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January/February

Industry must leverage data, automation to create collaborative workflows that eliminate waste

A couple of big challenges come to mind, and first and foremost is keeping talent and getting the right skill sets for our employees. As technology changes and as we find better ways to adopt those technologies into our industry, it’s critically important that we train our workforce so they have the proper skills to deploy those technologies. More and more, our employees are technical specialists, not generalists. We don’t just have petroleum or drilling engineers. We have data scientists and black-belt process experts, as well as application development engineers and integrated planning personnel. The staffing transformation is well under way...

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Next-level automation to go beyond discrete processes, linking data and workflows with digital technologies

To advance drilling efficiencies and ensure profitability for entire supply chain, industry also must shift toward outcome-based contracts on a larger scale By Kelli Ainsworth Robinson, Associate Editor Arindam Bhattacharya is President of Schlumberger Land Rigs. What do you see as the most critical challenges facing oilfield service companies in the current environment? The most fundamental challenge that we continue to face is helping operators reduce their finding and development costs. Over the years, that has not changed; what has changed is our external environment. The oil price has gone through a big shock due to the downturn. We have been at $50 to $60 oil for the past two years, and there is a consensus that we have to ...

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Consolidation, shift away from dayrate model set to transform US onshore drilling industry

One of the biggest challenges the industry faces right now is the dayrate model. The issue is that the dramatic increases in drilling efficiency and wellbore quality made by drilling contractors are not reflected in the dayrate model. The benefit of those advances goes only to the shareholders of the E&P company, not to the shareholders of the drilling contractor...

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Technology partnerships allowing industry to tap new expertise, unrealized potential of automation

Companies moving to fully embrace digitalization as they realize that cost-cutting won’t lead to innovations the industry needs to face future challenges By Kelli Ainsworth Robinson, Associate Editor Etienne Roux is President, Drilling and Evaluation, for Weatherford. What do you consider to be the most critical issues facing the drilling industry today? It’s probably no surprise, but I think the two that stand out are still efficiency and safety. In today’s environment, those are the considerations that drive most decision-making in our industry. As an industry, over the past couple of years, we have achieved a lot of cost efficiency through a brute force approach of cost cutting. We’ve done all we can on that front. However, we can’t cost-cut ...

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With dayrates still low, industry may have to look to consolidation to cut costs, accelerate rig retirements

Newbuild deliveries may exert pressure on jackup market in 2018, but operators likely to maintain preference for high-performing rigs with recent track records By Linda Hsieh, Managing Editor Ihab Toma is CEO of Vantage Drilling. Looking at the global offshore drilling market today, what do you see as the most critical challenges facing this business? It’s utilization, and it’s oversupply. For the past couple of years, the big challenge had been lack of rig demand, but that is starting to come back. However, we still have an oversupply of drilling rigs, and that will continue to put pressure on dayrates. Therefore, at this point, it’s very difficult for us to do much except cut more costs to generate enough margins ...

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Process automation becoming key enabler for optimization as market moves deeper into industrialization

I would say there are two main things that are on my mind, and the first is wide-scale adoption of industrialized principles. When there’s industrialization, like the kind we see in the unconventionals where we’re mass-producing a large number of identical wells, it really allows you to optimize each step of the process and make significant improvements in efficiency...

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SIMOPs, continuous pumping may help operators create additional value as sizes of well pads expand

Within Total, we have identified safety as a value rather than as a priority. That’s because priorities can change due to environmental factors. For us, safety is a pillar on which we build everything else. We manage and control the risks associated with our activities, both for our employees and for the communities in which we undertake these activities. We also minimize their impact for future generations...

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Editorial: Safety, quality, diverse workforce will pave path to better industry, future innovations

As I think about the challenges facing us in 2018, I am reminded of that new year’s curse – “May you have an interesting year.” 2018 will almost certainly deliver that. According to Haynes and Boone, from January 2015 to October 2017, 134 North American oil and gas producers filed for bankruptcy. The sum of these filings involved $80 billion of secured and unsecured debt. Over the same period, 155 oilfield service companies filed for bankruptcy with a cumulative debt of $43.6 billion. Of the seven largest filings, five were major international offshore drillers...

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Analysis of competence assurance programs reveals best practices, evolving policies, common challenges

In 2009, IADC initiated a Competence Assurance Accreditation (CAA) program to provide a means and a model for oil and gas related companies to establish an industry standard to maximize the impact of competence assurance programs. This standard is designed to define effective ways to develop and maintain employee competence, such that every employee is competent to perform his or her job role successfully and consistently. CAA has become a global standard for the structure and management of these programs, and 22 companies’ Terms and Definitions...

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