCA Chapter marks 10 years of success

 An estimated 300 guests helped the IADC South Central Asia (SCA) Chapter celebrate its 10th anniversary on 13-14 March at Aamby Valley’s Sahara Lake City, a resort community between the cities of Mumbai and Pune. The 22nd Technology Meet was held on the first day, followed by a golf tournament on the second.

A message from IADC president Dr Lee Hunt was delivered by IADC regional vice president – Middle East & Africa Ken Fischer to congratulate the chapter for a decade of stellar success. Dr Hunt emphasized the support of ONGC’s leaders, commenting, “Without their patronage and sponsorship, it would have been difficult to assemble the lineup of distinguished guests and speakers who have brought such high levels of learning and information to these assemblies.”

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Meridian CEO: Industry must break down barriers to adopting new technologies

 Paul Ching

Hydrocarbons will likely remain the world’s primary power driver for the near term, and the path to those hydrocarbons lies in technology.

“Hydrocarbons are going to be the main source of energy for the developed and emerging world for at least the next two decades, and it’s going to take technology to develop the supply to meet demand,” said Paul Ching, chairman and chief executive officer, Meridian Resource Corp, and co-chair of the SPE Emerging Technology Workshop, 19-20 May in San Antonio, Texas.

But as new technologies have emerged, the oil and gas industry has been slow to embrace them. “A study by (business consulting firm) McKenzie & Associates in the late 1990s showed that the oil industry was the slowest of all industries to incorporate new technology,” said Mr Ching, who previously was vice president, technical, research and development for Shell International E&P in the Netherlands.

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Victory for UK offshore employers in Working Time Directive appeal

 In a sweeping judgment issued by the Scottish Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in Edinburgh, offshore employers prevailed on all major points involving application of the EU Working Time Directive (WTD) on the UKCS. Oil & Gas UK and IADC have long argued that the WTD requirement of four weeks’ annual leave is provided in the existing offshore rota system during field breaks. Offshore unions claimed that the Directive required an additional four weeks of holiday. The tribunal reversed the findings of a lower tribunal in Aberdeen, which held that the Directive requires two weeks of additional leave. In addition, the EAT dismissed all individual employees’ pending claims involving the decision.

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MMS begins well control testing

 The MMS began enforcement of Subpart O testing efforts on 1 April. Testing began with a pre-pilot phase in October 2008 and has been operated in a pilot phase since.

Under the testing program, MMS inspectors can conduct oral, written or hands-on testing of rig site personnel required to have well control training. Different levels of tests are used for different job positions. Testing can be done either onshore or offshore to evaluate an individual’s knowledge and skills in performing well control and production safety duties.

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Discoverer Clear Leader en route to US Gulf of Mexico

 Transocean’s Discoverer Clear Leader drillship left South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding Marine Engineering (DSME) shipyard in late March, bound for Singapore. It will then change crews in Durban, South Africa, before arriving in the US Gulf of Mexico in about 60 days. After mobilization and customer acceptance, the rig will commence its five-year contract with Chevron.

The sixth-generation Discoverer Clear Leader is designed to drill wells up to 40,000 ft deep in up to 12,000 ft of water. It is the first of Transocean’s 10 ultra-deepwater newbuild rigs to leave the shipyard, including five enhanced Enterprise-class newbuild drillships.

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International Petroleum Technology Conference in Qatar

 The multidisciplinary International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC) is set for 7-9 December 2009 in Doha, Qatar. It is being held under the patronage of Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, with the theme of “World Energy Challenges: Endurance and Commitment.”

In the multi-session programme, 52 topics representative of the issues facing the oil and gas sector today were made available for industry professionals to present.

“The conference is an important date in the calendar, coming to the Middle East only every four years,” said Khalid Al-Hitmi, manager gas development at Qatar Petroleum and co-chairman for the IPTC Conference Programme.

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Industry must shake bad habits, panelists caution

 Now that industry experts have debated how we can get the right people and the right technologies, the final plenary session at the 2009 SPE/IADC Drilling Conference attempted to figure out how to combine the two into the right process. Jerry Gauche, NOV, moderated this session, titled “Right Process: Integrating People and Technology to Create Value.”

Panelist Ford Brett, PetroSkills and Oil & Gas Consultants, began by commenting that technology means “know-how” and that only people “know how.” Therefore, technology without people is impossible, he said, especially the teamwork aspect.

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'09 Drilling Conference attendance tops 1,700; '10 event set for New Orleans in February

 Bob Bloom, National Oilwell Varco

More than 1,700 delegates attended the 2009 SPE/IADC Drilling Conference in Amsterdam over its three days, a number that conference chairman Walter Simpson, BG Group, called impressive, especially considering the economic climate and widespread budget cuts.

However, Mr Simpson added that the number of attendees isn’t how he truly determines success: “Actually to me, how I would consider it a success, is if everybody takes one thing with them to help improve performance in their organization. ... If you just take one thing away, then I think this whole conference has served its purpose and has been a success for the people who attended.”

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New central GOM lease sale a far cry from 2008 record-breaker

 The Central Gulf of Mexico Oil and Gas Lease Sale 208, held this week in New Orleans, attracted more than $703 million in high bids. The Minerals Management Service (MMS) said that 70 companies submitted 476 bids on 348 tracts comprising over 1.9 million acres offshore Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

This is significantly lower than 2008’s record-breaking Central Gulf of Mexico Sale 206, which netted $3.67 billion in high bids. In that sale, 85 companies submitted 1,057 bids on 615 tracts.

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New rotary steerable system, telemetry platform announced from Amsterdam

 Schlumberger this week announced the release of its new PowerDrive vorteX RT powered rotary steerable system (RSS) with wireless communicator, and its new Orion II telemetry platform, which enables reliable communication with bottomhole assemblies whether drilling at high penetration rates or longer boreholes.

The new RSS allows near-bit information above and below BHA components, so accurate targets can be reached in less time. It uses induction propagation antenna coils to generate and detect an electromagnetic field. The bi-directional, half-duplex communication runs in all formation types, jumping up to 20 m of BHA, and includes real-time gamma ray, resistivity, and neutron density information.

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