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WellCAP designed to advance competency, BOEM officials told

Posted on 31 August 2010

Brenda Kelly, Director - Accreditation and Certification, IADC

Brenda Kelly, Director - Accreditation and Certification, IADC

IADC’s internationally recognized well-control training programs are designed to develop competency, IADC Director-Accreditation & Certification Brenda Kelly explained at a forum organized by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement on deepwater drilling. The event took place on 24 August in Santa Barbara, Calif. Participants included stakeholders from industry; the environmental community; and federal, state and local government.

“The WellCAP curriculum was designed from the beginning to be more than training, including both knowledge and skills development with practical and simulator exercises that contribute to competency development,” Mrs Kelly explained, addressing BOEM Director Michael Bromwich and other BOEM staff.

In response to Mr Bromwich’s questioning regarding WellCAP’s adaptability, Mrs Kelly explained that a process exists for periodic review of curriculums and other WellCAP processes. Program changes, she said, are made proactively, responding to the ever-changing needs of our industry.

Mr Bromwich opened the forum with words about the importance of offshore drilling and its risks, looking through the lens of Macondo. “While we do not yet know the cause of the Macondo incident, human error may have played a significant role,” the BOEM Director said. He said that he was in search of ways to improve personnel accountability procedures and to ensure operational safety.

He set forth three questions that, as the event unfolded, were at the center of the forum:

  • What additional safety training requirements are necessary for drilling rig personnel?
  • Should there be a requirement for independent or more frequent certification and testing of personnel and safety systems?
  • How can we promote a greater culture of safety in offshore drilling?

Mr Bromwich also stressed the importance of inspections, saying that BOEM plans to hire a significant number of inspectors. However, he observed that difficulties exist in finding inspections. While inspectors typically have come from industry, he said he is considering the possibility of a university curriculum for government inspectors within a petroleum engineering program.

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