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Hemmingsen: Well control must remain a priority for the industry, regardless of economic landscape

Maersk Drilling CEO Claus Hemmingsen urged companies to share their knowledge and experience with one another in order to improve safety for everyone. Mr Hemmingsen, who also serves as Group Vice CEO of A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, delivered the keynote speech at the 2016 IADC Well Control Europe Conference in Copenhagen on 19 October.

Although the downturn is forcing drilling contractors to stack rigs and make necessary budget cuts, the industry must maintain well control competence as a top priority, Claus Hemmingsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling, said. Mr Hemmingsen, who also serves as Group Vice CEO of A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, gave a keynote address at the 2016 IADC Well Control Europe Conference in Copenhagen on 19 October. “We must take any opportunity we can to learn from each other and take advantage of the broader industry performance, including the mistakes that we make, to ensure that we will not repeat those mistakes and expose people, environment and economic interest to accidents,” Mr Hemmingsen said.

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Proactively using annular friction can enable safer, more efficient well control

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Historically, the effects of annular friction have largely been ignored in conventional well control operations, Paul Sonnemann, Vice President of Technology for SafeKick, said at the 2016 IADC Well Control Europe Conference in Copenhagen. However, new technologies, including real-time hydraulic flow models, make it possible to make use of annular friction to make well control operations more safe and efficient. In this video from the conference on 19 October, Mr Sonnemann explains why friction has largely been ignored to date and how annular friction can be utilized with conventional well control equipment to circulate out a kick. He also discusses the newly formed IADC Well Control Practices Subcommittee.

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Atwood’s Saltiel: Human factors often define success, failure in drilling industry

While often overlooked, human factors are critical to safe and successful execution of offshore drilling operations, Rob Saltiel, President and CEO of Atwood Oceanics, said at the 2016 IADC Human Factors Conference in Galveston, Texas, on 5 October.

Human factors have traditionally been overlooked in the drilling industry, but recognition is growing that human factors are critical to ensuring that employees complete their tasks safely and efficiently. “Clearly, our industry depends greatly on deep understanding of technical knowledge and rigorous adherence to operation procedures. Yet, more often than not, it is the human factors that define our success or failure in this industry,” Rob Saltiel, President and CEO, Atwood Oceanics, said at the 2016 IADC Human Factors Conference in Galveston, Texas, on 5 October.

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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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