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Posted on 28 January 2010

Drilling Contractor People & Company NewsCROSCO JV achieves 10-year safety record

On 17 December, CROSCO Integrated Drilling & Well Services’ joint venture company Midwesco achieved 10 years of slickline services in Oman without a lost-time incident (LTI). During this period, more than 15,000 wireline/slickline operations were conducted, equivalent to more than 1.4 million hours worked and more than 5 million km driven. Slickline services were provided with up to eight CROSCO wireline crane units for two clients.

“Our results reward our efforts of implementing various safety initiatives, including STOP cards, rewards and incentives, as well as our efforts to introduce new wireline tools and technologies on an ongoing basis,” said Boris Lazar, CROSCO CEO and president.

ExxonMobil/XTO deal augurs strong promise for natural gas

ExxonMobil and XTO Energy announced on 14 December a $41-billion all-stock transaction that would enhance ExxonMobil’s position in the development of unconventional natural gas and oil resources. XTO’s resource base is the equivalent of 45 trillion cu ft of gas and includes shale gas, tight gas, coal bed methane and shale oil.

“Despite current gloom and doom on natural gas fundamentals, this merger is a strong indicator that the longer view for US natural gas is promising,” commented IADC group vice president/publisher Mike Killalea. “The environmental benefits of natural gas are far and away superior to other energy sources, such as coal, both in terms of resource exploitation and in greenhouse gas generation. Drilling for natural gas is a far less intrusive – and safer – process than mining for coal. Further, natural gas is a ‘just in time’ fuel and does not require the enormous infrastructure investment or lengthy time line of nuclear power.”

“XTO’s strengths, together with ExxonMobil’s advanced R&D and operational capabilities, global scale and financial capacity, should enable development of additional supplies of unconventional oil and gas resources, benefiting consumers both here in the United States and around the world,” said Rex W Tillerson, ExxonMobil chairman and chief executive officer.

Following the transaction closing, ExxonMobil intends to establish a new upstream organization to manage global development and production of unconventional resources, enabling the rapid development and deployment of technologies and operating practices to increase production and maximize resource value. The new organization will be located in Fort Worth, Texas, in XTO’s current offices.

Atwood’s Irwin retires, succeeded by Saltiel

Robert J Saltiel is succeeding John R Irwin as president and chief executive officer of Atwood Oceanics. Mr Irwin, a longtime IADC supporter and a past IADC chairman, retired on 14 December but may remain employed by Atwood through 31 July 2010 to provide for an orderly transition, the company said.

Mr Saltiel previously served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Transocean. Transocean president Steve Newman is assuming the duties of chief operating officer while the company considers alternatives. Previously, Transocean announced that Mr Newman will become CEO in 2010 when Bob Long retires as CEO.

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