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Norwegian Oil and Gas Association focuses on sharing experiences, maintaining regulator relationships

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Norwegian oil and gas regulations require the industry to continuously improve, and the best way to accomplish this is through sharing and collaboration, said Sam Samuelsen, Drilling Manager for Norwegian oil and company Lotos Norway. Mr Samuelsen also serves as Chairman of the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association’s Drilling Managers Forum (DMF). In his keynote presentation at the 2016 IADC Well Control Europe Conference in Copenhagen, Mr Samuelsen outlined steps the DMF has taken to share knowledge and develop a common language around well control events. Watch DC’s video from the conference on 20 October as Mr Samuelsen describes the DMF’s Sharing to be Better initiative, as well as its work with Norwegian regulators.

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BP looks to expertise of suppliers, contractors to drive down costs

Operators should focus on achieving lasting cost reduction through better engagement and collaboration with contractors and suppliers, rather than through seeking rate reductions, BP’s Clay Soares said at the 2016 IADC Contracts and Risk Management Conference in Houston on 11 October.

Although operators can reduce their costs by negotiating for lower rates from contractors and service providers, much more significant savings can be achieved by tapping their expertise earlier in the planning process, Clay Soares, BP Rig Section Director, said. “The reality is that unit price, or dayrates, in our view, is only about 20% of the total cost of ownership. It’s somewhat finite in nature. In other words, costs can only go down so much,” Mr Soares said at the 2016 IADC Contracts and Risk Management Conference in Houston on 11 October. “I think that much more energy should be put on the other 80% of the equation.” BP’s 40-40-20 rule puts the operator’s focus on the scope of projects and the company’s internal demand for projects, which make up a combined 80% of the cost of ownership. Those factors are more easily controlled than rates, which fluctuate with the market.

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Bankruptcy filings make it a challenge, but not impossible, for companies to get paid

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Oil and gas companies are doing their best to weather the downturn, but the unfortunate reality is that not every company will survive. Contractors and other oilfield companies providing services or equipment to operators that are filing for bankruptcy or restructuring may find themselves uncertain how to proceed. In this video from the 2016 IADC Contracts and Risk Management Conference in Houston on 11 October, Phil Eisenberg, Partner at Locke Lord, explains how companies can protect themselves and receive payment if a customer files for bankruptcy. He also outlines considerations companies should keep in mind when working with a customer going through bankruptcy proceedings.

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ADIPEC to launch new program targeting cybersecurity

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Cyber threats and attacks against the oil and gas industry are becoming increasingly complex and sophisticated, targeting both IT and OT infrastructures. Industry experts are calling for continuous improvements to cybersecurity safeguards and protocols in oil and gas facilities in order to protect valuable company information and key operational equipment, as well as to maintain operations in a safe and secure manner. Recent figures from Cybersecurity Ventures show that spending on protection against cyber-attacks is forecast to be a market worth US$13.43 billion by 2019 in the Middle East and Africa region alone. Meanwhile, US-based ABIresearch forecasts global cybersecurity spending on oil and gas critical infrastructure to reach US$1.87 billion by 2018. “In 2016, there is an urgency for nations ...

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Burke: Positive indicators point to potential recovery first for shales; offshore must wait longer

The drilling industry is seeing some positive signals. One is that CAPEX reductions, a leading indicator for the industry, are starting to slow down, 
Thomas Burke, President and CEO of Rowan Companies and 2016 IADC Chairman, said at the IADC Houston Chapter Luncheon on 11 October.

In hindsight, the indicators of an impending downturn were clear back in 2014 or even earlier. Still, when it hit, the downturn caught most of the industry by surprise. This has caused massive disruptions as companies realized that their assumptions and projects were flat wrong, Thomas Burke, President and CEO of Rowan Companies, said at an IADC Houston Chapter luncheon on 11 October. Further, Mr Burke, who also serves as 2016 IADC Chairman, pointed to the difficulties that drilling contractors face in planning for their business. “When you have to make investments in expensive assets that are going to last a long time, it takes a lot of capital, and you have to make assumptions about what’s going to happen,” he said. “We have to make long-term decisions based on short-term oil prices.”

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Sleep enhancement strategies targets better sleep for night-shift workers

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By Kelli Ainsworth, Editorial Coordinator The reduced concentration, slower reaction time and impaired decision making that result from insufficient sleep can have serious repercussions for process safety, Koos Meijer, a Human Factors Consultant with KM Human Factors Engineering, said at the 2016 IADC Human Factors Conference in Galveston, Texas. Because the brain produces hormones to make us feel alert or tired based on light, night-shift workers – who can be found on every working drilling rig – are particularly vulnerable to poor-quality sleep. “Our body finds it hard to completely adapt to night work schedules because of these inconsistent light cues,” Mr Meijer said in his presentation on 4 October. KM Human Factors Engineering took its cue from NASA, which ...

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ExxonMobil: Rig technologies must be differentiated between what’s needed and what’s not

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The industry can and must improve its safety and economics through the development and application of new rig technologies, Andre Luyckx, Upstream Drilling and Subsurface Manager for ExxonMobil, said at the 2016 IADC Advanced Rig Technology Conference in Galveston, Texas. “If the rigs that we operate aren’t safe and they’re not profitable, they’re nonstarters,” Mr Luyckx said in a keynote address on 13 September. However, the industry must be careful to differentiate which technologies are needed for each project.

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Flin: Understanding drillers’ situation awareness critical to safety, efficiency

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In order to complete drilling operations safely, drillers need to be able to constantly anticipate potential problems and the meaning of diagnostic signals from the well. Drillers must also have a high-level understanding of the well state at any point during the drilling process. These factors are considered drillers’ situation awareness. Dr Rhona Flin, Professor of Industrial Psychology at Robert Gordon University, facilitated a study with PhD candidates to create a model for drillers’ situation awareness. The model aims to help the industry improve situation awareness and decision-making. Watch DC’s video with Dr Flin from the 2016 IADC Human Factors Conference in Galveston, Texas, on 5 October to learn more.

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Drilling industry continues to push evolution of crew resource management

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Training for rig crews continues to evolve, with more programs now focusing on giving employees the skills needed to handle unexpected situations where split-second decisions and teamwork make all the difference. Crew resource management training can now be found in many of the industry’s training programs, and some are also beginning to integrate it with technical education and simulation-based training. To learn more about the evolution of crew resource management, watch DC’s video with Maersk Training Crew Resource Management Lead Instructor Evelyn Baldwin from the 2016 IADC Human Factors Conference in Galveston on 5 October.

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CSB: Non-technical skills can help employees find their way through complex situations

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In its investigation of Macondo, the US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) found that future incidents could potentially be prevented if employees are equipped with non-technical skills. Such skills could help them navigate the complex situations that can occur on a drilling rig, where a great deal of information may be thrown at them at once. In this video from the 2016 IADC Human Factors Conference on 4 October in Galveston, Texas, Cheryl Mackenzie, CSB Investigations Team Lead, explains some of the CSB’s findings from its investigation. She also discussed recommendations the CSB made to API, the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the Ocean Energy Safety Institute.

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