By Kevin Neveu, 2019 IADC Chairman
As a long-time member of the IADC, I am proud and honored to serve as the association’s Chairman for 2019. IADC has a long history of serving as the space where members of the drilling industry can come together to identify common problems and solve them in a way that promotes our long-term success. This year, I plan to continue this legacy with a focus on safety and training and enticing the next generation of drillers to join our industry.
It’s well established that our industry is volatile and cyclical, but I have always believed that if you work hard and deliver results, you can be successful. My career, and that of so many others who have spent 20, 30, 40 years in this industry, is a testament to that fact.
Part of that results-driven success is about focusing on what we are doing and how we can be doing it better. One of the ways we can make things better is by focusing on our people. HSE is something we talk about often, and we must continue to do so because the solutions in keeping people safe are complex. As zero incidents and injuries is our shared goal, a commitment to better training and more stringent oversight must be a primary focus.
There are myriad ways to attack the problem, and IADC is doing its part by bringing together industry experts to devise the next generation of training curriculum. We are working on new curricula to address knowledge retention. Our WellSharp program, introduced just three years ago, is already the industry’s gold standard in well control training and will be expanded to include more specialized coursework in 2019.
The work being done on training goes hand in hand with the efforts of IADC’s technical committees. Members of these committees volunteer their time and expertise to hash out solutions that address critical industry issues. The work they are doing is important and necessary and can always benefit from the addition of more members. I encourage the leadership at IADC’s member companies to allow their employees to participate in the committees and share their knowledge and lessons learned. It’s one of the ways that IADC provides value to its membership and offers an opportunity to network and work collaboratively with like-minded colleagues.
Technical innovations like the ones being discussed and devised on IADC’s technical committees are changing the landscape of our industry. Automation and the use of data to standardize rigs and processes continue to evolve and represent the future of our industry.
However, I also believe that drilling operations will always require people to operate the rigs. Focusing on training, safety and technical issues is necessary, but equally as important is attracting the best and brightest of the next generation to join us in drilling for the world’s energy resources.
At IADC, we are making a good start by investing in our burgeoning network of student chapters. As we’ve seen through the commitment by students at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, Texas A&M and the Missouri University of Science and Technology to build their chapters from the ground up, there is considerable interest in our industry from college students.
We are collaborating with other universities to expand our student chapter network, and I encourage our members to get involved in these efforts.
As we look further into 2019, we are collaborating with other universities to expand our student chapter network, and I encourage our members to get involved in these efforts. Rig tours, facilities tours, speaking at student chapter meetings, offering an opportunity for mentorship – each of these give a realistic perspective on what a career in this industry looks like. That knowledge is invaluable to those just starting out.
In addition to the priorities mentioned above, we will continue to look for opportunities to engage with regulators and legislators on issues that impact our operations. IADC’s advocacy team in the US and our network of regional representatives worldwide seek to serve as an educative resource to those who have responsibility for drafting rules that directly impact oil and gas drilling activities. The work will continue into 2019, as these groups work to develop relationships and secure IADC’s seat at the table with all stakeholders.
Strong leadership is critical to the success of our industry. At IADC, we have a membership filled with people who have stepped up to contribute their expertise and talents. I look forward to leading this diverse membership and focusing on the issues that are important to us all. DC