CATEGORIZED | 2009, Features, January/February

Plenary sessions tackle event theme of ‘Total Value Drilling: Right People, Right Process, Right Technology’

Posted on 17 January 2009

2009 SPE/IADC Drilling Conference

Personnel is a tough issue these days. On the one hand, we know that competent and qualified workers are the heart of any business. This industry understands it has a generation gap in the workforce and has put serious money to recruit and train the next generation. On the other hand, there’s the sinking economy and oil prices, already affecting drilling activities and related services. Where do we find the balance between valuing our employees and business survival?

Set against this backdrop of a dramatically fluctuating economy, the opening day plenary session at the 2009 SPE/IADC Drilling Conference will tackle the topic of “Right People For the Next 30 Years?” In other words, how can we ensure we have the right people and in the right numbers to take us through the next three decades?

Themes that will be discussed include the “great crew change,” changes in the demographics of the current workforce, changes in the expectations of the recruits to the industry, changes from international to national workers, the consequences of this transformation, and the more practical aspects of personnel recruitment.

Alison Goligher, technical director, Middle East and South Asia for Shell, will serve as moderator. Panelists include:

• Steve Haden, head of drilling and completions, Eastern Hemisphere, BP.
• Catherine MacGregor, VP personnel, Schlumberger.
• Steven Newman, president and COO, Transocean.
• Peter Sharpe, VP wells, Shell International E&P.

On the second day, the plenary session will turn to “Technology: Evolution or Revolution?” The industry has seen significant evolutionary progress of almost every technology and equipment in its toolbox – rotary steerables, drilling risers, blowout preventers, drill bits, etc. There have also been revolutionary game-changers. For one, managed pressure drilling is redefining what is drillable and what’s not (see Page 84).

This session will explore the technological evolutions and revolutions of our industry, as well as the potential game-changers of the future. Both the panel and audience will be asked to offer insights into where they see opportunities for the industry in technology terms over the next 20-30 years.

The moderator will be Lance Cook, global wells technology manager for Shell. Panelists are:

• Luis Cortes Xavier Bastos, general manager of well construction engineering, Petrobras.
• Bob Bloom, senior vice president, National Oilwell Varco.
• Tim Juran, executive vice president, Seadrill.
• Halvor Kjørholt, chief researcher, drilling and wells, StatoilHydro.

Combining issues discussed in the first two plenary sessions, the third will look at “Right Process: Integrating People and Technology to Create Value.” Pressures are high in the industry to put a large number of newbuilds to work – on time and on budget, yet with relatively inexperienced personnel and increasingly complex wells/reservoirs.

Speakers at this session will discuss how this issue is being addressed in their specific area of the business, focusing on integrating people and technology as we move to novel techniques that will be needed to extract diminishing supplies.

Moderator will be Jerry Gauche, vice president, organizational effectiveness, National Oilwell Varco. Panelists are:

• Guillermo Arango, director, operations information technology, Baker Hughes.
• Ford Brett, managing director of PetroSkills Alliance and CEO of Oil & Gas Consultants.
• Mark Burns, president, ENSCO Offshore International Co.
• James McCallum, CEO, Senergy.

The 2009 SPE/IADC Drilling Conference & Exhibition will be held 17-19 March at the RAI Congress Centre in Amsterdam.

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