Today’s upstream oil & gas industry is facing global challenges with limited resources. Challenges in three critical areas – people, equipment and technology – are forcing innovative solutions that break down traditional barriers and boundaries. A panel discussion during the SPE/IADC Middle East Drilling Technology Conference & Exhibition in Bahrain on 26-28 October, addressed this important topic.
Adel Al-Moayyed, Deputy Chief Executive, Exploration & Production of the Bahrain Petroleum Company pointed out that the world will increasingly depend on a few Middle East Gulf producers as fields deplete elsewhere in the world.
He illustrated how BAPCO is tackling these issues in the context of field development plans in the island nation. Set against a backdrop of long-term demand growth, an aging workforce and increased reliance on OPEC suppliers, Mr. Adel outlined BAPCO’s drilling requirements and development plans.
While only a dozen or so wells are expected to be drilled next year, the pace will dramatically increase by 2012 to nearly 150. By the middle of the next decade, Bahrain will be drilling 250-plus wells, he said, employing some 8 rigs.
Mr. Adel also discussed the role of Tatweer Petroleum, a new joint venture company formed between BAPCO and Occidental. Tatweer will be tasked with applying new technology to produce heavy oil from relatively shallow reservoirs in the Bahrain Field.
“The project will attract new technology to Bahrain and establish a model for cooperation between an NOC and an IOC”, he said.
Ahmed Lotfy, President, Eastern Hemisphere, of Halliburton, contributed the service company perspective. Advising the audience to “never waste a crisis”, he described ways in which Halliburton is capitalizing on the recent downturn in activity to capture lower prices for manufacturing and technology, develop people while eliminating redundancies and expand new business models to maximize customer value.
Abdulrahman B. Al Sayari, Deputy General Manager of National Drilling Company in Abu Dhabi, focused on NDC’s efforts to recruit, train and retain qualified personnel. Leveraging a new state-of-the-art training facility with an accelerated development program has allowed NDC to keep pace with its growing rig fleet. An employee retention program based on substantial financial incentives has “reduced our turnover from 8% to 2%,” Mr. Abdulrahman reported. To ensure that the new recruits arrive at the rig site prepared to work safely, NDC has implemented an IADC Rig Pass accredited induction program.
John Willis, Drilling Manager, Occidental of Oman, rounded out the panel by describing how, in 2005, Oxy applied a strategic plan to tackle the challenges of people, equipment and technology. Today Oxy employs some of the industry’s most advanced rigs, applying a host of new technologies with a globally-linked network of drilling professionals. The cumulative effect of these efforts has been to reduce rig time on location and to give Oxy a drilling performance record measured in feet per day that is 22.4% better than the industry average.
An extended discussion period moderated by Kwaku Temeng, Saudi Aramco, allowed the conference delegates to contribute their thoughts and ideas and to further investigate key points of the panel presentations, maximizing the session’s take-home value.